He was, however, more than just another one of Muddy's talented sidemen, but more of a partner who handled talent scouting and the arrangement of many of Muddys' hit recordings. Jimmy brought to the fold such talented Muddy musicians such as Little Walter and Otis Spann. Most hip and in-the-know Blues historians credit Jimmy with equal contribution to the pioneering of the Chicago Blues sound and sub-genre.
Jimmy Rogers was born in Ruleville, Mississippi as James A. Lane. Rogers learned the harmonica along with his childhood friend Snooky Pryor' and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in East St. Louis, Illinois (where he played with Robert Jr. Lockwood ) before moving to Chicago in the mid 1940s after serving in the military. By 1946 he'd made his first record as a harmonica player and singer for the local Harlem label (not to be confused with the New York-based label of the same name), although his name was not included on the label - the record was issued as being by Memphis Slim and His Houserockers.
Rogers joined Waters the next year, with whom he helped shape the sound of the nascent Chicago Blues style. Although he had several successful releases of his own on Chess Records beginning in 1950, he stayed in Waters' band until leaving the band for a solo career in 1954. In the mid 1950s he enjoyed several successful record releases, most notably "Walking By Myself", but, as the '50s drew to a close and interest in the blues waned, he gradually withdrew from the music business. By the 1960s he was working mainly outside of music, until 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, and he was able to record again, including a 1977 session with Waters.
In the 1970's Jimmy participated in numerous all star packages booked by Tom Radai of Blues Management Group who remained his manager /agent for over twenty-five years until his death. Those shows featured Sam Lay on drums, Eddie Taylor 2nd guitar, DetroitJr. on keys, Wild Child Butler harp, Lucile Spann guest vocalist, Bob Anderson bass. By 1982, Rogers was again a solo artist. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1994 and was one of only handful of living members of the Blues Hall Of Fame, and won the W.C. Handy award for male traditional blues artist in 1996. In the 1990's Jimmy made a number of high profile engagements in Europe with both the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton which served to catapault his career to substantial heights. Soon after Rogers appeared on a string of national television appearances which then lead to a recording contract with Atlantic Records. He continued touring and recording albums until his death in 1997. Unfortunately his Atlantic Recording came out just before his death. The recording featured various members of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Stephen Stills.
He is survived by Sons and daughters and grand children and son, James D. Lane' who is also a guitarist and a producer/recording engineer for Blue Heaven Studios and the APO label and frequent touring guitarist in his fathers band.