‘Honeycomb’ singer Jimmie Rodgers dead at 87

Singer Jimmie Rodgers, whose first hit, “Honeycomb,” was his biggest, died Monday in Palm Desert, California, The New York Times reported. He was 87.

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According to Rodgers’ daughter, Michele Rodgers, the two-time Grammy Award nominee died from kidney disease and had also tested positive for COVID-19, the newspaper reported.

Rodgers scored a hit in 1957 with “Honeycomb,” according to Billboard. His follow-up, “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” was also a big hit. His biggest hit after the launch of Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1958 was “Are You Really Mine,” which peaked at No. 10 that September, according to Billboard.

Rodgers recorded other Top 10 hits during the late 1950s, including “Secretly” and “Are You Really Mine?” The Associated Press reported. He also recorded traditional songs such as “The Wreck Of The ‘John B.’” and “English Country Garden,” according to the AP.

Oh-Oh, I’m Falling in Love Again,” in 1958, was nominated for a Grammy, along with his 1967 song, “Child of Clay.”

James Frederick Rodgers was born on Sept. 18, 1933, in Camas, Washington, four months after the death of another Jimmie Rodgers -- known as the father of country music, according to the Times. They were not related.

Rodgers’ run of successes in the 1950s and ‘60s was curtailed when he was pulled over by a man who, he later said, was an off-duty police officer in Los Angeles, the newspaper reported. Rodgers was severely beaten and had three brain surgeries. While he was able to perform again, he was left with a metal plate in his head and stopped after he began having seizures during concerts, the Times reported.

“Once word gets out that you’re having seizures onstage, you can’t work,” he told the Knoxville News Sentinel in 1998. “People won’t hire you.”

Rodgers was able to find work as a performer and producer in Branson, Missouri, where he had his own theater before retiring to California in 2002, the Times reported.

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