Rodgers Festival

Rodgers (Jimmie) Festival

May
This country music festival in Meridian, Miss., salutes the life and music of Jimmie Rodgers on the anniversary of his death on May 26, 1933. Rodgers was born in Meridian in 1897 and left school at 14 to work on the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad; later, during his singing career, he was known as the "Singing Brakeman." He learned to play the guitar and banjo, and learned the blues from black railroad workers. Mr. Rodgers's music blended blues with the sounds of country, work, hobo, and cowboy songs. In 1925, because tuberculosis prevented him from working any longer for the railroad, he became a performer, and quickly a best-selling recording artist.
Today he is considered the Father of Country Music. Among his recordings that had a lasting influence on popular singers were "Blue Yodel No. 1," "Brakeman's Blues," and "My Time Ain't Long." The Jimmie Rodgers Memorial and Museum in Meridian has exhibits of his guitar, concert clothing, and railroad equipment he used.
The week-long festival highlights top musical stars and features a talent contest and a beauty contest.
CONTACTS:
Jimmie Rodgers Foundation
P.O. Box 2170
Meridian, MS 39302
888-868-7720 or 601-482-8001
www.jimmierodgers.com