In the nearly eight decades since his death at age thirty-five, singer-songwriter Jimmie Rodgers has been an inspiration for numerous top performers-from Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Hank Williams to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Beck. How did this Mississippi-born vaudevillian, a former railroad worker who performed so briefly so long ago, come to be the model for how American roots music stars could become popular heroes? In Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, the first book to explore the legacy of "The Singing Brakeman" from a twenty-first century perspective, Barry Mazor offers a lively look at Rodgers' career, tracing his rise from working-class obscurity to the pinnacle of renown that came with such hits as "Blue Yodel" and "In the Jailhouse Now." As Mazor shows, Rodgers brought emotional clarity and a unique sense of narrative drama to every song he performed, whether tough or sentimental, comic or sad. But more than anything else, Mazor suggests, it was Rodgers' shape-shifting ability to assume many public personas that connected him to such a broad public and set the stage for the stars who followed him.