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I was in Tennessee recently and took the time to visit Nashville for a
few days. It is a very cool city for eating, drinking, watching sports
and listening to music but to be honest there are not a huge amount of
great things to do outside of these and so it was I decided to go to
the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, despite not really being a
great fan of the genre. What that visit taught me was that actually I
do like country in a historical sense but that the modern country-pop
rubbish and the excessive bad-taste of other recent eras all put me off
and made me lump all of that in together. Part of realizing how much I
enjoy really old, scratchy country is seeing this film at the Museum.
It is poorly staged as a short film and even as a performance really, since it is stiff and basic in terms of direction, but it is Rodgers music that makes it worth the watch. Others more knowledge than me told me this guy died very shortly after this period and that this film is the only film of him performing. The importance of this is more relevant when you think about where his music fits in his blues style seems fresher than the 1920's, OK not modern but still he sounded a little ahead of his time perhaps. Not a great short film by any means but worth seeing if you are a fan of country music or even if you think you are not based on modern pop acts.
This is not actually masterpiece,but still a rare short movie. only movie where we see Jimmie Rodgers alive.Jimmie was railroad man himself and movie is filmed in "Railroad Eating House". Jimmie Rodgers - the father of country music,Americans blue yodeler, the singing brakeman.He sang three songs and he got one cup of coffee for this.first song "Waiting For A Train"Jimmie actually worked a short brakeman,In 1911, he went to work as a brakeman but had to cut his railroading career short because of contracting consumption in 1924.Second song is "Daddy And Home"One old lady ask for Jimmie do you miss your old dad?Jimmie:yes of course.His Fathers Name was Aaron and the last song is Blue Yodel - his landmark.Lucky old ladies,they saw Jimmie alive and live what a treasure day. Jimmie wears in this movie his work shirt,a bandanna,and a railroad hat.This is movie is old yes,but we should never who was Jimmie Rodgers,without him there would be no Hank Williams, Johnny Cash,Chuck Berry,Beatles,Elvis Presley.he was a true king of music.he died 26 May 1933 - he was 35 years old only.a arrant fan of Jimmie.Lembit.
Jimmy Rodgers, the father of Country Music and arguably the first
Caucasian American to make the Blues acceptable, sings "Waiting for A
Train", "Daddy and Home" and his landmark "Blue Yodel" in this one-reel
short for Columbia. He comes onto an obvious stage dressed as a
railroad lineman -- except for his white dress socks -- and serenades
the two woman who look to be running a railroad restaurant.
The short is poorly staged and the print I saw on Youtube is in awful shape, including poor sound recording, but this is a terribly important movie. Rodgers died four years later of tuberculosis and his work went underground for fifteen years, until it reappeared in the early 1950s as Rockabilly and Country/Western Music. Any fan of either branch of music should make an effort to see this.
As others have noted, this short film was made TWICE on the same set.
The rough version with poor sound quality was directed by Jasper Ewing
Brady. The cleaner version, with better sound quality and, frankly,
better cinematic direction, was directed by Basil Smith.
If you watch one, you MUST watch the other! They are both currently on Youtube. Line up the two frames side-by side on your screen and get past the opening credits (the Brady version has a longer intro credit, with the Columbia gal at the beginning) and set them to where the jazz band music stops and the short begins. Run one or two lines from each version, back and forth. The result is MIND-BLOWING! First, we see what a huge difference good direction makes. There is better framing of each shot, and better use of the two women bit-players, especially the one brewing the coffee and cleaning up the kitchen, who can be seen standing in the screen door and also smiling and laughing in the Smith version and is almost absent in the Brady version. (And boy, she really does crack a happy smile at the line, "I'm gonna shoot poor Thelma, just to see her jump and fall!") But most importantly, we see Jimmie Rodgers, the finely-honed stage performer, producing two almost -- but not quite! -- identical performances. Watch his moves, his ad libs, his extended bars and grace note additions. Notice his habit of looking at his left hand, his way of singing out of the side of his mouth. I cannot begin to tell you have much sheer INFORMATION about the man is packed into the fact that there are TWO VERSIONS of this film!!! Being able to watch and compare the two entirely different takes of this under-ten-minute short, which happens to contain two of my favourite Jimmie Rodgers compositions ("Waiting for a Train" and "Blue Yodel No. 1 - T For Texas") has made this day, November 12, 2011, one of the most exciting days of my 64-year-old life! I am not kidding! It simply does not get much more musically exciting than this. Thank you, Youtube! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jimmie Rodgers! And thank you, Misters Brady and Smith!
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