So you've never heard of Jimmie Rodgers before? The Blue Yodeler? The Singing Brakeman? The Father of Country Music? You can bet that a young Hank Williams (someday to be) Sr. did.
Rodgers, born the son of a railroad foreman in 1897, followed in his father's footsteps, working his way up from waterboy to brakeman. Rodgers contracted tuberculosis in 1924, and the illness forced him off the rails in 1927. Rodgers then used the banjo and guitar playing skills learned from hobos and other railroad men to begin a meteoric rise in the music business.
Rodgers recorded over 100 songs between 1927 and 1933. He toured the country with Will Rogers, made a short film for Columbia Pictures and, in 1930, recorded his "Blue Yodel No. 9" with Louis Armstrong (here's Pops playing it with Johnny Cash four decades later). Rodgers tragically succumbed to TB in May of 1933, ion New York City, after a week spent making his last dozen recordings.
Bonus: The Fendermen covering Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel No. 8 (The Muleskinner Blues)".
PS. Our sister site Newstalgia has, back by popular demand, Grapefruit from 1968.