With over 40 top ten hits in the late 50s and 60s, Jimmie Rodgers is one of the early superstars of Rock & Roll. His biggest #1 hits include "Honeycomb", "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine", "It's Over", "Child Of Clay", "Oh Oh I'm Falling In Love Again" and "The Long Hot Summer", which nominated Jimmie for an Oscar. You also know him from commercial jingles taken from his songs-- Honeycomb was used for the cereal, Honeycomb; and Oh Oh Spaghetti-O's came from Oh Oh I'm Falling in Love Again. Jimmie was in two motion pictures: The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, and Back Door To Hell. He also had his own variety television show. An unprovoked attack in December 1967 by an off-duty Los Angeles Police Officer left Jimmie almost dead and with severe brain injuries. Many many surgeries, therapy and faith in God brought Jimmie back to the stage, the golf course and to his word processor! Jimmie not only still performs, but is an author. His biography, is "Dancing On The Moon and he also has done children's animation projects and has a novel "Seven Horsemen" coming out soon. He also loves to speak at events with an uplifting story of his recovery. Jimmie has been married three times, and has five adult children. He lives in the Palm Springs area with his wife Mary and their Boston Terriers.IMDb Mini Biography By: Katrina MacGregor
Smooth, folksy, honey-voiced singer Jimmie Rodgers' career would never be the same after a December 1, 1967 altercation left him partially disabled. Remembered for a few singing hits of the late 50s and early 60s, Jimmie managed to prevail but at a much slower pace.
He was born September 18, 1933 in Camas, Washington, a few months after beloved Country Music Hall of Fame singer Jimmie Rodgers (known as "The Singing Brakeman") died of consumption. They were not related but perhaps Jimmie's mother, a piano teacher who often played for silent movie houses, was inspired to name her son after the country legend as the same exact spelling of the first name occurred. His mother taught the musically-inclined Jimmie the piano and guitar. He formed bands and served at one time with the U.S. Air Force. He later was discovered on Arthur Godfrey's talent show and was signed by Roulette Records, an offshoot of RCA.
In the late 50s, Jimmie's easy folk-pop style and melodic renderings caught on fast. A wonderful alternative to the rock-and-roll, he found a #1 overnight hit with the song "Honeycomb" in 1957 and followed things up with a handful of "top 10" singles including "Oh-Oh, I'm Falling in Love Again," "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," "Secretly," "Waltzing Matilda" and "Are You Really Mine." Signed by Roulette Records, he severed ties with the record company in 1960 after a money dispute and signed with Dot Records the following year.
Jimmie became a popular commodity during these years, touring with the likes of Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Frankie Avalon. He made TV appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "American Bandstand" to the delight of his fans, and even parlayed his singing fame into a brief movie career with lead performances in the remake of The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1961), in which he co-starred with Disney's Luana Patten, and the war drama Back Door to Hell (1964). Both were only mildly received.
Things looked very promising with a TV summer series "The Jimmie Rodgers Show." Not an electric performer by any stretch, the good-looking singer with the trademark cleft chin had a natural and easygoing charm that appealed to the masses. In 1967, however, right after signing with A&M, Jimmie's life and career changed forever. In December of 1967, he was stopped by an off-duty police officer on the freeway after leaving a party. The details are sketchy and the incident remains a mystery, but Jimmie somehow suffered a severe skull fracture as a result of the encounter and claims the police brutally attacked him. The police report maintains that Rodgers was intoxicated and hurt himself when he stumbled and fell. Jimmie later sued the City of Los Angeles and settled out of court. His life, however, would never be the same.
Jimmie attempted a comeback of sorts, appearing regularly on "The Joey Bishop Show" in 1969, but after three brain surgeries he still suffered from convulsions and had trouble with balance. A portion of his face also sagged and he did not like appearing on camera for that reason. Forced into retirement in later years, he devoted himself to religion and performed only on occasion in the concert venue. Some of his more popular songs can still be heard on commercials. He was married three times and has five children.
|Mary Biggerstaff||(1977 - present) 1 child|
|Trudy Buck||(1970 - 1976) (divorced) 2 children|
|Colleen McClatchey||(1957 - 1961) (divorced) 2 children|
Despite his disability, he later formed a music publishing company, dabbled in real estate, remodeled houses and took up skydiving. He also sang at his own theater for a time in Branson, Missouri.
Also a talented composer, he wrote the songs "It's Over" and "Honeycomb."
Stories abound about why the tragic 1967 "accident" happened. One theory is that Jimmie was in the midst of a lawsuit with his former record company, Roulette Records, over past payments. Supposedly the company was run by the Mafia and Jimmie was being pressured to drop the suit. When he didn't, they staged the incident.
In 1967 he was stopped by an off-duty Los Angeles police officer, and in an incident marred by conflicting reports (he said he was attacked and beaten by the police, they said he was drunk and fell down) he sustained severe injuries to his head that left him with brain and nerve damage. He sued the City of Los Angeles and, despite their claims of innocence, they settled out of court for $200,000.
Has 14 gold records including four gold albums.
14 of his singles made Billboard magazine's "Top 40" hits of the year: 1957 (#1) Honeycomb 1957 (#3) Kisses Sweeter Than Wine 1958 (#3) Secretly 1958 (#7) Oh-Oh, I'm Falling In Love Again 1958 (#10) Are You Really Mine 1958 (#11) Bimbombey 1958 (#16) Make Me A Miracle 1959 (#32) Ring-A-Ling-A-Lario 1959 (#32) Tucumcari 1959 (#36) I'm Never Gonna Tell 1959 (#40) Wonderful You 1960 (#24) T.L.C. (Tender Love and Care) 1966 (#37) It's Over 1967 (#31) Child of Clay
Has five children: Michael and Michelle from his first marriage; sons Casey and Logan from his second; daughter Katrine from his third.
His daughter, Katrine, was born in 1989.
His first wife, Colleen, died of a blood clot in 1967.
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