Jimmie Rodgers ‘The Father of Country Music’ Collection up for auction

Jimmie Rodgers auction

Roots music history geeks, it’s time to break open those piggy banks.

Boston, MA based RR Auction will hold an auction offering a “diverse collection of material related to Rodgers’s life and musical career..”

The auction will total approximately 90 items, and will include letters, fabric (!), souvenir programs, newspaper clippings, and several signed and unsigned photos of the country music star and members of both the Rodgers and Bozeman families.

The jewel of the collection is a vintage matte-finish Victor Records publicity photo of Rodgers wearing a bowtie and boater hat, signed and inscribed in fountain pen, “To my dear little Aunt Dora, from your nephew with lots of love, Jimmie Rodgers.”

Additionally highlighted by a trio of handwritten letters:

The first, one page, dated October 12, 1913; letter to Uncle Tom, in full (spelling and grammar retained): “We are making a little money and having a good time to. I thing we will be in [Birmingham] Ala Saturday one time I hope all is well, tell all I said helo.”

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The second, one page, postmarked May 2, 1911; letter to Aunt Dora, in part: “You are well I hope. I will be down there during the fair, and I might stay up to the house sister and I are well how are you all and tell Talmage to write to me how is he. Well I will close I have got to eat supper at 6. Answer soon.”

The third, three pages, postmarked January 7, 1920; letter to Dora, in part: “I know I have been slow about writing to you but I have been going from place to place, and haven’t had time to write…and I am going to send your $10.00 dollars soon as I can possibly get it, but aunt Dora I have had to pawn my watch to get money to eat on. I have a very good job working between Delta Point La and Shreveport but having a hard time oh my…well aunt Dora I am going to stop, this train is running so blooming fast I cant hardly write as it is. Write me real soon and if you can spare $5.00 please send it to me.”

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Of additional note is a pair of scarce signed books from Rodger’s childhood. A copy of Goodrich’s New First School Reader (1864) and The Elementary Spelling-Book (1841), respectively signed on the inside of the front (Goodrich) and back (Elementary) covers in black ink, “Jimmie Rodgers.” Each book is individually presented in a picture box with nameplates affixed to the viewing glass and soft lining to the interior.

Also included in the treasures are a yellow crocheted bookmark, patch of red, white, and blue quilt, and red and white polka-dotted bandana; the latter of which was personally-owned and –worn by Jimmie Rodgers. Accompanied by a handwritten letter of provenance for the bandana from Anne Shine Landrum, Rodgers’s second cousin and is dated March 1, 2001.

The remainder of the lot includes a Jimmie Rodgers and Swain’s Hollywood Follies tour card, newspaper clippings, a pair of commemorative hats, a photo album which features approximately 45 personal images of family and friends, including legendary artists like Johnny Cash and Ernest Tubb; a VHS tape of The Singing Brakeman, Rodgers’s only film appearance; various Bozeman and Rodgers family correspondence and photos, including a wonderful cabinet photo of Jimmie and his two brothers, Walter and Talmage; and three portfolios that contain numerous letters, postcards, photographs, and a collection of six concert programs, including a Hank Williams Memorial show in Montgomery, Alabama, on September 20–21, 1954, and a Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival in Meridian, Mississippi, on May 19–26, 1990.

“This incredible collection of Rodgers memorabilia and intimate family keepsakes would make for a unique and instant focal point in any country music collection,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive at RR Auction.

Online bidding for the Hollywood Lifetime Collection Auction from RR Auction begins Thursday, March 12 – Wednesday, March 18, followed by a live auction on Thursday March 19, in Cambridge, MA, beginning at 1:00PM Eastern. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

GhostTunes Contest


The headlines are full of performers not happy with the current market conditions for their music. Few have the will (or the clout) to build their own marketplace to take on the establishment.

Garth Brooks has used his massive comeback, releasing ‘Man Against Machine, his first album in 13 years along with a string of sold-out shows, to shine a light on these economic conditions and his own full-service music platform , which goes live today.

From the press release “GhostTunes focuses on providing the best music experience for both artists and the fans that love their music. Fans are able to listen to their music immediately upon purchase from the GhostTunes platform, without having to download the content to their device. Fans can also download their purchased content to play with the audio player of their choice on a phone, tablet or computer.”

Will this change things? Perhaps. For now it’s changed the conversation.

Leave a comment below for chance to win a $12.99 gift card and judge for yourself.

A winner will be chosen at random this evening at 7pm CST.

Good luck!

The Civil Wars Release T Bone Burnett Produced Cut , Prepare Full Soundtrack

The Civil Wars Paste magazine reports that The Civil Wars are set to appear on the soundtrack for the forthcoming film, A Place at the Table. the folk is a documentary from Food, Inc. producers that explores American food and hunger issues. The soundtrack will feature 14 new and original tracks from The Civil Wars and T Bone Burnett is set for a Feb. 26 release through Sensibility Music.

“We met T Bone in New York City at the Americana Awards nomination announcements a couple of years ago,” John Paul White said in a press release. “Turns out Rosanne Cash, the sweetheart, had turned him onto the music. He expressed a desire to work together, which was quickly reciprocated.”

The documentary is set for a March 1 release and the band and Burnett are offering 100 percent of the label’s net profits and producer/artist royalties to the Participant Foundation, an organization that “exists to support programs that support a sustainable and peaceful world.”

“Being a part of A Place At The Table opened my eyes to an epidemic that is happening in our country right now—underneath many of our noses,” Joy Williams said. “It’s happening to our neighbors, to our friends, to children. It’s a silent battle that can be won, if we as a nation set our minds to ending it. Linking arms with T Bone Burnett to create music for such a timely and important film as this was an honor.”

The band released a rousing new single from the soundtrack today, titled “Long Time Gone.” Take a listen in the player below.

As previously reported, The Civil Wars unexpectedly canceled their tour let year citing the reason as “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as a touring entity. Many speculated this meant a break-up for the band, but these new studio tracks might make that prediction premature.

Many speculated this meant a break-up for the band, and these new studio tracks could prove otherwise. Though their lack of amicability on the stage Sunday, to receive their Grammy for the song “Safe & Sound,” with Taylor Swift and T Bone, might signal otherwise.

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 2

I am humbled by the responses to the first episode of my Podcast and the kind and encouraging emails, tweets and conversations from readers and musicians. So before the holidays kick into full gear I bring you, friends and neighbors,Twang Nation episode 2.

Fresh off  the interview with the Civil Wars, upstairs at the historic Fillmore theater in San Francisco, I wanted to include their extraordinary title song from the current album Barton Hallow. If there is a super group and mainstream representatives for the Americana/roots music genre it’s Joy Williams and John Paul White. Also Houston’s own brings his own sweet brand of honky tonk as a chaser for those bittersweet beers. Mat D and the profane Saints and Jeannette Kantzalis were kind enough to send me some great unreleased cuts to include on the episode. Also I have also decided to end to the Podcast with a classic country song, on this episode David Allan Coe’s classic barroom number You Never Even Called Me by My Name.

It continues to be fun. Thanks for listening and please share with friends and family and leave any comments or requests below.

Dale Watson – A Real Country Song
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
Robert Ellis – What’s In it For Me
Lydia Loveless – Steve Earle
Mat D and the profane Saints – Red Ball
A Brokeheart Pro aka (Jeannette Kantzalis) – When The Killing’s Done
Porkchop Express – War W00t
Rita Hosking – My Golden Bull
Possum Jenkins – New Brand Of Misery
Joe Whyte – Please Believe Me
Somebody’s Darling – Another Two-Step
David Allan Coe – You Never Even Called Me by My Name

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 2

Eleven Hundred Springs to Present the Country Jam Concert Series

  • The always excellent mp3 blog HearYa has offered up some in studio choice cuts from RiotGrrrrl hillbilly trio, and TwangNation favorite,  Those Darlins.
  • Speaking of free downloads, Largehearted Boy has some rare and legal downloads from the likes of Kelly Joe Phelps, Mark Olson and Gary Louris, Son Volt, Steve Earle and Jason Isbell.
  • If you tuned in to watch watch Fabchannel’s live webcast of Neko Case from Amsterdam Sunday you were probably pretty surprised that it didn’t seem to work. Unfortunately, the webcast didn’t happen because Neko fell ill and was unable to play. More information can be found  on her official site. Case is rescheduling her performance for sometime in August or September.
  • Eleven Hundred Springs will be presenting the Country Jam Concert Series featuring EHS, Jesse Dayton, the Tejas Brothers and Deke Dickerson. The show will take place at Dallas’ Double-Wide bar on April 24th, things get started at 8pm.