Embossed postcard with train image - Limited Express
13¢ JIMMIE RODGERS
Sc. 1755 - issued 5/24/78
Jimmie Rodgers, famed as "The Singing Brakeman," and "The Father of Country Music," was
born in Meridian, Mississippi, on September 8, 1897. At the age of 14, he began working
on his father's railroad gang and continued working with the railroad in various
capacities until frail health, resulting from tuberculosis, ended his career at the age
of 29. When he could no longer work as a brakeman, Rodgers organized a small band and
began singing country and western songs professionally in and around North Carolina. He
made his first recording in 1927 and, within a matter of months, he had become the
nation's number one recording star. He eventually became the first inductee into the
Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. Although the world was within his
grasp, ill health restricted personal appearances to his native Southland. His only
departures from the area were for recording sessions and to make one short movie, "The
Singing Brakeman," in which he sang his famous "Waiting for a Train." Rodgers died from a
lung hemorrhage on May 26, 1933, during a recording session in New York. Jimmie Rodgers'
greatest contribution was in the music he left behind on records. The music of the great
American Southland was his, and he told the stories of the common people and sang of the
romance of the rails and steam locomotives more convincingly than any other person. The
fame of his Southern ballads and blues was known throughout the civilized world, and his
songs about trains and better times during the dark days of the Great Depression left a
lasting impression on all those who remember him.
(Text from USPS Commemorative Panel #97)
None of the FDC's I've seen for this issue stands out as noteworthy, but the two above are worth sharing, the one on the left for its text, and on the right for its image. And below is the USPS Commemorative panel for this issue. Like all of these, it combines interesting, relevant text with top-quality impressions of stock engravings related to its subject.
$5 RAILROAD CONDUCTOR'S LANTERN
Sc. 1612 - issued 8/23/79
There's no train on this stamp, but the image, a Railroad Conductor's lantern, ca. 1850, obviously belongs, and the stamp inspired some nice FDC's. This stamp has the distinction of being the highest face value stamp in the U.S. trains collection.
Sc. 1612 - Ralph Dyer hand painted FDC
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Revised -- 03/22/2001