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Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century

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Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century Cover

 

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Barry Mazor has been writing about American music since the 1970s. He won the 2010 Belmont Book Award for the Best Book on Country Music for Meeting Jimmie Rodgers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Meeting Jimmie Rodgers HalfWay

1. The Man Who Walked Into Southern Show Business

2. Close to the Ground: The Singing Brakeman

3. America's Blue Yodeler No. 1: This White Guy Sings Blues, Too

4. America's Blue Yodeler No. 2: Instigator of Blue Yodelmania

5. International Multimedia Star

6. Doomed Singer-Songwriter with Guitar

7. Aftermath: The Late, Great Jimmie Rodgers

8. South by Southwest: An Easterner in a Cowboy Hat

9. Back East: The Hillbilly Echo, 1933-1947

10. Some Sort of Folksinger?

11. The Father of Country Music

12. Rough and Rowdy Ways: To the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

13. Sentiments in Context: The Return of Vaudeville Jimmie

14. High-Powered Mamas: Women and the Music of Jimmie

15. Down the Old Road to Home

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Credits

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199891863
Author:
Mazor, Barry
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Composers & Musicians
Subject:
Music | Popular Music | Pop, Rock, & Popular Culture
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 halftones
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Country » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Country » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
Biography » Composers and Musicians
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Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199891863 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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