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

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

by Barry Mazor
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The story of [Rodgers'] enormous influence, bursting with names of stars, stalwarts, and one-hit wonders, and featuring discographical endnotes for most chapters, is the immensely piquant and satisfying meat of one of the most intelligent, fascinating, and cogent pop-music histories ever."—BookList (Starred Review)

"Nashville writer Mazor has fashioned a superb book, not only celebrating Rodgers' life, but illustrating the manner in which the man's wares have influenced American popular music for over 80 years.. Mazor's book does much in keeping the legend alive."—MOJO Magazine(5-star review)

"Excellent, highly readable." — Douglas Brinkley

"A book I heartily recommend." -C. Eric Banister, Music Tomes

"Barry Mazor's Meeting Jimmie Rodgers is a superb book, superbly written, and indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the legacy of Jimmie Rodgers and why his music has endured for over eighty years."—Nolan Porterfield, Author of Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of America's Blue Yodeler

"A shrewd, hard-headed look at the great Mississippi singer's influence on country, rock and roll and folk music. Mazor adeptly combines solid research, musical savvy and a stubborn refusal to accept received wisdom about popular music that Jimmy Rodgers helped invent." —American Songwriter

"Until I read this book, I had assumed that the last word had been written on Jimmie Rodgers, the great country blues musician. But, buoyed by Barry Mazor's keen insights, innovative research, and felicitous writing style, I have become aware of new dimensions of the Singing Brakeman's influence on American popular music. While Rodgers drew upon a wide array of styles and genres to build his own career, it has been his legacy to shape the sounds and styles of generations of musicians, both in and outside of country music, right on up to our own time."-Bill C. Malone

"Barry Mazor's expertly researched and elegantly written book... is a valid history of Rodgers success...Meeting Jimmie Rodgers finds his influence in nearly every American music idiom, and does so with critical acumen and brilliant flashes of insight." —The Shepherd Express

"If you write about music, you should read this book. If you are a fan of American music, you should read this book."—Nashville Scene

"A great new book... Barry lets us see anew a musician/artist/entertainer/man who many perhaps thought we'd already seen more than enough of... Barry liberates Rodgers from dehumanizing single-vision tropes like "authenticity," arguing instead for a worldview more bittersweet and fine, more like life."—Living In Stereo

"This is a fine addition to the literature on Rodgers. This carefully researched, well-written book provides something special."—Choice

"Extremely well-researched..."—Dirty Linen

"Revelatory."—Tuscaloosa News

"Barry Mazor has done a superb research job on this music legend."—Steve Ramm, In the Groove

"Full of interviews and documentation, this volume crosses musical borders just as Rodgers did in his recordings."—In The Groove

"Mazor is a lively writer (I read most of this book in one sitting) as he engagingly traces the rise of the Mississippi-born and medicine show-bred Rodgers from working-class obscurity to famed songsmith while exploring the legacy that his tones, tunes and themes have left on popular music of a variety of genres..."—Gary von Tersch, Sing Out!

"Mazor challenges the rigid distinctions between folk and popular music, debunking scholarly claims of folk music's aesthetic purity." —Oxford American

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199886869
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/15/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Barry Mazor has been writing about American music since the 1970s. A long-time senior editor for the roots and pop music magazine No Depression, he writes frequently on country and pop music for The Wall Street Journal.

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