Author Pens Book About Jimmie Rodgers

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

A new book on Meridian native Jimmie Rodgers has won an award for its author.

Barry Mazor is recognized as an authority on country music and on Rodgers, "The Father of Country Music". Mazor's book, "Meeting Jimmie Rodgers", is hot off the press, and it has been released nationally.

Mazor made a stop in Meridian Friday during his national promotion tour.

You may have even heard other major acts cover the songs of Jimmie Rodgers. Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, and Lynyrd Skynyrd are just a few of them who have recorded his music.

"This is a very significant published book about Jimmie Rodgers, which backs up all the things we as locals say, but it's from a professional standpoint," said Betty Lou Jones, president of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation.

Mazor is from Nashville and has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism. The award will be presented next week.

"When you're having casual conversations with the sort of people, from the late Eddy Arnold to Dolly Parton to B.B. King to Jerry Lee Lewis about these sorts of things, and Merle Haggard is calling back for the second time, that's fun," said Mazor.

The Jimmie Rodgers Museum was open free of charge Friday for those who wanted to meet Mazor.

"It meant something to me. I thought he deserved and the music deserved, which is in so many places people don't even realize it's there," Mazor said. "To have it clear for people, really palpable who this man was, and I want to help keep him as an icon of American music."

Jimmie Rodgers was one of, if not the earliest, to make the music we now call country music. He was born in Meridian Sept. 8, 1897. He died in New York City at the age of 35 in late May of 1933.


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