Jimmie Rodgers

From ArticleWorld

James Charles Rodgers ("Jimmie" Rodgers) was the very first country music star and is known today as the father of country music. He was born on September 8, 1897 in Pine Springs, Mississippi. Rodgers began working on the railroad with his father as a brakeman, but was forced to leave because of tuberculosis. He took on all different kinds of work and was everything from a police detective to a blackface performer.

Rodgers went to an audition for a performing artist in Tennessee that would lead to his incredible career. His self-written songs were mostly sentimental and spoke about home, love, family, and railroads. He was known by fans as The Singing Brakeman and because many of his songs just had the generic title of "Blue Yodel, he was also known as The Blue Yodeler. Rodgers was really a blues singer, but put blues lyrics to the strums of a guitar and added a his own variety of the yodel.

Some of Rodgers biggest hits are "Waiting for a Train," "Jimmie the Kid," "Looking for a New Mama," and "In the Jailhouse Now." Rodgers had a relatively short musical career; it lasted for a grand total of six years. He died from tuberculosis at the young age of only 35 on May 26, 1933. He was in the middle of a production process when he died; he had finished final recordings less than one week before his death. He was so weak he had to rest in between takes.

The Country Music Hall of Fame was founded in 1961 and Rodgers was one of the very first country music singers to be inducted. He is also listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.