BLUE YODEL

Latest update on 26/02/2013

Artist: Jimmie Rodgers
Author: Jimmie Rodgers
Label: Victor
Year: 1927

The first of his twelve blue yodels, later refered to as Blue Yodel #1, but probably best known as T For Texas. The numbering of his Blue Yodels was his discoverer Ralph Peer's idea. Yodeling became Jimmie Rodgers' trademark. No one was so imitated while nothing compared with the real thing. Jimmie was the first southern hillbilly who gained popularity throughout the entire United States. They called him 'the Father of Country music' although his career lasted no longer than six years. Discovered during the famous Bristol sessions in 1927 along with the Carter Family, a lucky catch indeed. From day one he recorded a yodel. This gimmick struck America at general store level: people would come buy their usual groceries with the latest Jimmie Rodgers to boot. Depression? What depression? Basic as milk.

Covers:

1928:

Frank Marvin

1930:

Cliff Carlisle [as T For Texas]

1937:

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

1948:

Merle Travis

1961:

Karl Denver

1962:

Memphis Slim [with Willie Dixon and Pete Seeger]

1963:

Grandpa Jones

1968:

Everly Brothers [as T For Texas]

1971:

Townes Van Zandt

1974:

Waylon Jennings [idem]

1974:

Van Morrison [in Foggy Mountain Top]

1976:

Lynyrd Skynyrd [as T For Texas]

1976:

Tompall Glaser

1979:

Molly Hatchet [idem]

1996:

Outlaws

1997:

Dwight Yoakam [idem]

1997:

Sonny Burgess [on The River Of Song]

The line "T for Texas, T for Tennessee" came from Lonnie Johnson's Kansas City Blues, an offshoot of Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues, one month before Jimmie Rodgers. It also contains this other line from Papa Charlie Jackson's The Faking Blues ('25): "I can get more women than a passenger train can haul", which changed gender since Bessie Smith's version ('24): "I can get more men than a passenger train can haul" in Ticket Agent, Ease Your Window Down (credited to Spencer Williams).

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