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Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Jimmie Rodgers: First to Be Posthumously Produced?

Believe it or not, Sean Combs isn’t the first person to fashion new musical product from older material created by commercially viable artists who are no longer extant.  Far from it.

Back in 1955, twenty-five years after Jimmie Rodgers‘ passing, RCA Victor convened an overdub recording session in Nashville with members of Hank Snow’s backup band, The Rainbow Ranch Boys, along with Chet Atkins.  “In the Jailhouse Now #2” is but one of Rodgers’ classic recordings that received a little posthumous sweetening:

[Pssst: Click the triangle to play “In the Jailhouse Now #2” by Jimmie Rodgers & Friends.]

Is it possible that Jimmie Rodgers is the first musical artist whose recordings would be retooled post-mortem to meet the needs of an ever-changing marketplace?

Jimmie Rodgers 78

Interesting to note that “In the Jailhouse Now” (1928) & “In the Jailhouse Now #2” (1930) were both released as B-sides.

Thanks to PragueFrank for identifying the names of the musicians who helped modernize Jimmie’s original recording in order to give it that “Nashville Sound” —

  • Jimmie Rodgers (vocals & guitar)
  • Chet Atkins (electric guitar)
  • Joe Talbot (steel guitar)
  • Tommy Vaden (fiddle)
  • Ernie Newton (bass)

Date of overdub recording session:  March 18, 1955
Recording location:  RCA Victor Studio, Methodist TV, Radio & Film Commission
Producer:  Stephen Sholes

  • If you liked this piece, you might also enjoy:

“Lost Highway”:  Hank Williams + Chet Atkins & Friends

One Response

  1. Unlike the ghastly reworking of Hank Williams “Lost Highway” recording discussed on this site, this one strikes me as being a bit more valid in this way: It puts the Singing Brakeman into a more fleshed out and familiar country format two decades later, which helps solidify and add meaning to his status as the father of country music. The timing between Jimmie’s singing and the new instruments, along with more reverb on just his voice, make the end result less than cohesive. But I think the reworking is worthwhile as an interesting alternate to compare with the original. Thanks for sharing, Chris.

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