Jimmie Rodgers Remembered on Birthday

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

As a special tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, musician and singer, Britt Gully took to downtown restaurants Wednesday, on the 113th anniversary of his birth.

It was as though Rodgers himself paid a visit. Gully sang some of Rodgers' songs and invited everyone out to the Jimmie Rodgers Museum and Sparkle & Twang Exhibit.

"We are going around downtown here talking to folks and inviting everybody, as my birthday gift to the town of Meridian, and outlying areas to come down to the Riley Center to see he exhibit for free," said Gully, as Jimmie Rodgers. "Come out to the museum and see everything out there for free. It's just my birthday present to everybody else."

Some people did take the opportunity to see the museum, and the exhibit free of charge Wednesday.

Walking into the Jimmie Rodgers Museum, every guest immediately gets asked the same question.

"Hello! Welcome to the Jimmie Rodgers Museum. Where are you from?" asks tour guide Bill John.

Guests come from the far corners of the earth to see a bit of Rodgers' life.

"I never knew his fame was worldwide like it is," John said.

The guest book at the Jimmie Rodgers Museum is sprinkled with signatures from visitors who come from all over the world. Canada, the Netherlands, and even a man from Kenya, Africa who wrote 'to see the great Jimmie Rodgers' as his reason for coming.

The guests visiting Wednesday including a couple from Texas who were surprised but happy to put away their admission money.

"We stayed in Meridian last night, so we thought we would boogie on down here and check it out," said Jackie Blair of Carthage, Tex.

"This was my chance to come inside the museum and see," said Barbara Robinson of Lauderdale County. "And I am glad I did because so much interesting stuff is here, you know? It is unreal that people haven't been here. I was guilty of the same thing so I can talk about it."

One reason for the free admissions was that the guests could help give Jimmie something he loved so much, extra attention.

Rodgers had a twenty plus year career that started and ended young. He began doing road shows at the age of 13. Over the next 22 years, he recorded more than 100 songs, until his untimely death due to tuberculosis at the age of 35.

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