JIM REEVES RECORDED A CHRISTMAS ALBUM 50 YEARS AGO
It is just over 50 years ago that Jim Reeves recorded 11 Christmas songs in two recording sessions in Nashville's famous RCA Studio B. On October 19, 1962, from 14.00 till 17.30 hours, five songs were recorded, and one week later, on October 25, from 19.00 till 23.00 hours, six songs were recorded.
Please click here to view some pictures taken at those recording sessions. They are part of a "Nashville Tennessean" Jim Reeves picture gallery.
The songs were not first released in the USA but in South Africa. According to the liner notes on the rear of the album, Teal Records, who pressed RCA records in South Africa, were asked by many thousands of fans for such an album, after the very successful tour of Jim Reeves and the Blue Boys, Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer in that country.
Teal and RCA were cashing in on that success by releasing the album "In South Africa" , containing songs recorded by those artists in Nashville before the tour commenced. How much truth there is in that statement is uncertain, but there is a letter by Gerald McGrath of Teal records, urging RCA in Nashville to record and release some new recordings by Jim for South Africa in order to capitalize on Jim's huge popularity. Two weeks after the Christmas recordings, Jim went back to Studio B to record 12 songs in Afrikaans on November 13, 14, & 15 1962, and the album 31.671 "JY IS MY LIEFLING" is likely to have been released in the same week as the Christmas album. The Christmas album title was 31.672 "Merry Christmas From Jim Reeves". The album cover featured a snowy landscape and a set in "Gentleman Jim" type picture. Sometime after 1964, Teal re-issued the album, again as an 11 track album called 31.672 "Songs of Christmas" with the front and rear cover of the US LPM 2758 "TWELVE SONGS OF CHRISTMAS". The title of the song "Silver Bells" had been erased on the cover and the order of songs was not correct, only on the cover. In 1976 I ordered a copy of the same album and the song title "Silver Bells" had appeared only on the front cover of this (again) 11 song album.
On July 5, 1963 during a 3
hour session, from 19.00 to 22.00 hours, Jim Reeves recorded one song "Silver
Bells" in order to have a 12 track album aimed for a Christmas 1963 release at
the US and European markets.
After 50 years, it is still
one of the most popular Christmas albums in Europe and South Africa and probably
will still be listened to in
another 50 years from now!
Please click here to view pictures of the South African Christmas album