Gene Boyer (American, 20th C.) "Jimmie Rodgers" Signed lower right. Acrylic on Illustration Board Painting.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the U.S. 13c Jimmie Rodgers stamp issued May 24, 1978.
Jimmie Rodgers grew up listening to the rhythm of the rails and absorbing the lore of lusty, free-wheeling railroad men. At eighteen, he was a full-fledged brakeman on the run between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans. His early interest in music was influenced by the vocal styles of blacks who worked on the rails with him. Rodgers' career on the tracks was brought to a sudden halt by tuberculosis in 1925, and he took up music full time. Locally, Jimmie was known as the "Singing Brakeman." His big break came in 1927 when he test recorded in Bristol, Tennessee, for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Within a year, the "Singing Brakeman" became the nation's number one recording star, with a steady succession of history-making country hits -- songs of the glistening rails. His buoyant, good-hearted songs eased the misery of those people, who in the Depression years felt their country had failed them. Jimmie showed them the richness, strength and worth of America through his music. Stalked constantly by tuberculosis, Jimmie died tragically in 1933 at the age of thirty-five. More than anyone else, Jimmie Rodgers is credited with propelling country music toward its unparalleled popularity. Fittingly, in 1961, he became the first person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Image Size: 14 x 13 in.
Overall Size: 16.5 x 16.5 in.
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