Father of Jimmie Rodgers (4).
Jesse Otto Rodgers was born on March 5, 1911, near Waynesboro, Mississippi. A first cousin to Jimmie Rodgers, Jesse sought to make a career in music much like his cousin, and by 1932 he was making broadcasts on border radio in Mexico, which reached a large swath of the United States. Upon Jimmie's death in 1933, RCA Victor Company, Inc. signed Jesse to more-or-less take his place, as they had similar styles and vocal qualities. Between 1934 and 1937, Jesse Rodgers had 42 recordings on Bluebird (3) and Montgomery Ward, and on various affiliated labels in Australia, England, and India.
At some point in 1938, when the concept of the singing cowboy was near its zenith, Jesse Rodgers switched gears and recorded this sort of western material as Jesse Rogers, dropping the "d" from his last name. It has been suggested that this was to create distance from the already-famous Rodgers name, and perhaps conveniently to draw an association with another great singing cowboy, Roy Rogers (3). Whether this was his own idea or at the insistence of a record label, or both, is not clear. What is certain is that the change from Rodgers to Rogers was complete and permanent through the rest of his career. As Jesse Rogers, he continued to record on RCA Victor, Varsity, Sonora (6), MGM, Cowboy Records (4), and Arcade (5) labels through the early 1960s, and continued a career in radio and television into the 1950s.
Jesse Rodgers died in 1973.