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About The Jimmie Rodgers Stamp
From the desk of Everett Corbin: A few days ago in cleaning out my upstairs music room, I found a photo of a man by the name Henry Young, at one time a locomotive engineer on the railroad, dressed in similar garb as I have seen Jimmie Rodgers wear.
And so this brings me to most interesting story I would like to tell:
Mr. Young, of Temple, Texas, was a dedicated Jimmie Rodgers fan, and at one time had a radio program over a station there in Temple, playing exclusively Jimmie Rodgers recordings. Before I donated a huge amount of letters by the gentleman (to me) to the university here in Murfreesboro (MTSU), I believe I recall that he at one time lived on the West Coast, before relocating to Texas.
Nevertheless, he, like many other Jimmie Rodgers fans, did everything in their power to perpetutate the popularity of this most wonderful artist, and he found that he could do much in this regards by playing his records–and, in this case, over local radio–in commenting on the “glory days” of Jimmie Rodgers and his music, which in essence “saved a people” during those trying, hard days of that monumental depression of the 30s. In other words, the masses embraced Jimmie Rodgers as a man of the common
people through his music.
But Mr. Young went even further: He had an idea…
…he would work toward getting due recognition for the artist through perhaps a U. S. Postal Service stamp…
…and he did…though his efforts in this regards almost proved fruitless.
There had been one or more stamps proposed, but the one Mr. Young pushed for succeeded–perhaps while others failed–through the hard work of a man DETERMINED that the Jimmie Rodgers name would…
ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED!
While Mr. Young loved his music, he also loved the motivation that this celebrated artist of renown had brought to country music in a day needing a REAL hero.
And so the work began! But without pitfalls and delays, all recorded in letters which Mr. Young wrote to this writer, once editor of MUSIC CITY NEWS (1966-67…and for some 10 years total, in various capacities from feature writer to associate editor to bluegrass editor.)
Also, a few days ago, I found an old newspaper, THE DONELSON NEWS DIARY ( of which I was editor in Nashville), dated Feb. 15, 1978, in which a headline on the music page read:
POSTMASTER GENERAL UNVEILS JIMMIE RODGERS STAMP
In that feature, coming from an unidentified source, but perhaps from the Country Music Association, many in the music industry were on hand for the unveiling of the stamp, and given credit for their part, but NOT Mr. Young!
I had hoped through a chapter in my book: STORM OVER NASHVILLE: A Case Against Modern Country Music (1980) that I could give credit where credit was REALLY due:
Yes, Mr. Henry Young of Temple, Texas.
And so I salute Mr. Young with an indebted heart for making possible the Jimmie Rodgers stamp, a forerunner to the Hank Williams and Roy Acuff stamps–and now stamps on Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. While I don’t have any details–the true collector would know–I perhapks also have a block of stamps with the likeness of Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, among others.
While I am more attuned to the music of Roy Acuff–my alltime country favorite–I still relish the recordings of Jimmie Rodgers, which, in my mind will live on and on and on, due to those simple songs of simplicity, which gravitated a people to GREAT music!:
The GREAT music of the immortal Jimmie Rodgers.
(Closing note: I mentioned music of simplicity, and so I must include my other favorites:
Hank Williams and Vernon Oxford. And, by the way, Vernon has recorded many of my songs, including 2 cds of my material, with some of these songs in video format at You Tube and other video sites. If interested in further info on Vernon and his music, write:
Everett Corbin, Corbin Music, BMI, 5801 Halls Hill Pike, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 37130, or Email at: [email protected])