Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century
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In Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, the first book to explore the deep 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. His wistful singing, falsetto yodels, bold flat-picking guitar style, and sometimes censorable themes - sex, crime, and other edgy topics - set him apart from most of his contemporaries. But more than anything else, Mazor suggests, it was Rodgers' shape-shifting ability to assume many public personas - working stiff, decked-out cowboy, suave ladies' man - that connected him to such a broad public and set the stage for the stars who followed him. In reconstructing this far-flung legacy, Mazor enables readers to meet Rodgers and his music anew-not as an historical figure, but as a vibrant, immediate force.