Kansas State University's K-State Libraries is now home to the personal collection of a blues legend, and a unique exhibit curated from the collection opens this fall.
Jimmy Rogers (1924-1997) was a pioneer of postwar Chicago blues. He played with greats such as Robert Lockwood Jr., and was a lead guitarist in Muddy Waters' band in the 1940s and 1950s. Rogers' numerous awards include induction into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1995.
A biography about Rogers, "Blues All Day Long: The Jimmy Rogers Story," comes out in September. Written by Wayne Goins, Kansas State University professor of music and director of jazz studies, it draws from 75 hours of interviews with Rogers' family, collaborators and peers. In getting to know those who had been close to Rogers, Goins learned of the existence of Rogers' personal collection.
Goins contacted Paul and Kim Lampron of Brand Used Works Auction House, who recognized the historical significance of what they had inherited in California. The three were motivated to make the collection available to future generations of music historians and contacted K-State Libraries about making the acquisition.
Preserved for scholarly research in the Richard L.D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections, the material includes approximately 2,500 items related to Rogers' career and performances around the world spanning the years 1960-1997.
Highlights from the collection will be displayed in "Jimmy Rogers: Champion for the Blues." The exhibit, organized by Anthony R. Crawford, the Libraries' curator of manuscripts, will be on display in the gallery on the fifth floor of Hale Library. It opens Thursday, Sept. 11, and runs through March 13, 2015.
A free opening reception will take place in the gallery on Sept. 11. Events include:
• 5-6 p.m.: Exhibit opening reception with wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres.
• 6-6:30 p.m.: Jimmy Rogers Tribute Band. Members include Kansas State University faculty members Goins, guitar; Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor of biology, harmonica; Seth Galitzer, systems coordinator in the computing and information sciences department, vocals; Mike Herman, professor of biology, bass; and Brian Niehoff, associate provost for institutional effectiveness, harmonica. Band members also include Rick Smith, guitar; and Todd Spreer, drums.
• 6:30-7 pm: Book signing for "Blues All Day Long: The Jimmy Rogers Story," with copies available for purchase.
Seating is limited; RSVP required. Contact Darchelle Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-532-7442.