James Frederick Rodgers was a 1950s teen idol and one
of the early voices of pop rock.
His first and only chart-topper was 1957's "Honeycomb" although he
had a string of hits the following year including "Oh-Oh I'm Falling In
Love Again" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine". By 1959, he was hosting his own television show on
NBC. He also
appeared in a couple of films, Back Door To Hell and
The Little Shepherd Of Kingdom Come
. On 20th December, 1967,
as he was driving home from a Christmas party, a policeman pulled him over
and the incident resulted in Jimmie receiving a fractured skull. The details are blurry. Jimmie says the police officer, who
was off duty at the time, bashed him with a blunt instrument and beat him
up. The police contended
Jimmie was drunk and fell down.
Whatever the cause, Rodgers sued the LAPD and they settled out of
court for $200,000. Rodgers'
career, unfortunately, was over.
Even more tragically, his first wife Colleen had a fatal blood clot
and died shortly thereafter.
Although he attempted a couple of comebacks, including a stint in
Branson, Missouri, the aftereffects of the blow he took to the head, which
resulted in major reconstructive surgery, haunt him to this day.
Jimmie Rodgers recordings
Daylight Lights The Dawning (Jimmie Rodgers)
Froggy's Fable (Jimmie Rodgers)