Remembering The Singing Brakeman

He had a voice that transcended time, a tenor that cut through the noise of a barroom or through the hiss of an old 78 record. It came into radios at the speed of light from a faraway station, straight into the ears of the mountain family in Virginia, the cowhand in Texas, or the tenant farmer in Mississippi.


His music was an escape, or a lament of hard times, while still offering a glimmer of hope for a better future. His body of work has touched generations and inspired countless musicians to pick up an instrument or write their first song.


And he did it all in a career that spanned just under six years, cut short by tuberculosis.


90 years ago today, Jimmie Rodgers passed away at the age of 35. He left a musical legacy that has not faded one bit over the past nine decades, and we are honored to share his music each Saturday afternoon as part of The Wheeler Mountain Jamboree on WNRA.


Evan Tidwell
May 26, 2023