In the late '30s and '40s, Jesse worked on the WLS National Barn Dance in Chicago and with a group called the Lazy K Ramblers in Kansas City. He made new recordings for the Sonora label in the mid-'40s, and by this time had ditched the blue yodel and was doing almost completely cowboy material, including a recording of the chestnut "Back in the Saddle Again." He settled in Philadelphia in 1945 and began a long run on station WFIL. He went back to the Victor label and had a few hits, including "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night," a honky tonk classic whose title has never been adjusted for inflation. He appeared in the first live television Western, The Western Balladeer for WPTZ, which led to his own show, Ranger Joe. His own horse, Topaz, even became something of a celebrity through this show, of which more than 500 episodes were produced. The two were in demand for personal appearances, including parades which Jesse would lead astride the Palomino. Singer Sally Starr joined the act and wound up marrying one of the members. Jesse recorded and performed mostly his own material, and the traditional numbers he chose were also altered considerably and published under his own name. Despite the general quality of his recordings, his career never took off outside of his home base, and perhaps the audience was wary that Jesse was simply cashing in on the Rodgers name, or trying to. The record company participated in what might have been either promotion or confusion, putting out a split disc with songs by both Rodgers. Jesse's skeptics were probably not appeased by his publicity photos, as he always dressed up exactly like Jimmie had. By the end of the '50s, it seemed like Jesse could have almost become a household name, as he had a quarter of a million kids signed up through his fan club -- but emphysema came along. He was forced to retire, and by 1963 was completely unable to sing. He moved to Houston to be near his sister, and tried to maintain his creativity by writing songs and stories. In the last ten years of his life, he weighed less than 100 pounds. From Jesse Rodgers Biography-Eugene Chadbourne
Names Rodgers also used; same as his cousin Jimmie Rodgers.