Jimmie Rodgers was an icon in country music and called the “Father of Country Music. His legend lives on in many ways. Meridian, Mississippi honors their native son each year with the Jimmie Rodgers Jimmie’s Jam festival packed with local and national entertainment for fans of county music, as well as other music styles.
Rodgers was born on September 8, 1897 in Meridian, Mississippi, a small and quiet little town in the country. Rodgers grew up in relative’s homes in Mississippi and Alabama after his mother passed away. Rodgers returned to his father’s home years later after his father remarried. He was the youngest of three sons.
Rodger’s knack for signing and entertaining led him to stealing from his sister and father to purchase tents for his first shows. He repaid them after the events were over. His initial success in singing led his father to getting the boy a job with the railroad on his father’s shift as a water boy. Jimmie’s oldest brother got him hired on several years later in New Orleans, Louisiana as a brakeman.
After contacting and surviving tuberculosis at the age of 27, Rodgers gave up life on the railroad tracks and returned to his love of music. Rodger’s tour ended when a tornado ripped his tent apart and he returned to Meridian, Mississippi along with his wife and daughter.
Rodgers went on to record music and became a success, laying down a path that others in the music field would refer to as classic country music.
Rodgers died in 1933 just a day after recording his final songs. His last song recorded was “Years Ago.” Today his home town remembers his legacy with the Jimmie Rodgers Jimmie’s Jam.
Jimmie Rodgers Jimmie’s Jam will be held on May 15-17, 2014 this year. The festival has grown from a one day event to three days over the years. The festival is held at Singing Brakeman Park (named for the country music icon), located at 1800 Front Street in Meridian, Ms.
Festival passes for all three days can be purchased for $30.00 or single tickets are available for each day and range in prices from $10 to $25 per ticket. Advance ticket purchases are discounted.
Jimmie’s Jam will consist of multiple bands each day and a variety of vendors with booths containing food and merchandise.
The lineup of artists and ticket prices for this year’s Jimmie’s Jam are as follows:
Thursday, May 15
$10 advance, $15 day of show, Gates open at 5 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – Alan Sibley
7:30 p.m. – Dove Brothers
Friday, May 16
$15 advance, $20 day of show, Gates open at 5 p.m.
7:00 p.m. – Trademark
8:30 p.m. – Molly Ringwalds
Saturday, May 17
$20 advance, $25 day of show, Gates open at Noon
2:00 p.m. – Local Artists
5:00 p.m. – Hannah Belle
6:00 p.m. – Jacob Powell
7:00 p.m. – Frankie Ballard
8:30 p.m. – Sawyer Brown
Jimmie Rodger’s Website: Events
Jimmie Rodger’s Bio