In last week’s edition of Tuesday’s Tunes, I mentioned Jimmie Rodgers, i.e. The Father of Country Music, and the name of the collection that I had purchased along with that Atlantic Rhythm and Blues collection from Rhino all those years ago which had escaped me. This week, I dug into my collection to find the name of the album: First Sessions, which was released in 1991 by Rounder Records, and it reminded me of another great collection, The Complete Blind Willie Johnson, because in 1927, both Johnson and Rodgers were put on vinyl for the first time, and whenever I hear one, I can’t help but think of the other. It’s like they are two sides of the same coin of old-time music, and often I think it is among one of the years in modern music history to which I would like to return (along, of course, with 1957 and many, many others).
Interestingly 1927 isn’t the only year both men share as the two were also born in the same year, in 1897, separated by one state. Rodgers was born in Meridian, Mississippi (for more on his life, see here ; Johnson, near Brenham, Texas (for more on his life, see here). How I would love to have been there in the studios to hear the revelations that would influence both blues and country forever, and, of course, rock too, with Led Zeppelin recording Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and Eric Clapton recording Johnson’s “Motherless Children,” which is also known as “Mother’s Children.”