Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933) was one of the first “stars” of country music. Often known as the Singing Brakeman, Rodgers set the standard for future generations:
Jimmie Rodgers’s first Blue Yodel, which became known as “Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas) ”, was recorded on 30 November 1927 in the Trinity Baptist Church at Camden, New Jersey. When the song was released in February 1928 it became “a national phenomenon and generated an excitement and record-buying frenzy that no-one could have predicted”.
I first heard Lynyrd Skynyrd do ‘T for Texas’ back in school days. I didn’t think much about the song or the lyrics, but over the years it’s dawned on me how radical this stuff is.
i’m gonna buy me a pistol
just as long as I am tall
i’m gonna shoot poor Thelma
just to see Her jump And fall.
Kids today, in my day even, think of Country music as old stuffy stuff, with the hoots and the haws and the howdy y’all. Go back to the roots and you’ll find some pretty basic matters of life, love and all the complications thereof.
(cross-posted at last.fm)