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franklin county times

Jimmie Rodgers rides the rails in Southeast

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
April 25, 2001
The word is out Jimmie's back, and this time The Singing Brakeman won't stop until every ear has heard the news.
Jimmie Rodgers, played by local musician Britt Gully, left Union Station today to spread the word about the new Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival to nearby locales.
The 20-minute, one-man show will be heard from Birmingham to New Orleans as Gully tunes up his replica guitar to sing tunes written by the "Father of Country Music."
The tourism bureau is co-sponsoring the "Jimmie Express" with Amtrak and local radio station B-93 "The Buzz."
Audiences at "Jimmie's Back" performances will learn little-known facts such as the popular Rodgers' song, "T for Texas," was first rejected before it sold more than a million records. They'll also hear about the roots of America's music and learn about the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival to be held May 3-5.
Gully, a resident of Preston, regularly plays with a band called the Water Moccasins. As the Jimmie persona, he'll tell a story from Jimmie Rodgers' life, then break into a popular Rodgers song.
He will travel to Birmingham aboard Amtrak today and do a couple of shows there, Beasley said. On Thursday, Gully is due for a noon stint in Tuscaloosa before heading back to Meridian. On May 1, Gully will travel to New Orleans aboard the Southern Crescent for a media platform party. One gig will be played at New Orleans' Margaritaville near the French Market; two other shows will be played at New Orleans' famous House of Blues.
Gully will return May 3 at 11 a.m. to kick off the new Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival.
For more information, call the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau at 482-8001, or visit www.jimmierodgers.com.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.