Posted: Oct. 27, 2014
A member of Muddy Waters' legendary late 1940s-1950s band, Jimmy Rogers pioneered a blues guitar style that made him one of the most revered sidemen of all time. Rogers also had a significant if star-crossed career as a singer and solo artist for Chess Records, releasing the classic singles "That's All Right" and "Walking By Myself."
In Blues All Day Long, Wayne Everett Goins mines seventy-five hours of interviews with Rogers' family, collaborators, and peers to follow a life spent in the blues. Goins' account takes Rogers from recording Chess classics and barnstorming across the South to a late-in-life renaissance that included new music, entry into the Blues Hall of Fame, and high profile tours with Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. Informed and definitive, Blues All Day Long fills a gap in twentieth century music history with the story of one of the blues' eminent figures and one of the genre's seminal bands.
|This is a book about a blues musician Jimmy Rogers. I don’t think to many people have ever heard of but they have heard of his music, for if you have listen to the old Muddy Waters and some Little Walter, songs from Chess Records then you heard his fine guitar playing in the back ground as well. At the introduction Kim Wilson, made a point in saying that they really needed to do a miniseries on Chess Records, like on HBO. That the real story could be told for you would have a longer time in telling the actual story. I agree with his statement. So many people took that movie as fact when there was much more to the Blues in Chicago and the Blues in general. Back to Jimmy Rogers. His home life as a young boy was a series of homes between families’ members from Memphis to Charleston, back to Memphis, St. Louis, for a while then finally living with his grandmother in Memphis. He learned to play the harp in his travels, the harmonica. He was very good at also and his grandmother had him going to church all the time. There he sang in the choir and he started to play the guitar. By his late teens he was playing with older guys in clubs whenever they needed a harp player or guitar player. Once his grandmother found out he was playing the blues he either had to stop or move out, he moved. Took a train to Chicago and figured that he could look for work there just as good as in Memphis. He had a few jobs playing music and by the late forties even recorded a little but got taken on those, these would always sour him on the recording business for years. He first meet Little Walter, the two of them hit off right away and later he touched based again with Muddy, they had met before and had hit it off and he told him about Little Walter. Who would know that these three men would have such a huge impact on the music that we listen to, for groups like the Beatles, Rolling Stones to name just two but also the many other musicians that listen to those records made from Chess? Once these three men got together they would go around to different clubs and out play the band that was on stage this lead to jobs for them at night and then to a higher price they could get as well. Then after one night is when Leonard Chess heard them play and wanted to record them. He actually owned another smaller record company first and he only released one record at a time. It just was just a 45 he would do this when he started Chess records also. It would be a while before he would release a full album. By this time Chess was changing people bringing in Willie Dixon, getting rid of one of the guys that was finding blues musicians around town. he then started recording Little Walter, with Muddy and him in the back ground but when he would record his records they would not get released they were being put on the shelf. Then when he didn’t have anything he would release one of Jimmy songs. It would sell but it took a few years before he had a song reach the charts. Meanwhile he was still playing clubs and go on the road with Muddy and Little Walter. Turns out that Jimmy and Howlin Wolf, were the only two that did not want to be paid with a Cadillac, they both wanted money. So still Chess would find a way to take a little extra out, sometimes by him playing on a song or adding his name as one of the writers. Jimmy would always argue with him and after Little Walter left and Muddy’s, records weren’t selling like they were most of the blues men left. Chess sold. In the 60’s Jimmy really didn’t play music he worked a regular job and was there for his wife and his children. Phil Chess, did give him some money from a royalty check after the place was sold. In the 70’s he started playing again and either forming bands or sitting in on different bands. He also started playing in blues festivals, and in a couple of clubs in Chicago when he was in town. by the late 70’s he was a regular at these clubs and the new younger blues musicians were wanting him to play on their records or sit in with him when he was playing. He finally made big money when in 94 Eric Clapton recorded two of his songs on his album From the Cradle a good blues album by the way, the song were “Goin away baby” and “Blues Leave me Alone”. This book goes all the way up to his death and how his son who was playing in his band was feeling. This is a book not only about Jimmy Rogers (Jimmy Lane) was his birth name, but a history into blues music and a little bit more of a look into Chess Records. A good story about music life and what was going on in our country. A lot of information, at the back of the book is a list of all of his work, his own and the records he played on. A very detailed list. I enjoyed this book very much. I got this book from net galley.|