JIMMY ROGERS BIOGRAPHY
Jimmy Rogers (June 3, 1924–December 19, 1997) was a blues guitarist best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters’ band of the 1950s.
Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane in Ruleville, Mississippi, and was raised in Memphis. Rogers learned the harmonica alongside his childhood friend Snooky Pryor, and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in East St. Louis, Illinois (where he played with Junior Lockwood), before moving to Chicago in the mid-1940s after serving in the military. By 1946 he’d made his first record as a harmonica player and singer for the local Harlem label, although his name was not included on the label — the record was issued under the names “Memphis Slim and his Houserockers”.
Rogers joined Waters the next year, with whom he helped shape the sound of the nascent Chicago Blues style. Although he had several successful releases of his own on Chess Records beginning in 1950 with “That’s Alright”, he stayed in Waters’ band until leaving the band for a solo career in 1954. In the mid 1950s he enjoyed several successful record releases, most notably “Walking By Myself”, but as the ’50s drew to a close and interest in the blues waned, he gradually withdrew from the music business. By the 1960s he was working mainly outside of music, until 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, and he was able to record again, including a 1977 session with Waters. By 1982, Rogers was again a solo artist.
He continued touring and recording albums until his death in 1997, in Chicago.