Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jimmie Rodgers: The Singing Brakeman, The Blue Yodeler, The Father of Country Music

Last week on my way to Georgia I detoured through Meridian, Mississippi to visit the Jimmie Rodgers Museum. It was great! The museum was a one room train station filled with Jimmie's clothes, guitars, boots, writings, furniture and the like.

Jimmie Rodgers is one of the early superstars of country music. He made his first recordings in 1927 down in Bristol, TN at the same time as the Carter Family. His career was brief as he long suffered from tuberculosis. Jimmie died at the young age of 35 with around 100 recordings under his belt. Two of his most famous are "T for Texas" and "TB Blues". Most of Jimmie's tunes feature his astonishing yodeling. My homie, Hank Williams was greatly influenced by Jimmie Rodgers.

The lady who was the "hostess" was very friendly and generous. She allowed me to hold and have my picture made with the guitar created to celebrate Jimmie's 100th birthday. I felt so special getting to go behind the velvet ropes!!

A country music fan many years ago made a quilt with all the signatures of of her favorite musicians. The story goes that she personally wrote to all their managers and record labels sending along the fabrics scraps for them to sign. She then stitched over the autograph to create the quilt in turn giving it to the Jimmie Rodgers Museum. See the pics of one of my favorites Kitty Wells.

I left the museum full of warmth for my home state and the musical heritage she claims. I was singing and yodeling at the top of my lungs as I sped down the interstate through Alabama and Georgia. Yo-dee-lay-ee-o-dee-lay-ee-o-dee-lay-ee!!!! Also, check out some of my older posts to catch up on Clarksdale, MS home of the Delta Blues Museum and the Carter Family fold in Virginia where I visited last summer.

Here are some pics of the museum!

"Why the Sam Hill don't you write" - Jimmie

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