Thursday, May 26, 2011

Forgotten Music -- Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers, the pop singer, is no relation to Jimmie Rodgers, the Singin' Brakeman. The pop Rodgers hit the top of the Billboard charts in 1957 with his recording of "Honeycomb," a neat bit of folk-pop that I found very appealing.
I liked Rodgers' voice, and I enjoyed any number of his follow-up hits in the same vein, songs like "Kisses Sweeter than Wine."
But the song that really endeared Rodgers to me is this one, which comes from an album and was never released as a single:
Rodgers had a TV show in the late '50s, and I tuned in just about every week. He continued having hits into the '60s when a curious incident occurred. It would, in fact, make a good plot for a crime novel. Nobody, not even Rodgers knows for sure what happened. He says he was pulled over for speeding, and the next thing he knew, he awakened from a savage beating. He didn't perform for a long time afterward, but he eventually began recording again, never reaching his former level of success. As far as I know, he hasn't performed in many years, but I still listen to his songs now and then.


Todd Mason said...

Hmm...but what could be the appeal of that third song? Notable both how many people got hits covering the Weavers' songs (and their covers!) and that there was at least a third important musical Jimmy Rogers (note spelling) flourishing in the same decades, the Chicago blues guy. (Not Buddy Guy, buddy, etc., etc.)

It was a rough decade or so to be a pop star. You don't hear of too many superstars shot at hotels or in their cars any longer...though the planes still go down, and rappers of certain persuasions at least have to keep an eye out for drive-bys.

George said...

I think Bill was hoping for a sequel to "Crocodile"..."Alligator."

Anonymous said...

"Never in a hundred, never in a thousand, never in a million years ..."

Yeah, I like him too.


Feisty Crone said...

"Kisses Sweeter than Wine" has always been my favorite is my favorite Jimmie Rodgers song. My Dad played his records all the time, back in the day.

Jerry House said...

He's also a favorite of mine.

In a book about folk music, Oscar Brand showed how Kisses Sweeter Than Wine evolved over the years from an old Irish song about a cow.