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Jimmy Rogers (June 3, 1924 – December 19, 1997) was a blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters' band of the 1950s.


Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane in Rulevillemarker, Mississippimarker, on June 3, 1924, and was raised in Atlantamarker, Georgiamarker and Memphismarker, Tennesseemarker. He adapted the professional surname 'Rogers' from his stepfather's last name. Rogers learned the harmonica alongside his childhood friend Snooky Pryor, and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in East St. Louismarker, Illinoismarker (where he played with Robert Lockwood, Jr., among others), before moving to Chicagomarker in the mid 1940s. By 1946 he had recorded his first record as a harmonica player and singer for the local Harlem record label (run by J. Mayo Williams, this was not to be confused with the New York based label of the same name). Rogers' name did not appear on the record, which was mislabeled as the work of "Memphis Slim and his Houserockers."

Rogers joined Muddy 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 with Waters until leaving his band for a solo career in 1954. In the mid 1950s he enjoyed several successful record releases on the Chess label, most notably "Walking By Myself", but as the 1950s drew to a close and interest in the blues waned, he gradually withdrew from the music industry. In the early 1960s he worked as a member of Howling Wolf's band, before finally withdrawing from the music business altogether for almost a decade. He worked as a taxicab driver and owned a clothing store that burned down in the Chicago riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. He gradually began performing in public again, and in 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, Rogers began occasionally touring and recording, including a 1977 reunion session with his old bandleader Waters. By 1982, Rogers was again a full-time solo artist.

In 1995 Rogers was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

He continued touring and recording albums until his death from colon cancer in Chicagomarker in 1997. He was survived by his son, James D. Lane, who is also a guitarist and a record producer and recording engineer for Blue Heaven Studios and the APO Records label.

Selected discography

  • Jimmy Rogers (1984) - (Compilation album of some pre-1960 songs)
  • Ludella (1990)
  • Jimmy Rogers with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters (1991) - Live
  • Sloppy Drunk (1998) - (Compact disc re-issue of original album released in December 1973)
  • Blue Bird (1994) - Analogue Productions Orignals
  • Blues Blues Blues (1999)


  1. Harris, S. (1979): Blues Who's Who, New York, Da Capo Press, p. 442
  2. - accessed November 2009

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