On this day, the twenty-fourth of May, in the year of 1933, America’s Blue Yodeler cut his last records. With the nation in the grip of the Great Depression in 1933, the economic state prohibited Victor from continuing to make field trips to record in the South, so Jimmie had to travel to the studios in New York. By ’33, Jimmie was not in good health; tuberculosis had gotten the better of him, and cross country travel would do his health no favors. During his final sessions, he had to lie down and rest in-between takes, and relied on studio musicians for accompaniment on many of his final recordings. Only two days after making his final recordings, Jimmie Rodgers expired in his room at the Taft Hotel of a pulmonary hemorrhage.
Montgomery M-4415 was recorded May 18 and May 24, 1933 in New York City. The latter of which turned out to be Jimmie’s final session. It was originally issued on Bluebird B-5281, this issue was pressed from those masters and sold through the Montgomery Ward catalog. Despite his failing health, Jimmie maintained a strong voice for most of these sides, and accompanies himself on guitar on both.
Jimmie Rodgers’ famous series of “Blue Yodels” began in 1927 with “T for Texas”, and concluded here with the thirteenth song in the series, the fittingly titled “Jimmie Rodgers’ Last Blue Yodel”, or “The Women Make a Fool Out of Me”.
In 1927, Jimmie Rodgers began his recording career in Bristol, Tennessee with “The Soldier’s Sweetheart”. In 1933, he concluded that career with “Years Ago”.