Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane in Ruleville, Mississippi in 1924. He taugght himself to play guitar and harmonica. In his late teens, he moved to first to Helena, Arkansas and then, Memphis, Tennessee. He played with Robert Lockwood Jr. and Robert Nighthawk during this time. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri with Sunnyland Slim before heading off to Chicago in 1946.
Jimmy, as Muddy Water’s unheralded second guitarist, was one of the architects of Chicago Blues in the 1950s. He was instrumental in introducing harmonica player Little Walter and pianist Otis Spann to Muddy. Together, these musicians would form what many have called the greatest Chicago blues band of all time. Their recordings for Chess Records included “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” and “Blow Wind Blow.”
He launched a solo career in 1954 recording such standards as “That’s All Right”, “Ludella”, “Walking By Myself,” “You’re The One,” “The Last Time”, “Sloppy Drunk”, and “Chicago Bound” for Chess Records. In the late ’50s, he fronted his own band and also worked with Howlin’ Wolf, Sunnyland Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson on their tours and albums.
Jimmy retired from music in 1960 and ran a clothing store and drove a cab for a while. He returned to music in 1969.
In 1992, he joined Eric Clapton on stage at Wembley Stadium. In 1994, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
He died at age 73 on 19 in December 1997. Jimmy was the last surviving member of Muddy Water’s original band.
Eric appears on the posthumous release, Blues Blues Blues dueting on “That’s All Right” and “Blues All Day Long”.