PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) – Jimmy Rodgers, singer of the 1957 hit “Honeycomb” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” whose career in music and film was disrupted by a severe head injury a decade later, has died at 87 -years old.
Rodgers died of kidney disease on Jan. 18 in Palm Desert, California, and also tested positive for COVID-19, publicist Alan Eichler was quoted as saying.
Rodgers posed for $ 10 a night around Nashville while stationed there with the U.S. Air Force after the Korean War. He starred in a talent show and auditioned for Roulette Records, which signed him after hearing him perform “Honeycomb,”
With a style of singing and playing guitar that included elements of country, folk, and pop, the Camas-born Washington recorded many other Top 10 hits in the late 1950s, including “Secretly,” “Oh-Oh, Falling in Love.” “Again” and “Are you really mine?” “
Rodgers continued to make albums for most of the 1960s, producing music ranging from traditional songs such as “The Wreck Of The ‘John B.” and “English Country Garden” to popular fares such as the ballad “Child of Clay.” . ”
He established himself on television by appearing in pop shows when he became an actor in the 60’s. His films include The Little Shepherd of the Kingdom is Coming and The Back Gates of Hell with the young Jack Nicholson.
In 1967, Rodgers was found in his car on a highway in Los Angeles, suffering from a broken skill and other injuries. He said he stopped and stopped in response to a driver behind him flashing his lights, and that an attack by an off-duty police officer caused injuries to his head.
“I turned the window down to ask what was going on,” he told The Toronto Star in 1987. “That’s the last thing I remember. “
Police in Los Angeles insisted that Rodgers was injured in a fall while drumming. Rodgers filed a lawsuit and agreed to a $ 200,000 deal. He subsequently developed a condition that caused spasms in the muscles of his vocal cords. He also had accidental seizures, which he said were due to the attack.
After his initial recovery, Rodgers had a summer television show on ABC in 1969 and also played in his own theater in Branson, Missouri.
In a 2016 interview with The Spectrum, a Utah newspaper, Rodgers recalled finding a $ 10 guitar and singing when he was in the Air Force and stationed in Korea in 1953.
“We sat on the floor with only candles for light and these tough soldiers had tears on their cheeks. I realized that if my music could have that effect, that’s what I wanted to do with my life, “he said.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Louise Biggerstaff, and five children from three marriages.