I just want to congratulate Mr Mazor on his book showing the great influence that Jimmie Rodgers has had on pop music and even on rockers. As a British invader of 1965 I was aware of him even then. I love his ballads. In the 1960s I recorded at Radio Recorders where Rodgers had recorded with Louis Armstrong. I did shows with Jerry Lee Lewis in the 60s and he talked of his love of Rodgers ballads,especially “The One Rose”, by the Hawaiian singer Lani McIntire, who also recorded in Hollywood. Jerry Lee’s fave singers, he told me, were Al Jolson and Jimmie Rodgers.
I once had a heated argument with Millard Lampell about Rodgers . I was recording in Nashville for Warner Bros in 1973 and I met Lampell at a restaurant. He railed about how crass and commercial Rodgers was compared with the purity of real folk music. And how conservative he was. I was trembling with fury. I would like to know more about Rodgers writers–for example what if anything, is known about Bill Halley who wrote “Miss The Mississippi And You”. I knew Uncle Art Satherly quite well and interviewed him . He could tell me nothing about Halley either. I have a two hour CD of my interview.
Anyway, Mr Mazor’s book is terrific. I devoted two hours of my radio show last week to it. You can check it out in the archives of luxuriamusic.com. The next re-discovery as a roots hero should be Art Gillham, The Whispering Pianist, a great talent. I wrote about him and other early crooners like Jack Smith, Little Jack Little and Gene Austin in the book “The First Crooners”. See my website for that chapter.It’s in the Literary Corner section.