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Meeting Jimmie Rodgers : how America's original roots music hero changed the pop sounds of a century

Mazor, Barry2012
Books, Manuscripts
In this title, Barry Mazor traces our ever-evolving response to the performing songwriter who has influenced country, rock, and blues for 80 years, as transformed by artists from Ernest Tubb to Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bob Dylan. This is a provocative 21st century re-examination of the impact of Jimmie Rodgers. In the nearly eight decades since his death at age thirty-five, singer-songwriter Jimmie Rodgers has been an inspiration for numerous top performers-from Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Hank Williams to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Beck. How did this Mississippi-born vaudevillian, a former railroad worker who performed so briefly so long ago, come to be the model for how American roots music stars could become popular heroes? In Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, the first book to explore the legacy of "The Singing Brakeman" from a twenty-first century perspective, Barry Mazor offers a lively look at Rodgers' career, tracing his rise from working-class obscurity to the pinnacle of renown that came with such hits as "Blue Yodel" and "In the Jailhouse Now." As Mazor shows, Rodgers brought emotional clarity and a unique sense of narrative drama to every song he performed, whether tough or sentimental, comic or sad. But more than anything else, Mazor suggests, it was Rodgers' shape-shifting ability to assume many public personas that connected him to such a broad public and set the stage for the stars who followed him.
New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012.
384 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
9780199891863 (pbk)
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