Music: Singing Brakeman

Jimmie Rodgers, brakeman on the Southern Railway at Meridian, Miss., his birthplace, sang in a nasal, caressing voice each morning as he strolled to work.

I woke up this morning, the blues all 'round my bed

I didn't have nobody to hold my aching head. . . .

Negro laborers taught him to play the guitar badly. But nobody taught him his clear full-throated yodel that almost never broke into falsetto. When he was little more than 20 he married.

Something about you, mama

That sure gives me the blues.

It ain't your drop-stitch stockings


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