Jimmie Rodgers might be the most influential, and most underrated artist of all time. Not many, other than dedicated music historians and collectors, have even heard of him. But he had a huge impact on American music. He paved the way for artists today, and even Bob Dylan credits him as a big influence.
In Jimmie’s time, pop music was safe. There was no going against authority, or singing from the soul. Jimmie went right against the grain with his crude lyrics and emotion filled music. He wasn’t a great musician from a technical aspect, but he truly sang from the heart and people connected with that.
Some consider Rodgers the Father of Country Music. But he is also in the Blues and the Rock and Roll hall of fame. His music spans many genres. He started out working on the railroad. His parents were divorced and he lost his mother at an early age, which was tough for him.
He might have worked on the railroad his whole life, but he got a lung disease that made him unable to work the heavy labor. This forced him to focus on music the whole time in order to make a living. He played every place he could, refined his skills, and became a great musician.
He continued to play until 1933 when he died from his lung disease. But his legacy lives on in the music of all he influenced.