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Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century Hardcover – May 15, 2009
"Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" by Dave Stewart
A no-holds-barred look into Stewart's remarkable music and life | Check out "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This".
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"The story of [Rodgers'] enormous influence, bursting with names of stars, stalwarts, and one-hit wonders, and featuring discographical endnotes for most chapters, is the immensely piquant and satisfying meat of one of the most intelligent, fascinating, and cogent pop-music histories ever."--BookList (Starred Review)
"Nashville writer Mazor has fashioned a superb book, not only celebrating Rodgers' life, but illustrating the manner in which the man's wares have influenced American popular music for over 80 years.. Mazor's book does much in keeping the legend alive."--MOJO Magazine(5-star review)
"Excellent, highly readable." -- Douglas Brinkley
"A book I heartily recommend." -C. Eric Banister, Music Tomes
"Barry Mazor's Meeting Jimmie Rodgers is a superb book, superbly written, and indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the legacy of Jimmie Rodgers and why his music has endured for over eighty years."--Nolan Porterfield, Author of Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of America's Blue Yodeler
"A shrewd, hard-headed look at the great Mississippi singer's influence on country, rock and roll and folk music. Mazor adeptly combines solid research, musical savvy and a stubborn refusal to accept received wisdom about popular music that Jimmy Rodgers helped invent." --American Songwriter
"Until I read this book, I had assumed that the last word had been written on Jimmie Rodgers, the great country blues musician. But, buoyed by Barry Mazor's keen insights, innovative research, and felicitous writing style, I have become aware of new dimensions of the Singing Brakeman's influence on American popular music. While Rodgers drew upon a wide array of styles and genres to build his own career, it has been his legacy to shape the sounds and styles of generations of musicians, both in and outside of country music, right on up to our own time."-Bill C. Malone
"Barry Mazor's expertly researched and elegantly written book... is a valid history of Rodgers success...Meeting Jimmie Rodgers finds his influence in nearly every American music idiom, and does so with critical acumen and brilliant flashes of insight." --The Shepherd Express
"If you write about music, you should read this book. If you are a fan of American music, you should read this book."--Nashville Scene
"A great new book... Barry lets us see anew a musician/artist/entertainer/man who many perhaps thought we'd already seen more than enough of... Barry liberates Rodgers from dehumanizing single-vision tropes like "authenticity," arguing instead for a worldview more bittersweet and fine, more like life."--Living In Stereo
"This is a fine addition to the literature on Rodgers. This carefully researched, well-written book provides something special."--Choice
"Extremely well-researched..."--Dirty Linen
"Barry Mazor has done a superb research job on this music legend."--Steve Ramm, In the Groove
"Full of interviews and documentation, this volume crosses musical borders just as Rodgers did in his recordings."--In The Groove
"Mazor is a lively writer (I read most of this book in one sitting) as he engagingly traces the rise of the Mississippi-born and medicine show-bred Rodgers from working-class obscurity to famed songsmith while exploring the legacy that his tones, tunes and themes have left on popular music of a variety of genres..."--Gary von Tersch, Sing Out!
"Mazor challenges the rigid distinctions between folk and popular music, debunking scholarly claims of folk music's aesthetic purity." --Oxford American
About the Author
Barry Mazor has been writing about American music since the 1970s. A long-time senior editor for the roots and pop music magazine and website No Depression, he writes frequently on country and pop music for The Wall Street Journal. Recent winner of the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism. He lives in Nashville, TN.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This book is probably not an exhaustive compendium of musicians influenced by Jimmie Rodgers, but it certainly tries to be one. Along with well-known names like Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Mazor turns up hundreds of obscure musicians and tells their stories of how they came to record a Jimmie Rodgers song. He also manages to work in the names of hundreds of others from the Beatles to Tupaq who didn't actually record Rodgers' songs, but were influenced in some way by someone who might have been influenced by Rodgers. In this sense, the book seems to go overboard, into the realm of name dropping.
Overall, I found the book rather tedious in detail and difficult to absorb. The text is so dense and long that I would frequently fall asleep while reading it and it took me months to make my way through it. I was several chapters into the book before I finally deduced the organizational structure.Read more ›
But alas, there's no theory here, at least in the musical sense. Mazor's intention is to position Rodgers as a pivotal figure in American music, bridging nineteenth century minstrel, ragtime, blues, vaudeville, parlor sentimentality, and tin pan alley pop with what ultimately became bluegrass, "mainstream" country music, folk, even jazz ( a reach not convincingly made in spite of tantalizing references to Rodgers' recordings with Louis Armstrong in his studio backing band ), and ultimately "roots rock" - a term I confess I've never liked since first hearing it applied to The Smiths in the 80's. It's long since become a too-convenient moniker along the lines of "organic" and "green".
One challenge for Mazor was, I suspect, that for all the popularity Rodgers achieved in a career cut short in his thirties by tuberculosis, as with many musical icons (Bach comes to mind) Rodgers was evidently much more a doer than a talker (at least publicly) when it came to the roots of his art.
I was reminded of Charlie Christian, another hugely influential musician who was also something of a musical enigma who seemed to emerge fully formed and whose star lit the jazz sky for an even shorter period of time (and who died a similar fate as Rodgers - both of them in the New York area.)
The Singing Brakeman's bio is dispensed rather quickly and he's dead after six or seven chapters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good coverage of the life and times of the original country music superstar, and a huge influence on all CM performers who followed him. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Richard Elphick
Enjoyed the Book and it gave me a whole new prospective on his music.Published 7 months ago by Mike Thies
This is a very interesting book about the influence Jimmie Rodgers had on American music.
It's not a biography of Jimmie Rodgers, although it does contain a lot of... Read more
I got "Meeting Jimmie Rodgers" because I wanted to learn more about the "Father of Country Music". I did get a good general biography of the life of Jimmie Rodgers but, when his... Read morePublished on July 24, 2011 by Randy Keehn
Hats off to Barry Mazor's diligence and hard work in researching this book and then writing it in such a way as to make enthralling for the casual reader as well as the... Read morePublished on May 16, 2011 by P. HAZELL
When most writers opine about the origins of American popular music, they focus deeply on African American music--the blues, jazz or rarely black gospel. Read morePublished on April 17, 2011 by Kevin Fontenot
Barry Mazor is without a doubt one of the finest writers about music I've ever encountered. He's eloquent, insightful and eminently readable. Read morePublished on December 13, 2009 by Daffy Du
I was only vaguely familiar with Jimmie Rodgers when I picked this book up, recalling him as a "yodeling cowboy", a precursor to childhood singing cowboy heroes Gene Autry and Roy... Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by Jerry Saperstein
Really well researched and well written music bio. Anyone interested in the roots of American music, or who just likes to read a good artist bio, will get something out of this.Published on November 6, 2009 by Brian J. Greene