Jimmy Rogers

Back to Blues

James A. Lane
guitar, vocals
born: June 3, 1924 in Ruleville, Mississippi
died: December 19, 1997 in in Rockford, Illinois (colon cancer)

Jimmy Rogers & Big Walter Horton (Live at Elsewhere's)

Jimmy Rogers has long been considered one of the most important and influential figures on the American blues scene. Jimmy is considered to have co-founded and developed the Chicago blues sound with his former band mate Muddy Waters - together they pioneered the sound that became known as "Chicago Blues" between 1947 and 1954.

Rogers was born in Ruleville, Mississippi in 1924. He taught himself how to play harmonica and guitar by listening to the records of popular artists such as Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie and to the radio performances of Sonny Boy Williamson and Joe Willie out of KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. In his late teens Rogers moved to Helena and then Memphis, where he played with Robert Jr. Lockwood and Robert Nighthawk. He then moved to St. Louis with Sunnyland Slim before settling in Chicago in 1947.

In 1954 Jimmy launched his recording career with Chess Records and went on to chart 13 tunes on the R&B charts. This track record puts him in the top 10 all time best sellers in the blues field. Some of his recognizable hits that have become the staple of blues bands around the world include "Chicago Bound," "That's Alright," "Ludella," "Walking By Myself," "Sloppy Drunk" and "The Last Time."

In the late 50's Rogers worked with Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson and fronted his own band on the Chicago club circuit.

Jimmy's career nearly ground to a halt in the mid-70's when his classic recordings went out of print and were unavailable to a new generation of record buyers. Thanks to numerous books and publications calling attention to the career of Jimmy Rogers and the reissuance of Jimmy's Chess products on a major label (MCA), a Grammy nomination and numerous W. C. Handy Awards, Jimmy's career is now bigger than ever.

Jimmy has been a major influence on numerous rock superstars. Eric Clapton called him, "one of my all-time great guitar heroes, one of my earliest influences." Keith Richards said, "I recognize myself in there between Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and Jimmy Rogers." And Mick Jagger offered, "The first time I heard Jimmy was when I was buying my first blues records and listening to Muddy Waters ... and eventually I found out that Jimmy was the guitarist on these records that I loved."

At the behest of Clapton and Jagger, Jimmy was flown to London in June of 1992 for a series of blues tribute shows. One performance had Jimmy with the Eric Clapton Band at the Wembley Soccer Stadium in front of 100,000 people, and the shows with the Rolling Stones took place at the world famous Hammersmith Odeon. Clips of both shows have been seen throughout the year on MTV and were a feature item in Rolling Stone magazine.

During the summer of 1993 Jimmy was a headliner in the famous Muddy Waters Tribute show which played to an audience of over 7,500 people on many dates. Recently the Jimmy Rogers Band has appeared on several nationally syndicated television and radio programs including NBC Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Dan Ackroyd's House of Blues Show.

In 1983 Jimmy recorded an album entitled Feelin' Good, which has been reissued on Blind Pig. Backed by the then-emerging harmonica player Rod Piazza and his Mighty Flyers, Rogers recreated his classic Chess sound and provided further testimony to his unabated ability and place in blues history.

Essential Jimmy Rogers albums: Chicago Bound and Blues Blues Blues


- Chicago Bound [Chess 93000, 1976] with Fred Below, J.T. Brown, Willie Dixon, Elgin Evans, Henry Gray, Big Walter Horton, Johnny Jones, Little Walter,Otis Spann, Muddy Waters - Reissued [Universal, September 6, 2004]
- Jimmy Rogers (Bluesmasters) [Chess 2ACMB-207, 1976] with Mighty Joe Young
- Feelin' Good [Blind Pig 5018, 1985] with Jimi Bott, Honey Piazza, Rod Piazza, Alex Schultz, Bill Stuve, Junior Watson
- Ludella [Antone's 12, September 1990] with Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Stroger, Hubert Sumlin, Kim Wilson
- Blue Bird [Analogue 2001, 1994] with Carey Bell, Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy D. Lane (his son), Dave Myers
- Complete Chess Recordings (Chess 50th Anniversary) [Chess 9372, April 1997] 2 CD set with Fred Below, J.T. Brown, Francis Clay, Willie Dixon, Elgin Evans, Henry Gray, Big Walter Horton, Johnny Jones, Little Walter, Robert Lockwood jr., Odie Payne, Fred Robinson, Otis Spann, Luther Tucker, Muddy Waters, Jody Williams, Mighty Joe Young
- Blues Blues Blues [Atlantic 83148, October 1998] with Carey Bell, Eric Clapton, Lowell Fulson, Jeff Healey, Mick Jagger, Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy D. Lane, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Stephen Stills, Taj Mahal, Kim Wilson
- His Best [MCA Chess 69402, September 2003] with Fred Below, J.T. Brown, Francis Clay, Willie Dixon, Elgin Evans, Henry Gray, Big Walter Horton, Johnny Jones, Little Walter, Robert Lockwood jr., Odie Payne, Otis Spann, Muddy Waters, Jody Williams

Jimmy Rogers / Big Bill Hickey / Hubert Sumlin:
- Bill's Blues [Atomic Theory 1112, October 1994] with Bob Stroger

He appears on the following albums:
Sunnyland Slim - House Rent Party [Delmark 655, 1949]
T-Bone Walker - T-Bone Blues [Atlantic 8020, 1959]
Howlin' Wolf - The Rockin' Chair Album [Vogue 600111, 1962]
Muddy Waters - The Real Folk Blues [Chess LP-1501, 1965]
Koko Taylor - South Side Lady [Evidence 26007, December 1973]
Little Walter -Confessin' The Blues [Chess CHV-416, 1974]
Howlin' Wolf - Change My Way [Chess CHV-418, 1975]
Muddy Waters - I'm Ready [CBS/Blue Sky, 1978]
Blues Queen Sylvia / Jimmy Dawkins - Midnight Baby [Evidence 26057, 1983]
Various Artists - Antone's 10th Anniversary Anthology: Vol. 1 [Antone's 4, 1986]
Elmore James / John Brim / Floyd Jones - Elmore James, John Brim, Floyd Jones [Vogue 600119, 1986]
Little Walter - The Best Of Little Walter [Chess 9192, 1988]
Willie Dixon - The Chess Box [MCA/Chess 16500, 1988] 2 CD set
Little Walter - The Blues World Of Little Walter [Delmark DD 648, 1988]
Muddy Waters - - Trouble No More: Singles 1955-1959 [Chess, 1989]
Pinetop Perkins - Pinetop's Boogie Woogie [Antone's ANT-0020-2, 1992]
Little Walter - Essential Little Walter [MCA/Chess 9342, June 1993] 2CD set
Various Artists - Evidence Blues Sampler: The Third [Evidence 26048, April 1994]
Howlin' Wolf - His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) [Chess 9375, April 1997]
Muddy Waters - His Best 1947 to 1955 [Chess CHD 9370, May 1997]
Muddy Waters - His Best 1956 to 1964 [Chess CHD 9380, May 1997]
Little Walter - His Best (The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) [Chess CHD 9384, 1997]
Muddy Waters - King Of The Electric Blues [Columbia/Legacy, October 1997]
Howlin' Wolf - His Best, Vol.2 [Chess 12026, July 1999]
Muddy Waters - Rollin' Stone - Golden Anniversary Collection [June 2000]
T-Bone Walker - Blues Masters: The Very Best of T-Bone Walker [Rhino 79894, June 2000]
Muddy Waters - The Muddy Waters Story [Chrome Dreams, September 2000]
Muddy Waters - Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Muddy Waters [Universal 000048202, September 2003]
Various Artists - Box of the Blues [Rounder 612171, August 2003] 4 CD Box set
Muddy Waters - I'm Ready [Epic/Legacy 90565, May 2004]
Muddy Waters - The Definitive Collection [Geffen 6273, May 2006]

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