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Jimmie Rodgers - English Country Garden

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Uploaded on Jan 9, 2010

James Frederick "Jimmie" Rodgers (born September 18, 1933 in Camas, Washington, United States) is an American singer. He is not related to the country singer of the same name.

Rodgers was taught music by his mother, learned to play the piano and guitar, and formed a band while he served in the United States Air Force. Like a number of other entertainers of the era, he was one of the contestants on Arthur Godfrey's talent show on the radio. When Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore left RCA Records to found a new record company, Roulette Records, they became aware of Rodgers' talent and signed him up.

In the summer of 1957, he recorded a song called "Honeycomb", which had been recorded by Bob Merrill and Georgie Shaw three years earlier. It was Rodgers' first big hit, staying on the top of the charts for four weeks. The following year, he had a number of other hits that reached the Top 10 on the charts: "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", "Oh-Oh, I'm Falling in Love Again", "Secretly", and "Are You Really Mine".

"Honeycomb" reached Number 30 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1957, but "Kisses Sweeter than Wine" climbed to Number 7 the following month. His biggest hit in the UK was "English Country Garden", which reached Number 5 in the chart in June 1962. Oddly enough, the song was never released as a single in the United States.

In 1962, he moved to the Dot label, and four years later to A&M Records. He also appeared in some movies, including The Little Shepard of Kingdom Come, opposite Neil Hamilton, and Back Door to Hell, which he helped finance.

In 1966, a long dry spell ended for Rodgers when he re-entered the Top 40 with "It's Over" (later to be covered by Eddy Arnold and Elvis Presley). In 1967, he had his final charting single, "Child of Clay". On December 20, 1967, while preparing to do a film for 20th Century Fox, he was assaulted after allegedly being pulled over by an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer on the San Diego Freeway in Southern California, receiving a severe beating, leading to a skull fracture. Neither the assailant(s) nor the reason for the assault has ever been established. Not long after the assault, he appeared on a late-night talk show and discussed it, but all he could recall were bright lights, presumably from the car of his attacker(s). Rodgers later claimed that members of the San Diego Police Department had assaulted him. After he sued the Los Angeles Police Department, the LAPD settled out of court for $200,000.

Recovery from his injuries caused an approximately year-long period in which he ceased to perform. He eventually returned, though not reaching the singles chart again. He did, however, make an appearance on the album chart as late as 1969. Also, during the summer of 1969, he made a brief return to network television with a summer variety show on ABC.

Shortly after his 1967 beating incident, his first wife, Colleen, with whom he had two children, Michelle and Michael, died as the result of a fatal blood clot. He remarried in 1970, and Jimmie and Trudy Rodgers had two sons, Casey and Logan. He and Trudy divorced in the late 1970s, and he remarried again. Jimmie and Mary Rodgers are still married today, and they have a daughter, Katrine, who was born in 1989.

English Country Garden

(Public Doman folksong adapted by Jimmie Rodgers)

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
In an English country garden?
I'll tell you now of some that I know
And those I miss you'll surely pardon

Daffodils, heart's ease and phlox
Meadowsweet and lady smocks
Gentian, lupine and tall hollyhocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, forget-me-nots
In an English country garden
(In an English country garden)

How many insects come here and go
Through our English country garden?
I'll tell you now of some that I know
And those I miss you'll surely pardon

Fireflies, moths and bees
Spiders climbing in the trees
Butterflies that drift in the gentle breeze
There are snakes, ants that sting
And other creeping things
In an English country garden
(In an English country garden)

How many songbirds fly to and fro
Through our English country garden?
I'll tell you now of some that I know
And those I miss you'll surely pardon

Bobolink, cuckoo and quail
Tanager and cardinal
Bluebird, lark, thrush and nightingale
There is joy in the spring
When the birds begin to sing
In an English country garden
(In an English country garden)

Robin (robin, robin) don't forget the robin...
(Don't forget the robin, robin)
Robin (robin, robin) don't forget the robin...

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