Jimmy Rogers has long been considered one of the most important and influential figures on the American blues scene. He co-founded and developed the Chicago blues sound with his former band mate Muddy Waters - together they pioneered the sound that became known as Chicago Blues between 1947 and 1954.
Jimmy Rogers was the guitarist around which the Muddy Waters band turned. His rhythmically acute guitar progressions lent direction and diversity to Muddy’s emotive singing and playing. As second guitarist in the Muddy Waters band of the '50s, Rogers forged the classic ensemble sound that came to be standard for all post-war Chicago blues bands. As Waters played his sparse bottleneck guitar, Rogers would add further depth and dimension to the group sound with his ringing bass figures and propulsive rhythm accompaniment.
Rogers was born in Ruleville, Mississippi in 1924. He taught himself how to play harmonica and guitar by listening to the records of popular artists such as Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie and to the radio performances of Sonny Boy Williamson and Joe Willie out of KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. In his late teens Rogers moved to Helena and then Memphis, where he played with Robert Jr. Lockwood and Robert Nighthawk. He then moved to St. Louis with Sunnyland Slim before settling in Chicago in 1947, teaming up with harmonica player Little Walter Jacobs.It was with Jacobs that Rogers first started playing professionally.