Top 10 Country Music Artists Who Shaped The Genre, Part 1 –

4. Jimmy Rodgers
During the first week of August 1927, during the two days after Victor Ralph Peer’s representative, operating as a field recorder in Bristol, Tennessee, had made his first recordings of The Carter Family, he auditioned and then recorded an old lanky, voracious, former Mississippi railroad brakeman. Jimmie Rodgers’ subsequent recording sessions at Victor Studios in Camden, New Jersey produced a series of hugely influential classics, such as “In the Jailhouse Now”, and a series of “Blue Yodel” tracks that were a very unique mix of twang hillbilly, Alpine Yodel and 12-bar blues. The first of the latter series, “Blue Yodel No. 1” (aka “T for Texas”) sold half a million 78 rpm copies (a phenomenal number for the day), launched a national craze for yodeling and propelled Rodgers to superstardom. . Ever a wanderer, Jimmie Rodgers embraced the fast-paced life his newfound fame brought him and spent the next few years performing on the road, appearing in films and making more recordings. The lifestyle took its toll: Rodgers eventually succumbed to tuberculosis and died in a New York hotel in May 1933, just two days after a recording session he was barely able to complete due to his weakness. Although he is known as “the father of country music”, his broad influence crosses musical genres, extending not only to undisputed direct musical descendants (e.g. Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Gene Autry, Merle Haggard) , but also less obviously to blues (eg Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf), folk (eg Leadbelly, Woodie Guthrie) and rock (eg Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Grateful Dead).