#6- Jimmie Rodgers: America’s Blue Yodeler


In this week’s episode, the trio discusses the themes and song stylings of the original blue yodels, a series of thirteen songs written and recorded by Jimmie Rodgers during the period from 1927 to his death in May 1933.

Known during his career as “The Singing Brakeman” and later “The Father of Country Music,” Jimmie Rodgers created a defining rally cry for the Southern poor.

Jimmie’s 1928 hit “T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1)” was a national phenomenon and generated an excitement and record-buying frenzy that no one could have predicted. The song has been covered by the likes of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard.

If you aren’t attached to the nostalgia, Jimmie’s yodeling may become a question of aesthetics. Of the music quality, Michelle points out, “There’s no groove, it doesn’t feel grounded.”

Scott counters, “It’s not about his musicianship. It’s about the stories, his authenticity, his character, and that he represented a whole group of people.”

Tune in to hear more music and ideas, brought to you by Online Great Books.

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