Jimmie with his father, Aaron Rodgers. Mississippi is properly famous as the home of the blues and of the first star of rock and roll. Publicity photographs also portrayed Rodgers as a guitar-playing cowboy and as a sharply dressed man-on-the-town. Since his father, Aaron Rodgers, worked on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, Jimmie Rodgers grew up traveling, especially after his mother, Eliza Rodgers, died when Jimmie was only five or six. From age fourteen until he was twenty-eight, he worked, sometimes irregularly, as a brakeman or flagman on railroads that took him through much of the South and Southwest. Always interested in making music and seeing if he could make a living from it, Rodgers pursued music as a career only after he had to give up railroad work because of health problems. He contracted tuberculosis and discovered that railroad work made it hard for him to breathe.
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'The Singing Brakeman'
Now known as "The Father of Country Music," Rodgers's rhythmic yodeling and simple songs, the former railroad worker recorded over songs in a six-year span, and influenced artists like Merle Haggard, Hank Snow, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Dylan. Rodgers spent most of his early adult life working on a railroad. His father, Aaron Rodgers, worked on the Ohio and Mobile Railroad, so Jimmie Rodgers spent the ages of fourteen to twenty-eight working as a brakeman or flagman, according to Mississippi History Now. He found railroad work made it difficult for him to breathe, so he left that work to pursue music.
The Meridian, Miss. Rodgers was born on Sept. Radio experience and a partnership with the Jimmie Rodgers Entertainers -- a string band from the twin cities of Bristol, Tenn. For many of these recordings, Rodgers poured in the real emotion, pain and fear caused by his physical condition. In the process, he invented the sad country song formula that was later perfected by Hank Williams. His passing came after six busy years as one of the first, if not the first, singer to tour extensively beyond a local radio market. To learn more about how a blue-collar railroad worker created country stardom by mixing regional folk sounds with emerging popular styles, check out these five genre-shaping tracks. It's a list so exclusive that it leaves off some all-time classics, including "Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia. Rodgers sometimes wandered into the popular realm, as heard on this sentimental ballad. This song represents two things.
Jimmie Rodgers was born on September 8, , in Meridian, Mississippi, the youngest of three sons. His mother died when he was very young, and Jimmie spent the next few years with relatives in southeast Mississippi and southwest Alabama. He eventually returned home to live with his father, Aaron Rodgers, a maintenance foreman on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, who had settled with a new wife in Meridian. By age 13, he had twice organized traveling shows, only to be brought home by his father. Upon his return to Meridian, he paid for the sheets with money he had made from his show! Not long after that, Mr. A few years later, Jimmie became a brakeman on the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad, a position secured by his oldest brother, Walter, a conductor on the line. In , at the age of 27, Jimmie contracted tuberculosis. The disease temporarily ended his railroad career but gave him the chance to get back to his first love, entertainment. He organized a traveling road show and performed across the Southeast until a cyclone destroyed his tent.