The Singing Brakeman

Jimmie Rodgers was one of the first "superstars" of country music. He was famous for his train songs, a popular genre in the 30's, from which he earned the nickname "The Singing Brakeman".  We heard one of his tracks this week, the "Last Blue Yodel". Jimmie's signature was his yodel and as the footage below shows, the babes totally dug it.  He was also known as "The Blue Yodeler".  He had several aliases, forshadowing more modern artists like Method Man. The fact that Jimmie was being filmed in the early 30s is indicative of his success.  Jimmie was born in Mississippi in 1897 and succumbed to Tuberculosis at only 33.  The man was hardcore enough to record a couple of songs about his illness even as he knew it was killing him (see T.B. Blues). For such a short career he has a prolific body of work.  Influenced by both white and black folk music, he was one of the most unique singers of the early recording era.  Enjoy one of his most famous tunes, Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas)


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