"Tell your friends to tell their friends that if they don't dig the blues, they must have a hole in their soul." - Jimmy Rogers
"Tell them that music was his life; that he wanted to be in it to the end."- Dorothy Lane (wife of Jimmy Rogers)
On Friday, December 19, 1997, Blues legend Jimmy Rogers died at Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago. His was afflicted with colon cancer and emphysema. He was 73.
Jimmie Lee Robinson was a lifelong friend and musical colleague of Jimmy Rogers. Both Jimmie Lee and Jimmy Rogers lived near each other in the Maxwell Street neighborhood. Jimmie Lee saw him in the hospital many times. He saw him there last on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1997. "He had his family there. We had to put on gloves and masks. He was unconscious. When I saw him a month or so ago, he could sit up and talk. He told me, I was his ham. When you gambling and loose your money you say, you ain't nothing but a ham. I hate to be called that. We was joking. He also told me he wanted oxtails, to eat or for oxtail soup or whatever his wife made from that."
Jimmie Lee recollects, "I remember we used to go to the Irving Theater on Halsted together with Johnny Shines. That was the closest theater to us. We went to see cowboy pictures."
Jimmy Rogers was still playing this year. "I saw him playing early this year at Buddy Guy's with the Muddy Waters Revival Band. He had real energy and soul; it was authentic. I loved hearing him." says Steve Balkin, member of the Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition, which just opened a Maxwell Street Museum (inside of Heritage Bluesbus Music). The Museum is just around the corner from Abrams Music (Ora Nelle label) where Jimmy Rogers was recorded with Little Walter in 1947. The museum is planning a Jimmy Rogers Memorial exhibit (part is up already.)
Blues Review (Jan/Feb 1998) writes about him playing on September 5, 1997 at Yoshi's in Oakland California, "When Jimmy Rogers came onstage, he seemed to be moving a bit slow and was lovingly assisted to his chair by his sidemen. But the fiery light in his eyes told the story before he hit his first number. He loves the blues and lives to play his old guitar."
To read a recent enlightening interview, see Jimmy Rogers: I'm Having Fun Right Today by John Anthony Brisbane in the September/October 1997 issue of Living Blues.
Expressions of sympathy can be sent to Jimme Roger's wife: Dorothy Lane, 6314 South Honore, Chicago, IL 60636. Jimmy is survived by his wife Dorothy, Sons Jimmy Lane Jr.,Willie and James plus his daughters Angela, Jacalyn, Maryland, Debra, Vera and 17 grandchildren.
From: Michael Loew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Jimmy Rogers Funeral Arrangements
Wm. W. Jackson Metropolitan Funeral Home
Ph. (773) 434.2400
Fax (773) 434.4841
2701 W. 63rd St.
Chicago, Ill. 60629
Friday Dec. 26th 1997 General Public Visitation-12 Noon-9pm
Saturday Dec.27th 1997
10 am-11 am
Funeral 11 am-2 or 3 pm
Burial-Immediately follows funeral
Click here for Remembrances of Jimmy Rogers, from recent email and Usenet posts.
Stories, remembrances, and anecdotes for the homepage should be sent to the Coalition<email@example.com>.
Jimmy Rogers Life Chronology by Keith Eley, University of East London
Photo of Jimmy Rogers at Legends, February 1997, by Chuck Winans
Review and pictures of Jimmy Rogers playing at Orrie's, February 14-15, 1997, by Ray Stiles
Photo of Jimmy Rogers with Mai Cramer at WGBH, by Allan Dines
Jimmy Rogers: Building the Blues by Niles Frantz (1994)
Maxwell Street Blues Home Sweet Home Page
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