6-CD mini box with 188-page booklet, 159 tracks, playing time 475 mns.
There is no shortage of legendary figures in country music. Arguably, none has been more influential than Jimmie Rodgers. In a career that spanned less than six years (1927-1933), Jimmie Rodgers recorded 110 songs. 108 of those were subsequently recorded by other artists, a tradition that began in the late 1920s and continues to this day. That is a 'cover ratio' unmatched by any of country music's historic figures, including Hank Williams. Jimmie Rodgers' influence extended far beyond songwriting. The Singing Brakeman also provided a blues-infused approach to performance that became a stylistic template for the careers of countless country singers. Jimmie Rodgers' recordings remind us that hybrid music began well before Elvis Presley and Sun Records. On the 75th anniversary of Jimmie Rodgers' death, Bear Family Records documents the extent of his influence by gathering together a remarkable collection of cover recordings by artists ranging from country icons like Gene Autry, Jimmie Davis, Hank Snow,
Lefty Frizzell, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe, Merle Haggard and Ernest Tubb to pop and rock legends like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Rick Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jerry Garcia. On six CDs, this unprecedented collection begins to do justice to Jimmie Rodgers' staggering legacy. The mini-box also offers Bear Family's usual lavish production values and attention to detail, including rare vintage photographs and detailed notes by music historians Carey Ginell, Tony Russell, and Dave Samuelson. A companion piece to Bear Family's six-disc collection of Jimmie Rodgers' own recordings (BCD 15540), this is the ultimate and richly deserved tribute to Jimmie Rodgers' influence within and beyond country music. For fans of either country or popular music, this collection is truly essential fare.