The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

1997: Jimmie Rodgers

Waiting for a Train:  Jimmie Rodgers' America


The "Singing Brakeman," country legend Jimmie Rodgers was the honoree for the 2nd annual American Music Masters Series.  In just thirty-five years, Jimmie Rodgers [inducted 1986] grew from the son of a southern railroader to a legend who would influence American popular music for decades to come.  Rodgers' recordings helped shape the evolution of not only country music, but rock and roll as well.  He combined Appalachian hill ballads, spirituals, rural blues and pop music, fusing aspects of both black and white cultural traditions to create a new sound.  The first artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, Rodgers was also among the first class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tribute Concert at the Odeon

Saturday, September 20

  • David Ball
  • The Delevantes
  • Alejandro Escovedo
  • Steve Forbert
  • Jason and the Scorchers
  • Southside Johnny
  • Garry Talent
  • Gillian Welch & David Rawlings


Tribute Concert at Severance Hall

Sunday, September 21

  • Junior Brown
  • Guy Clark
  • Iris DeMent
  • Steve Earle
  • Jimmie Dale Gilmore
  • Levon Helm [inducted 1999]
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd [inducted 2006]
  • John Prine
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Max Weinberg


Conference at Case Western Reserve University

On September 20, scholars, artists, journalists and fans gathered to discuss the life and legacy of Jimmie Rodgers and his music.  Panelists explored his ongoing legacy, the roots and routes of Rodgers' music, Depression-era visual culture, the music industry of Rodgers' America, his influence from African-American culture, and Rodgers' role in the birth of country music.

Selected Song List

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Additional Resources


Jimmie Rodgers of course is one of the guiding lights of the twentieth century whose way with a song has always been an inspiration to those of us who have followed the path.
- Bob Dylan
My hero is Jimmie Rodgers. He should be up there with Walt Whitman.
- Steve Forbert