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Jazz And Blues Legends

The Rough Guide To Country Legends: Jimmie Rodgers

Various

RGNET1274CD

Jimmie Rodgers was the 'Singing Brakeman', a Mississippi boy who used to work the railroads, done good. With his trademark yodel, he brought so-called hillbilly music into the mainstream. In a life as colourful as the songs he sang, the 'father of country music', rose from obscurity to create a new level of international stardom for American music before his tragic early death.

Format

Track List

01    Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel #8)        
02    Somewhere Down Below The Mason Dixie Line    
03    Frankie And Johnnie    
04    Waiting For A Train    
05    Any Old Time        
06    Why There’s A Tear In My Eye    
07    My Blue-Eyed Jane    
08    In The Jailhouse Now, No.2        
09    In The Hills Of Tennessee        
10    T.B. Blues                
11    Away Out On The Mountain        
12    Dear Old Sunny South By The Sea    
13    Blue Yodel #1 (T Is For Texas)    
14    Miss The Mississippi And You    
15    Ben Dewberry’s Final Run        
16    I’m Lonely And Blue            
17    Jimmie Rodgers’ Last Blue Yodel    
18    When The Cactus Is In Bloom    
19    My Little Old Home Down In New Orleans    
20    Gambling Bar Room Blues        
21    My Little Lady                
22    Jimmie The Kid            
23    Yodeling Cowboy            
24    My Rough And Rowdy Ways        
25    I’m Free (From The Chain Gang Now)    

Jimmie Rodgers was the 'Singing Brakeman', a Mississippi boy who used to work the railroads, done good. With his trademark yodel, he brought so-called hillbilly music into the mainstream. In a life as colourful as the songs he sang, the 'father of country music', rose from obscurity to create a new level of international stardom for American music before his tragic early death.

The Rough Guide To Country Legends: Jimmie Rodgers

Many will recognise yodel-heavy classics such as 'In the Jailhouse Now', which featured in the Cohen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and 'Yodelling Cowboy', and undoubtedly such tracks are emblematic of Rodgers' style. However, in the course of six years with the Victor label he recorded over 110 songs, enjoying extraordinary artistic freedom thanks to the unprecedented nature of his stardom. He was free to interpret his role as a representative for country and hillbilly music as he saw fit and embarked on a number of eclectic musical forays, the variety of which is the cornerstone of this Rough Guide.

'My Blue-Eyed Jane' was recorded with a full jazz band, other tunes included mandolin, jug accompaniment, ukulele's, tuba and more. His music is also heavily influenced by the grit and grime of the blues, heard on such classics as 'Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel #8)', 'Waiting For A Train' and 'T.B Blues'. These were flavours Rodgers gleaned from his old railroad buddies who would make communion and tell stories through song, with 'Gambling Bar Room Blues' and 'I'm Free (From The Chain Gang Now' being further fine examples. Tracks such as 'Somewhere Down Below The Mason Dixie Line' and 'My Rough and Rowdy Ways', meanwhile, display a vaudeville playfulness and romantic notion of travel, character-traits that his father had tried to temper by finding him a job in the railroad.

Accompanying this dedicated overview of Rodgers' dazzling but tragically foreshortened career, comes a bonus disc featuring a selection of classics by his contemporaries. Country Music Pioneers includes tracks from the likes of Dock Boggs, the Carter Family and Alfred G. Karnes, helping to paint a broader picture of American popular music's key interwar period.