Meridian Star

Local News

June 1, 2010

Rodgers, Williams, Welty and Faulkner honored in Meridian today

MERIDIAN —     Mississippi's first Country Music Trail Marker Ceremony, honoring Jimmie Rodgers, will take place at 11 a.m. today at Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, 801 Oak Grove Drive in Meridian.

    Rodgers, who was born in Meridian in 1897, also is honored with a Mississippi Blues Trail marker.

    By age 13, Rodgers had twice organized traveling shows, only to be brought home by his father, who secured young Rodgers his first job working on the railroad as a water boy.

    Rodgers would later become known as “The Singing Brakeman” because of his railroad ties. In 1924, a bout with tuberculosis temporarily ended his railroad career, but offered him the chance to get back to the entertainment industry. He organized a traveling road show and performed across the Southeastern United States.

    Rodgers began his recording career in 1927, and died in New York in 1933.

    At 12:45 p.m. today, another ceremony honoring Mississippi authors Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, and William Faulkner, will be held outside the MSU Riley Center, at the corner of Fifth Street and 22nd Avenue.

    The authors will be added to the Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center's Walk of Fame.

    Jimmie Rodgers was the first Mississippi-born artist to have a star placed in the Walk of Fame, unveiled Feb. 15, 2009. B.B. King was the second artist to be added to the Walk of Fame, on Sept. 3, 2009.

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