DID YOU KNOW.....?

 

   

 

In the six years since Leo Jackson's death, the fan club has received fewer requests for unknown or rarely published information and/or stories about Jim Reeves and the people who were associated with him. The 'DID YOU KNOW?' section has been up & running for a similar period and what began as a trivia format, is now much more sophisticated with exclusive world firsts & hitherto unpublished facts & previously unknown information appearing frequently for the entertainment & education of the fans. This continuing series will continue to bring you the very best of Jim Reeves & related historical details which other sites are unaware of.

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM REEVES AND PATSY CLINE PERFORMED ON THE SAME SLOT AT THE GRAND OLE OPRY IN JANUARY 1962?
 

A few years ago, a Patsy Cline fan sent me a letter concerning a Grand Ole Opry show she attended as a young person of 12 years old. She liked the songs of Patsy Cline very much and her parents gave her a special Birthday gift, a ticket for the first segment of a Saturday night Grand Ole Opry show in which Patsy Cline was performing. They drove from De Soto,
Missouri to Nashville to listen to Patsy being introduced by Jim Reeves, singing one of her hit songs. Unfortunately, she couldn't remember much of that show after 52 years.

Persistent research to find out both the date and songs Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves performed that night paid off last week when I discovered details of that Opry show.

The date was January 13, 1962. Jim Reeves hosted the "FAULTLESS STARCH" portion of the OPRY. Patsy sang "SHE'S GOT YOU" , a song released on 45 rpm record on January 10th, a few days earlier. Not only did Jim Reeves announce the artists appearing on that 15 minutes slot; Patsy Cline, The Wilburn Brothers, Archie Campbell, Billy Deaton, and the Jordanaires, he also sang 3 songs himself: "WHAT I FEEL IN MY HEART", "DANNY BOY", and his greatest hit "HE'LL HAVE TO GO". I presume in order to fit all of these performances into the 15 minutes slot, they probably had to sing condensed versions of their songs. It is interesting to observe that although Jim Reeves had recorded "DANNY BOY" for the "TALL TALES AND SHORT TEMPERS" album on October 5, 1960, he was about to record that song again in a split session with Floyd Cramer almost 2 weeks later, on January 30th! I wonder if he tried out the new version that night? There are probably only a few Jim Reeves fans still alive who have listened to that night's wonderful show.

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM REEVES PLAYED THURSTON MOORE'S VERONA LAKE RANCH, AT VERONA, KENTUCKY IN  JULY 1957?

 

The VERONA LAKE RANCH NEWS announced Jim Reeves and his band were going to play at the 100 Acre Folk Park in Verona Thurston. on July 28th, 1957. The park was owned and operated from 1956 - 1959  by Thurston Moore.
  
"Jim Reeves, the perfect gentleman, was one of our biggest stars at Verona Lake Ranch. We became friends, and I was honored in 1972 to receive “The Jim Reeves International Award” from the Academy of Country Music, presented to me by Ms. Frances Preston, BMI Executive, at the John Wayne Theatre in Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, California."

Moore maintained strong connections within the county music industry of Nashville, Tennessee, as he was active in publishing. He published   the Thurston Moore Hillbilly and Western Scrapbook 1958 Edition while based in Verona. In 1959  Moore sold the Park went on to edit and publish the Hillbilly and Western Scrapbook and The Country Music Who's Who, often considered the “Bible” of the country music industry.  

DID YOU KNOW THAT  THE FEBRUARY 23, 1963 ISSUE OF " THE MUSIC REPORTER"  CARRIED A PICTURE OF "KING JIM"  REEVES ON THE FRONT COVER?

Did you know that the February 23, 1963 issue of "The Music Reporter" carried a picture of Jim Reeves, with the text "KING JIM" REEVES on the front cover?

Jim earned that title due to his popularity with the black population in Southern Africa. His records were still being released on 78 rpm  records, some years after that format was discontinued in the rest of the world.

 

DID YOU KNOW IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1955 JIM AND MARY REEVES SPENT TIME WITH THE PERRYMANS?

Did you know  in early August 1955, Tom Perryman reported to  BILLBOARD MAGAZINE that Jim and Mary Reeves had spent several days with the Perrymans recently. Tom and Jim had played golf, Jim had 99 and Tom hit 98. Jim would be coming back the next month and they would play a second round. Jim's   recording   'Younder comes a sucker' was Tom's biggest number for the last two weeks.

In an issue, dated one month later, Tom reported that he, Jim,  and their wives, had recently indulged in a bit of deep-sea fishing  at Galveston, Tx., and caught some 50 pounds of red snapper! It must have been a sportive and  exciting vacation!

 

DID YOU KNOW IN MARCH 1969 A JIM REEVES SONG DISPUTE WAS  SETTLED IN THE HIGH COURT IN LONDON, ENGLAND ?


In March 1969 a dispute over the right to exploit songs of Jim Reeves was settled  by the High Court in London, England. Tuckahoe, Inc., and Open Road Music, companies that Jim Reeves had formed  and owned by Mary Reeves won a suit against ONE-FOUR-TWO- MUSIC CO.  LTD of London. That company was owned by music impresario Philip Solomon. The High Court learned that ONE-FOUR-TWO- MUSIC had a 12- month license  which had expired. ONE-FOUR-TWO- MUSIC agreed to pay 3,600 US dollars and part of the legal  costs.

Philip Solomon organised the 1963 Irish tour of Jim Reeves and the Blue Boys, a  tour which was plagued by poor conditions of the pianos and the large distances  between the two venues they were to perform almost each night.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT LEO JACKSON WAS ONE OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE JIM REEVES FAN CLUB IN 1958?


The March 1958 issue of COWBOY SONGS featured the article "WHAT THE FANS SAY ABOUT JIM REEVES". The article mentioned that LEO JACKSON AND SHIRLEY O'DANIELL two of the  presidents of the JIM REEVES FAN CLUB.  The article didn't mention Leo was playing lead guitar for Jim, and Shirley was Jim's secretary.

to view and read the article - click  here

 


DID YOU KNOW BY JUNE 1953, MITCHELL TOROK'S COMPOSITION OF "MEXICAN JOE" HAD BEEN RECORDED BY 8 DIFFERENT ARTISTS?


Did you know by June 1953, Mitchell Torok's composition of "MEXICAN JOE" had been recorded by 8 different artists? JIM REEVES was the first one to record the song, on Abbott, BILLY WALKER on Columbia, the RHYTHM HARMONEERS  on Flair, JOE 'FINGERS' CARR on Capitol, CHARLIE GORE  & LOUISE INNIS on King, CLYDE MOODY AND HIS WOODCHOPPERS on Decca, DEWEY GROOM on Richtone, and the FONTAINE SISTERS on RCA Victor.

None of those other seven recordings of "Mexican Joe" did as good on the charts as Jim's recording. It got Jim Reeves the CASHBOX award for the "Best Country and Western Record of 1953".

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT AN  AMERICAN RADIO INDUSTRY MAGAZINE WITH A FOCUS ON ADVERTISING  PUBLISHED ARTICLES ABOUT THE ABN LIVE AMERICAN RADIO PROGRAMS?

In 1957, the magazine SPONSOR published a few articles about the ABN LIVE AMERICAN  radio programs. The JIM REEVES SHOW was one of the programs featured.


Sponsor was a magazine for radio and TV advertising buyers and commercial broadcast stations. It published from November of 1946 to December of 1964 It began as a monthly, and then went bimonthly in 1950. It went weekly from, October of 1956.
 

The American radio history website fortunately hosts pdf versions of that magazine.

The September 21st, 1957 issue announced  "JIM REEVES ARRIVES OCTOBER 7 !"

September 21st, 1957, page 64  

 September 21st, 1957, page 65

 

The October 1st, 1957 issue announced "AMERICAN LAUNCHES 3 BIG SHOWS ON 1 BIG DAY"

 October 1st, 1957, page 60

  October 1st, 1957, page 61

 

The November 23rd , 1957 issue announced "THERE'S A MILLION DOLLAR SALES STAFF ON AMERICAN - AND YOU CAN OWN IT!"

 November 23rd, 1957 issue, page 60

November 23rd, 1957 issue, page 61

 

The October 1st, 1957 issue showed a picture of ABN personalities, including Jim Reeves, warming up  at a rehearsal session for the ABN's presentation to advertisers held on November 26, 1957

December 7th, 1957 issue, page 60

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM REEVES SANG A MEDLEY OF SONGS IN AFRIKAANS DURING A CONCERT IN THE NETHERLANDS 50 YEARS AGO?

 

Jim Reeves on stage in Den Haag. Picture: Arie den Dulk collection


Fifty years ago, on Friday April 17, 1964, Jim Reeves performed twice for an enthusiastic audience in The Netherlands.
He first sang for almost 30 minutes in Den Haag (The Hague). A member of the audience reported in a contemporary country music magazine: "With his top song "I Love You Because" he captured the audience right from the start. Then more hit songs followed: "Four Walls", "Mexican Joe", "Bimbo", a medley of South-African songs, his world famous hit song "He'll Have to Go" and on special request of your reporter, "Adios Amigo". He got an encore too, and finally giving in to the insisting audience, he sang "Welcome to My World".

In an interview with a local newspaper, Jim expressed the opinion he believed Afrikaans to be the same language as Dutch, which is of course it isn't! But the Dutch can understand and read Afrikaans reasonably well. In the interview he mentioned his new EP album,(EPA-9107 DIE OU KALAHARI) in Afrikaans. The Dutch audience got a special treat as there are no reports of Jim Reeves singing that medley of songs in Afrikaans anywhere else during the April 1964 European tour.

In the English and Dutch editions of issue #137 of the Jim Reeves fan club magazine, you'll find that newspaper article and contemporary reports about the show.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT MEMBERS OF BOTH BRITISH FAN CLUBS COULD ORDER A SET OF SMALL SIZED JIM REEVES PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE LATE 1960's?

 

to read about it - click  here

 

DID YOU KNOW ON APRIL 21, 1961 JIM REEVES' MUSIC WAS PLAYED FOR  14 MINUTES ON A DUTCH NEW GUINEA RADIO PROGRAM?
 


Did you know on Friday April 21, 1961 from 9.04 PM to 9.18 PM, Jim Reeves'  records were played on a 49 meters shortwave radio station in Dutch New Guinea? This is quite remarkable as the station only operated for 3 hours, between 8.00 PM and 11.00 PM, that day.

Jim Reeves' music was always very popular in (former) Dutch colonies, even more than in the home land. That may apply to the British (former) colonies too.

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM REEVES FEATURED ON A PRIVATE REFERENCE ALBUM?


Late 1957, the American Broadcasting Network produced a regular sized LP album for non commercial use in a very limited edition, and titled "The LIVE one is American Broadcasting Network".

Copies of the sampler album were given to guests at the American Broadcasting Network's Plaza presentation in New York City, on November 26, 1957.

The album rear cover was labeled: "Strictly for your listening pleasure - MUSIC FROM AMERICA AND IT'S ALL LIVE!" The album featured 16 tracks from these ABN live radio shows; "Merv Griffin Show", "Jim Backus Show", "Bill Kemp Show", "Herb 'Oscar' Anderson Show", "Jim Reeves Show", "Johnny Pearson Show", and "Don McNeill's 'Breakfast Club'. " Most shows featured three songs or more, the exception being "Don McNeill's 'Breakfast Club' " and "Jim Reeves Show" which featured only one song. Jim Reeves sang "There's a goldmine in the sky", featuring the Anita Kerr Singers and Owen Bradley & the Orchestra.

There are pictures of the performers of these six ABN live radio shows on the rear cover. The one of the "Jim Reeves show" had been taken at a rehearsal.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT RAY WINKLER, CO-WRITER OF "WELCOME TO MY WORLD" RELEASED A TRIBUTE SINGLE TO JIM IN 1970 ON THE STARTIME LABEL? HE WROTE TO DAVID BUSSEY AT THE TIME SEEKING ASSISTANCE.
 

To view single & read letter  -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW A YOUNG FAN NAMED JACKIE JOHNSON MET JIM ON SEPTEMBER 22ND 1956 AT THE ROGUE VALLEY BALLROOM, MEDFORD, OREGON?


To view picture -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM WROTE A SHORT ARTICLE FOR THE NOVEMBER 10TH  1962  ISSUE OF THE  "MUSIC  VENDOR" MAGAZINE?

 

Not long back from his 1962 South African tour & at the time of the annual Country Music Festival in Nashville, the "Music Vendor" magazine of November 10th featured a short article by Jim headed "Hands Across Sea C/W Action."

The accompanying picture shows Jim meeting dignataries in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Saturday August 25th 1962.

 "Hands across the sea"  is of course a famous military march composed by John Philip Sousa in 1899 & dedicated to all America's allied countries abroad.

 

        to read the article - click here

 

DID YOU KNOW  A REPORT  IN NASHVILLE'S "MUSIC REPORTER"  OF 23RD NOVEMBER 1963 REVEALED JIM REEVES  WAS  "IN AN  ADVANCED   COURSE  ON HOW TO FLY AN AIRPLANE."

To read  about it -  click here

 

      DID YOU KNOW  JIM REEVES WON THREE BILLBOARD MAGAZINE           AWARDS IN 1965?

Did you know Jim Reeves and Roger Miller were the major winners of Billboard magazine's  18th annual country music awards in October 1965? Both Jim Reeves and Roger Miller each won three of the fifteen awards. The awards were presented on Jimmy Dean's ABC-TV show which was taped at the Grand Ole Opry House.  Fifteen months after his death, Jim Reeves was voted 'favorite male artist of the year', and his RCA Victor LP album "The best of Jim Reeves" was chosen the favorite of the 1964-1965  and the all time favorite country music album.        

 

DID YOU KNOW  JIM REEVES SELDOM PERFORMED ON CHRISTMAS DAY?

Jim Reeves seldom performed on Christmas Day. On two occasions, however, he did perform on Christmas day. In  1954 he performed at the Merignac Air Force base at Bordeaux, France on a USA tour, and on Christmas Day, 1957  he performed live at the ABN  'The Jim Reeves Show' at WSM  Studio C in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jim and Mary Reeves usually spent the Christmas season visiting relatives and friends in Texas. Fifty years ago this year, during what was to be his last Christmas, they left for Texas on Christmas Day, and  returned home on January 7th.      

DID YOU KNOW THAT....?

Did you know Jim Reeves' album selection "We thank thee' was the very first song officially programmed on the brand new radio station WCVL when it went on the air at Crawfordsville , Indiana on December 12, 1965?

 

DID YOU KNOW  JIM REEVES JOINED THE CAST OF THE TENTH ANNUAL NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY MUSIC TOUR  IN 1959?

Did you know Jim Reeves joined the cast of the  10th Annual New Year's  holiday music tour, organised by Hal Peebles? It showcased artists such as Jim Reeves, Cowboy Copas, Hank Locklin, Kitty Wells, Bill Phillips, C. Cedric Rainwater, Johnny and Jack and their band The  Tennessee Mountain Boys, and Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. They gave shows in Sioux City, IO., Lincoln, Neb.,  Omaha, Neb.,  Wichita, Kan., Topeka, Kan.,  and Kansas City, Kan.  from December 29, 1959 to January 3, 1960.

In the week ending December 28th, 1959, Jim's single "He'll have to go" entered the Billboard's Pop Top 100 charts at position 58. It was on position 7 of the Billboard's Hot C&W  Sides charts,  it had entered the chart  4 weeks earlier.  Marty Robbins topped that chart with "El Paso" that week.  Kitty Wells was the only other artist of that group who'd had a record in that chart that week; "Amigo's Guitar", which stood one position higher than Jim's record.

DID YOU KNOW THAT AN BOTH JIM LOWE AND JIM REEVES RESPECTIVELY , ADVERTISED THEIR RECORDING OF "HE'LL HAVE TO GO' IN "THE MUSIC REPORTER"?


Jim Reeves recorded "He'll have to go"  on October 15, 1959 and the record got into the  "Billboard Hot C&W Sides" with a 26th position on  December 7, 1959. Jim Lowe covered the song  in December 1959 and advertised his recording in the January 18th, 1960  issue of The Music Reporter. It prompted Jim to put in an advertisement for his recording the following week, announcing "the only hit version is on RCA Victor!"  It sure was as hit version, it was  on the 2nd position of the C&W chart that week, reaching the Number One position on February 8, 1960.   

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT BEAR FAMILY’S LATEST BOX-SET REVEALS 7 (SEVEN) APPEARANCES BY JIM REEVES ON THE WEEKLY BIG ‘D’ JAMBOREE SHOW BROADCAST FROM DALLAS RADIO STATION KRMD?

To read  about it -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT IN SEPTEMBER 1979, 2 1/2 YEARS AFTER BEING INFORMED OF THE CLOSURE OF THE BRITISH FAN CLUB, MARY REEVES FINALLY WROTE A LETTER OF THANKS?
 

To read the letter -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT BRITAIN'S FIRST COUNTRY MUSIC NEWSPAPER "COUNTRY MUSIC ROUND UP" IN ITS SEPTEMBER 1977 ISSUE (VOL.1 NO.10) FEATURED A FULL PAGE ARTICLE HEADED "JIM REEVES - IT'S NOTHIN' TO ME" BY DAVID BUSSEY?

DAVID BUSSEY GIVES A VERY PERSONAL & HONEST ACCOUNT OF HIS DECISION TO TERMINATE THE FAN CLUB.
 

To read the his account    -  click here


DID YOU KNOW THAT ON 21ST SEPTEMBER 1977 DAVID BUSSEY RECEIVED A LETTER FROM JOHN MERRITT, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SUNBURY MUSIC, EXPRESSING HIS SADNESS AT THE END OF AN ERA?


David got to know John Merritt in the early days of the fan club. John was working out of the Decca Records headquarters on London's Albert Embankment, where Burlington Music was based. (It was a subsidiary of Decca Records.) John Nice was in charge and under him worked John Merritt & Martin Grinham. Burlington Music had worldwide control of Jim's publishing companies, except the USA & Canada. Messrs. Nice & Grinham soon left Burlington to form their own Valentine Music, and John was left at the helm. He worked unstintingly on Mary's catalogues & several Shannon releases in the UK. No other company or business supported the Jim Reeves fan club & what it was trying to achieve, like John & Burlington. Eventually John moved on to head Sunbury Music, RCA's UK publishing arm, but he continued to take an avid interest in the fan club's activities.
 

To read the letter -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE BRITISH WEEKLY TABLOID "REVEILLE" CARRIED A STORY ON THE DEMISE OF THE UK FAN CLUB IN ITS ISSUE OF JULY 29TH 1977?

To read the article -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THE FINAL ISSUE (NO.47) OF THE BRITISH FAN CLUB OFFICIAL MAGAZINE & NEWSLETTER WAS PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 1977?

To read the article -  click here
 

 

DID YOU KNOW THE IMPENDING CLOSURE OF THE OFFICIAL JIM REEVES FAN CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN WAS FIRST ANNOUNCED IN THE JUNE 1977 ISSUE (NO.46) OF THE CLUB MAGAZINE/NEWSLETTER, A MERE 2 MONTHS AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL JIM REEVES WEEK HELD IN APRIL?
 

To read the article -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JULY 13TH 1966 MARKED THE OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF THE JIM REEVES FAN CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN?
 

To view the 3 letters sent at the time to David Bussey by Mary Reeves  -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW IN MAY 1962 JIM HAD A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A SHARK WHILE ON A FISHING TRIP IN THE GULF OF MEXICO?



The US Fan Club Journal of August 1962 reported the event as "A fish tale," supported by a photo of Dean Manuel, Jim & Alex Zanetis on board the vessel "Captain Hornblower." The photo was used in the book but no there was no mention of the fish tale.
 

To read the article -  click here

 

 

DID YOU KNOW SINGER MARY KAY JAMES RELEASED A SINGLE OF "AM I LOSING YOU?" ON THE COLUMBIA LABEL IN 1978?

 

 

 

Little is known on the personal side of Mary Kay James. She was born Mary Kay Mulkey in Atlanta, Ga.. Her recording career lasted 7 years between 1973 & 1980, during which time 9 singles were released & one album. She released 3 singles for the JMI label in 1973/74. In the next 3 years, 3 singles were released on AVCO, essentially a pop/r&b label which went out of business in 1976. AVCO also released her album entitled "Sweet lovin' time." In 1974 & 75 she had 4 singles in the Cashbox Top 100 Country Chart, highest position reached being no.31, the remainder hitting only the lower reaches of the chart.
 

She moved to Columbia in 1977 & in 2 years released 2 singles, one of which is the single featured here, "Am I losing you?" c/w "Think I'll say goodbye", (3-10717) released on 15th June 1978". Neither made the charts. She released her final single in 1980 "Last days of love" c/w "What's going on with you?" on Gusto.

                               PLEASE NOTE THE MUSIC PUBLISHER IS RONDO ON THE RECORD LABEL

David Bussey

Scan courtesy: Kurt Rokitta

 

DID YOU KNOW MARY REEVES WROTE A MESSAGE AND SIGNED A BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPH DURING THE JIM REEVES WEEK IN HARROGATE, IN 1977?

To  view the picture -  click here


DID YOU KNOW THAT MARY REEVES HAD HER OWN (COLOUR) PUBLICITY PICTURE FOR SHANNON RECORDS?

To  view the picture -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT  JIM’S  SONG  “AM I LOSING YOU?”  WAS RECORDED AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS  IN WASHINGTON  AS  A  TUCKAHOE MUSIC  COPYRIGHT  ON  1st  JUNE 1981?

To read the article -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT DAVID BUSSEY (aka BUFFEY) MADE HIS FIRST LIVE BROADCAST ON BBC RADIO 2 42 YEARS AGO ON 26TH JULY 1971?


He was invited to appear on the Beeb's flagship country music show "Countrystyle" presented by Pat Campbell & produced by Bill Bebb, on 26th July 1971 in studio 1, Broadcasting House, London. The show was broadcast from 7.03pm - -8.00pm and his contribution consisted of a 14 minutes illustrated talk on Jim Reeves. He was paid the princely sum of £10 plus his railfare from Harrogate to London (£7.35 return.)


Unlike today's specialist radio output, when much is pre-recorded and put out to tender to independent production companies, the show was live with BBC engineers & producers.

David kept his BBC agreement/contract form but didn't manage to tape the show and has never heard it. Maybe someone has a copy?
 


 

COURTESY: DAVID BUSSEY SCRAPBOOKS


 

DID YOU KNOW THAT IN APRIL 1967 THE JIM REEVES ENTERPRISES HAD THEIR OWN "DID YOU KNOW THAT?????"

Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks

DID YOU KNOW JIM WAS FEATURED IN COLOUR WITH SOME PEARLS OF WISDOM ON THE COVER OF "THE MUSIC REPORTER YEAR-END TRADE REVIEW 1962?

 

Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT IN A PRESS ADVERT FOR HIS LATEST RCA VICTOR SINGLE "ADIOS AMIGO," DATED 7TH MAY 1962, JIM EXPRESSED HIS GRATITUDE IN SPANISH TO DELEGATES ATTENDING THE MUSIC OPERATORS OF AMERICA 12TH ANNUAL CONVENTION & TRADE SHOW, HELD ON MAY 6TH, 7TH & 8TH AT THE MORRISON HOTEL, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS?

 

   

Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks


 

DID YOU KNOW THAT BY JULY 1957, THE MUCH HERALDED OFFICIAL JIM REEVES FAN CLUB JOURNAL HAD BECOME A 2 - PAGE BULLETIN?

To read click here

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT 49 1/2 YEARS AGO, DAVID BUSSEY WROTE A COUPLE OF LETTERS TO JIM?  ON EACH OCCASION, JIM WAS AWAY ON TOUR & MOST LIKELY NEVER READ THEM. HOWEVER, JOYCE GRAY, JIM'S SECRETARY TOOK THE TIME & TROUBLE TO REPLY.

To read the letters click here  

 

 

IS THIS ADVERT THE CLUE THAT GAVE THE GAME AWAY ALL THOSE YEARS AGO?

 


Decades before Don Howard gave away his mother's lifetime secrets to the great storyteller, Reeves sleuths were avidly questioning the wisdom of a publishing arrangement that suggested more than met the eye. The advert gave rise to suspicions of clandestine goings on down at Rondo Music, a fledgling California music publishing company barely off the ground, and what's even stranger, owned and run by a woman, something virtually unknown at the time in country music. Just why Jim Reeves, who had total pananoia of music publishers & their inability to ever pay him his dues, having placed his trust with Tree Music in Nashville, should now place just one of his own cherished compositions, and one which he had the utmost faith in as a hit song, with an unknown, unproven West Coast outfit, led to much conjecture and debate over the years. Surely he must have realised there were many more reliable & established major music West Coast publishers to deal with like Central Songs, Four Star or Golden West Melodies. But as we now know, he had a hidden and secretive agenda with this woman.

On 16th February 1957, the magazine "Country Music Reporter" in its column from Hollywood, headed "Jim Reeves tune not for sale" revealed "The new Jim Reeves tune "Am I losing you?" is not for sale, Bea Terry, music publisher, (Rondo) announced here this week. Bea said 3 publishers to date have made offers on the song. Reeves recorded the song on RCA Victor and the record has been given high ratings on deejay preference listings. Pop versions of the song are being planned and extensive exploitation of the song is being handled by Bea and Jim's manager, Herb Shucher."

The song had been recorded in just one take on 18th July 1956 and copyrighted by the Library of Congress on 2nd October 1956 as an unpublished song, indicating that it had not been placed with Rondo Music or any other music publishing company on that date. The RCA single (20/47-6749) was released in November 1956 and entered the Billboard Country Singles Chart on 12th January 1957 reaching the no.3 position. It remained there a lengthy 18 weeks.

Those sleuths who put 2 and 2 together at the time, and came up with 4, had to wait until 2011 to get their correct answer ratified. The song eventually became a number 1 country hit in 1981 for Ronnie Milsap.

Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks
 

DID YOU KNOW IN 1953 BEA TERRY WROTE A MONTHLY COLUMN "FOLK MUSIC & ITS FOLKS" FOR THE MAGAZINE "SOUTHERN FARM & HOME" BASED IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA?


To view the column from the January 1954 issue -
here
 

 

DID YOU KNOW COUNTRY SUPERSTAR CHARLEY PRIDE PAID TRIBUTE TO JIM ON HIS VERY FIRST RCA VICTOR ALBUM IN 1966? THE ALBUM “COUNTRY CHARLEY PRIDE” WENT ON TO ACHIEVE GOLD STATUS.
 

Charley Pride, the only black country music superstar, has been one of the most successful country singers ever, and has rightly become a legend. Between his chart debut in 1966 and 1989, he had 29 number one country hits. He was signed by Chet Atkins to RCA in 1965 who purchased his first two master recordings from producer Jack Clement and his first single “The snakes crawl at night” c/w “Atlantic Coastal Line” was released in January 1966. His race was shielded by the label on country radio for his first 3 single releases, before his colour was finally revealed. With album sales in excess of 70 million, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and is a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Many Reeves fans will be aware of Charley’s superb 2001 cd “A Tribute to Jim Reeves” on Music City Records produced by himself & Ronny Light. Among the studio musicians were

Pig Robbins (piano), Sonny Garish (steel guitar), Charley McCoy (vibes) & Leo Jackson (acoustic guitar.) His unique performance of 15 evergreen Reeves hits is outstanding. His statement in the liner notes is testament to his sincere admiration for the man.

“Jim Reeves was just so smooth. I was always a fan of his music and way back when I was singing in the clubs when I started out, I always sang some Jim Reeves tunes. When he sang, man it was inspiring. Songs like ‘He’ll have to go’, ‘Four walls’, man I still sing those in my shows. This album comes from the heart, from my respect for Jim and my love of his music.”

What Charley neglected to say, and is not so well known among Reeves fans, is that two of the first nine songs he ever recorded in the RCA studios were Jim Reeves hits which he did not include on his 2001 tribute album. On 6th May 1966, his first session, among the 5 songs, he recorded Jim’s first country hit for RCA “Yonder comes a sucker” (47-6200) which hit the Billboard country charts on 20th August 1955, reaching the no.4 spot.

The more amazing fact is that during his 2nd RCA session on 9th May 1966 when he recorded another 4 tracks, he included Jim’s then current smash “Distant Drums” which on the session date was firmly entrenched at the top of the Billboard country charts. Charley must have been impressed with the song to want to include it amongst a collection of what were essentially old country hits. The songs recorded during these 2 sessions were included in his first RCA album “Country Charley Pride” (LSP3645) released in September 1966, the album sleeve’s colour pic of him, being the label’s first public admission that this new country kid on the block was indeed black. His fans loved it & the album was certified gold in 1967.

Yes, it was fact. Charley had included Jim’s first RCA country hit & his current hit on his debut album.

A sincere tribute indeed.
 

David Bussey

 

DID YOU KNOW A SMALL TEXAS TOWN ON THE BORDER OF NEW MEXICO WAS QUICK TO HONOUR JIM AFTER HIS DEATH?

 

A newspaper article from 28th August 1964, headed "Park named for Reeves" revealed a park in the town of Morton, Cochran County, Texas, had been named in memory of Jim. The town of around 2 thousand is situated on State Highway 114, 20 miles east of the New Mexico border & 57 miles NW of Lubbock.

MORTON, Tex. - Jim Reeves Memories Park was dedicated Aug. 22 to honor the late country music star. The city council gave its unanimous approval to a proposal by Mayor Dean Weatherly to name the park after Reeves. Reeves, a former star of the Grand Ole Opry, was killed when his plane crashed at Nashville, Tenn.

Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JANUARY 1957 SAW THE VERY FIRST ISSUE OF THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE JIM REEVES FAN CLUB?

 

 

 

To read the complete issue  -  click here

 

DID YOU KNOW IN AUGUST 1973 IN NASHVILLE, MARY REEVES WAS HARD AT WORK CO-PRODUCING SHANNON RECORDINGS BY WILMA BURGESS & GEORGE KENT, WHILE DAVID BUSSEY WAS BUSY DOING INTERVIEWS?




 

Note at this point in time, Jim Reeves Enterprises were still operating out of 2 offices. Joyce Jackson ran the downtown office in the RCA building on 806 17th Ave, South, and Mary Reeves, Darla Kent & Ginny King were based in the Madison office.

Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks

 


COULD THIS 60 YR OLD TYPEWRITTEN PAGE BE ONE OF THE VERY FIRST JIM REEVES FAN CLUB NEWSLETTERS?

 

 


Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT DURING THE TIME OF JIM REEVES' RADIO SHOW,  STEVE SHOLES WORKED BEHIND THE SCENES TO PROMOTE JIM'S LATEST RECORD ON THE SHOW?


The Jim Reeves Show ran during the latter part of 1957 and into the early months of 1958. In the Fall of 1957, Jim's single release was, "Anna Marie", written by Texas song smith Cindy Walker. As of November 20, 1957, the song had sold almost 50,000 copies. The RCA executives were pleased, but they wanted more.

In a letter to Jim, RCA's Artist & Repertoire Single Records Manager, Steve Sholes wrote:

"I highly recommend that you promote both sides of this record, but particularly, ANNA MARIE, to the best of your ability."

But Sholes did not intend to leave all of the promotion to Jim. He told Jim:

"I have already written to Jack Stapp asking him to arrange for you to program this about two or three times a week on your radio show."

So, if you have heard Jim's radio shows and you have noticed that sometimes Jim performed his then current release several times a week, you know now that it was because he was encouraged to do so by the RCA executives, obviously in an attempt to sell more records.

Frank C. Anderson

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM'S "LET ME LOVE YOU JUST A LITTLE" TOPPED K-NUZ HOUSTON'S HILLBILLY HIT
PARADE FOR WEEK ENDING 5TH JUNE 1953?



Courtesy: David Bussey scrapbooks

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM RECEIVED THIS COPY OF "JIMMY'S JOURNAL" - PUBLISHED BY THE JIMMY COX FAN CLUB EVERY 3 MONTHS?
 


We don't know if Jim was officially a member of the fan club & had paid his dues of $1 per year, but he certainly was in receipt of this issue of their journal. But just who was Jimmy Cox? Truth is we had no idea. There is no information about him in the usual research sources, but we did find just one reference to him on the internet which provides at least some background material.

To find out more about Jimmy Cox, go to: www.pueblocitylimits.com/2011/11/jimmy-cox.html

 Scan: David Bussey scrapbooks

 

JIM ED BROWN COMMENTS ON THE PICTURE ON THE COVER OF THE JIMMY COX FAN CLUB MAGAZINE:


"That was not Elvis sitting on the couch. That was Jerry Rowley,  a fiddle player that worked with us back then and recorded with us. He played fiddle on "Mexican Joe", "Looking Back To See", and many more that was recorded in Shreveport. Jimmy Cox was a D. J. Jerry's wife, Evelyn is where Floyd Cramer got the little riff that he used so much on his records."

 

DID YOU KNOW A BUNCH OF MUSIC BIZ CELEBRITIES ATTENDED JIM’S 40th BIRTHDAY BASH (OR WAS IT HIS 39th?)


The Music Reporter magazine gave heed to Jim’s birthday celebrations in it’s issue of 31st August 1963.

MUSIC BIZ NAMES HELP REEVES MARK BIRTHDAY


“Nashville - Music biz celebrities and area business chiefs turned out last week to mark the birthday of RCA Victor balladeer Jim Reeves at the star’s home in suburban Madison. Among the guests were Mr. & Mrs. Chet Atkins, Mr. & Mrs. Dean Manuel, Leo Jackson, Mr & Mrs. Ray Baker, Billy Walker, Mrs. Jimmy Newman & son Gary, Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Lamb, Mr. & Mrs. Alex Zanetis, Mr. & Mrs. Neal Merritt and Joyce Gray. (strange that there’s no mention of Cindy Walker & her mum who apparently attended.)

Also attending were Mr. & Mrs. Ben Edmondson, Mr & Mrs. Jack Wehby and Mr. & Mrs. Peck Leslie. The latter business men are golfing partners of Jim’s & Leslie is the Golf Pro at the Bluegrass Country Club here. Mr. & Mrs. Jim Reeves were hosts for the outdoor affair.”

To those fans who don’t already know, this birthday shindig, where the wine flowed freely and fun was had by all, was the scenario of the infamous tale recorded by both authors of the Reeves biographies. On page 178 of Streissguth’s “Like a moth to a flame,” we read that author’s half page account of eyewitness Alex Zanetis’ view of Jim’s unseemly behaviour towards Mary at the party. The author of the “Untold Story” on page 514 took obsessive umbrage to this, & proceeded to slag off Zanetis who he had never bothered to interview. In a hypocritical one & a half page outburst, he quotes a total of 9 character witnesses in order to rubber stamp his attacks and confirm his slant on what did or didn’t happen that night. Half his referees weren’t even at the party. To cap it all, he states “Streissguth quoted the songwriter without providing any corroboration.” Once more it’s the pot calling the kettle black. Who needs corroboration in your untold story when you’re a most convincing storyteller?

Press clipping: David Bussey scrapbooks

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM WAS AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE BILL LYON'S FAN CLUB?
 


Bill Lyon was a country music artist from Michigan who, in 1958  had a show on WPBN-TV in Traverse City, Michigan. Bill owned his own record label BMJ and by 1958 had issued three singles. One of these   was said to have made several Top Ten Lists on  Michigan Country Music radio stations back then. By 1961 he was doing shows over the new Channel 4, WTOM-TV based in Cheboygan, Michigan.

membership card: courtesy of Jean de Prijcker
 
ibio info: www.hillbilly-music.com

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM'S SECRETARY JOYCE GRAY WAS ONCE A MEMBER OF THE DONNA DARLENE FAN CLUB?
 

 

In the mid 1950's, Donna Darlene could be heard singing on the WWVA Jamboree Wheeling, West Virginia. where she was a part of the Dusty Owens and his Rodeo Boys show. She did a duet with Dusty on his legendary "Once More" song that he wrote. She was first married to Doug Kershaw and later married the legendary steel guitar and  dobro player, Shot Jackson.  In May 1959 she joined Jim on a tour which also took them to Eastern parts of the USA and Canada.  On the Country Music Time 112 Forces show, hosted by Jim Reeves, Darlene sings the song "Yes There's a reason". It got included in the Bear Family CD box "Jim Reeves, Radio Days", Vol. 1.".  Ms. Donna Darlene is believed to be still performing at special occasions.
 

Scan: courtesy by Jean de Prijcker

 

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM'S EARLY SOUTH AFRICAN 78 RPM SHELLAC DISCS WERE  RELEASED ON THE  BRITISH DECCA LABEL?

 
Despite Gilbert Gibson's submission that Jim was not popular in South Africa until his 1960 hit "He'll have to go", there is evidence to show he had record releases in that country at least 5 years before.

 

Please  click here to  read   about it

 

 

DID YOU KNOW THE SOUTH AFRICA SUNDAY EXPRESS REPORTER WENT A LITTLE ASTRAY IN HIS ARTICLE OF 9th SEPTEMBER 1962?

Newspaper cutting: from the Arie den Dulk collection


He had apparently interviewed Jim before he returned home from his South African tour in August/September 1962, but somehow his reporting was a bit hit & miss. Jim had already recorded "Ek verlang na jou" in Nashville on 23rd July 1962 as one of four Afrikaans songs for the proposed album "In Suid Afrika", due to be released there prior to the tour. The song had already been copyrighted in the U.S. by Gilbert Gibson's Sun Pacific Music on 1st July 1962 under its Afrikaans title "Ek verlang na jou" & English title "I am crying again." The song was incorrectly attributed to Reeves on the RCA studio documentation when it was overdubbed on 27th February 1963. No overdubbing took place, merely Jim adding his little piece of vocal to the original master recording. No musician was in attendance, only Jim, producer Chet Atkins & engineer Tommy Strong. However, someone in the clerical department created a new recording sheet with the correct songwriter amended to Gilbert Gibson. It is also interesting to note that Reeves had commandeered all 4 Afrikaans songs on the February 1963 overdub session for his own Tuckahoe Music. So where the reporter's title of "I'm crying for you" came from, is anyone's guess. Also surprising is the length of Gibson's songwriting career up to that point in time, & the reporter calling him "a 34 year old publicity man."
 

David Bussey

 

    DID YOU KNOW THAT THE WILBURN BROTHERS FATHER WROTE A FAN LETTER TO JIM?


The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, were a very popular country music act. They were the last of the great brother duos, following Bill and Charlie Monroe and Ira and Charlie Louvin.

As a brother act, they recorded for Decca Records and were members of The Grand Ole Opry. But before becoming a duo, they were part of a family act, The Wilburn Children.

Born in Hardy, Arkansas in the 1930s, they became performers at an early age, along with their sister, Geraldine, and their brothers, Leslie and Lester. The driving force behind this child act was their father, Benjamin E."Pop" Wilburn.

Pop Wilburn was a disabled veteran of World War I, who had high aspirations for his children. One year he bought musical instruments for them, and soon they began performing on street corners and wherever else Pop could arrange for them to appear.

By 1958, the Wilburn family act consisted simply of Teddy and Doyle as headliners and they were living in Nashville. That same year, Pop Wilburn heard a DJ interview Jim Reeves on the radio and afterwards play one of Jim's songs,"I've Lived a Lot in My Time". Although he was retired from the music business, Pop still maintained an interest in the business and passed the time writing poetry.

Pop was so impressed with the interview and song that he wrote a fan letter to Jim and composed a poem based on the song.

That letter and poem are reproduced here in scan form. Other performer's parents enjoyed Jim's music, but this may be the only time one was moved to write both a fan letter and poem after listening to one of Jim's songs.

To read the letter click here

Frank C. Anderson

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM CELEBRATED HIS 39th BIRTHDAY IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA?


On Monday 20th August 1962 Jim was about to commence his South African tour at the Ellis Park Centre Court Stadium in Johannesburg. The day also marked his 39th birthday. Before the performance he sent off a letter home for the benefit of all his fans. The letter was to be included in the August issue of the US fan club magazine.
 

 To read the letter click here

David Bussey

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT BOTH JIM REEVES AND ELVIS PRESLEY OWNED A MARTIN D28 GUITAR?



Jim Reeves acquired  his Martin D28 guitar when Leo Jackson selected it  in a music shop during a trip to  New York for a performance in the JIMMY DEAN SHOW in the Spring of 1964.  He  played it onstage during the April 1964  European tour  and very likely at every stage show thereafter until he died. After his death it was looked after and played by Leo Jackson, Jim's lead guitar player, until his death in 2008.

In October 1976 in a phone call,  Elvis talked about his brand new Martin D28 guitar and how much he loved it. He played on it all night until he had blisters.  He used it on his last concert at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, IN on June 26, 1977 for a crowd of 18,000.   It is now on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM USED A LOS ANGELES PRINTER TO PRINT MANY OF HIS EARLY SHOW POSTERS? 


In the mid 1950's. there were several ways by which country music fans could learn of an impending appearance in their area by their favorite performer. They could perhaps read an advertisement in the local newspaper. They might hear an announcement on the radio or television. Or they could read about it on a show poster placed in a store window.
 
From very early in his career Jim Reeves used show posters to advertise his shows and dances. Posters were a common advertising medium for entertainment for many decades. When he recorded for the Abbott label (owned by Fabor Robinson) Jim used at least two different poster printing businesses, one in Shreveport, Louisiana and another one in Los Angeles, California.
 
Although he resided in Shreveport, Jim's professional base was essentially in Los Angeles. His record company was there, as were some of the publishing companies which published the songs Jim recorded. His manager, Fabor Robison was there, too. And Los Angeles was also the home of the Colby Poster Printing Company.
 
Founded in 1946, Colby Poster Printing Company was a family-run business which printed commercial and political posters, as well as general use signs. When Jim bought posters from Colby to advertise his shows and dances, he often bought 1,000 (one thousand) at a time. As his manager ( they did have a management contract) Fabor Robison apparently ordered the posters for Jim, then sent the bills to Jim to pay.
 
Unfortunately, very few original Jim Reeves show posters have survived, even though they were printed in the thousands. The usual pattern was, for Jim as well as every other entertainment act, to discard the poster after the show. Then thousands more were printed for other shows in other places. Then those posters, too, ended up in the waste can, with few exceptions.
If you are fortunate enough to have an original Jim Reeves show poster, then you have a rare item indeed.

We have posted scans of an invoice,  dated September 1954, and a Yellow Jim Reeves card. To view them, please  click here.

Courtesy:   Frank C. Anderson

DID YOU KNOW JOYCE JACKSON ATTENDED A SEARCH PARTY FOR JIM REEVES AND DEAN MANUEL?

In the latest issue of the Jim Reeves fan club magazine, of July 2013, we have published a world exclusive interview with Ruth Grammer, with special thanks to fan club member Frank C. Anderson. Ruth Grammer, is the widow of guitarist and singer Billy Grammer and was a close friend of Jim and Mary Reeves. She was a member of Mary's bowling team. In the interview she recalls her memories about the tragic weekend in which Jim Reeves and Dean Manuel were killed. When they went missing, she went over to the Reeves home and stayed with Mary until she told Jim's secretary Joyce Jackson and other ladies that she had an idea where the plane had come down, which was not far from her house. A whole crowd had gathered in one of the parks, way off where Ruth thought the plane might have come down. Ruth, Joyce and a couple of the other ladies went to her house and they put on special clothing and shoes so they would not get hurt by bugs, poison ivy and such.

She drove to the spot she believed the plane might be, which was 1,5 miles from her house . There was one car parked ; it was between a couple of houses. They climbed over a couple of fences till they got to a little driveway at the back of one of the houses and came face to face with a civil defence man. Ruth looked at him and said: "You found the plane". He said "Yes, and you are not going any further". The ladies went back to Mary. Later Joyce and Ruth went to identify the body of Jim Reeves. It irritated Ruth when she read in Joyce's book that she had identified Jim's body. She does not understand why she didn't mention her. Joyce was the main one who knew the identity of a piece of a shirt, on which body it was on, whether it was Jim or Dean. They both went to the mortuary. The guy said that it would be tough and they both said they could handle it. Ruth had never seen so many maggots in her life. Both bodies were in plastic bags but they wanted to know which belonged to Jim. Joyce did identify Jim by his shirt. "Joyce and me, we two went in. Ray Baker may have been there too, but he didn't come with us".

In her book Joyce acknowledged she was a good friend of Ruth Grammer and tells a few stories. But nowhere in the book does she write about having been at the crash scene just after the wreckage was found. In her book she mentioned she doesn't remember much of that weekend. Could it be she is suffering from post traumatic stress, caused by viewing the mutilated body parts of Jim and Dean? How much value can we attribute to her stories about the events of that weekend, in her own book and in Jordan´s book.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT A NEW CD BY JIM IS FORTHCOMING ?

 
World Exclusive! Stop the presses! Don't touch those keyboards! We have learned from our huge network of world-wide confidential sources (actually, we saw it on the Internet) that a new Jim Reeves CD is "forthcoming"! Although a self-published book about Jim was "forthcoming" for 12 or 13 years, we're hoping that this new "forthcoming" CD will not be "forthcoming" nearly that long.

Here's the scoop from the Internet:

According to a posting on that site that sells books and CDs and formerly sold silver coins, the guy behind the site:

"...has uncovered complete (half hour) shows of Jim hosting the Opry.

These shows are now being indexed, professionally cleaned up by an audio lab, and all the legal groundwork laid for them to be released in the future. No timetable can be given at this time, but be assured the work is proceeding.

The quantity and quality of material that has been discovered in recent months is sure to warm the hearts of Jim's many fans around the world.

...it's good to know that for once some 'choice ' material by Jim has surfaced and is in the hands of the right people, who will share with fans. You can rest assured of this."

How exciting! A new CD with Jim hosting the Opry! Thank goodness it's in the hands of "the right people", too. If the wrong people got hold of Reeves material or information, they could damage Jim's image.Why, they could tell all kinds of trashy stories about Jim and not have any documentation to back up what they said. They could release sub-standard music which Jim would have never wanted to be released. No true fan of Jim Reeves would want to harm his legacy, right? Thank goodness we can "rest assured" those folks would never harm the image of Gentleman Jim. After all, how many dozens of times did that guy attack Mike Streissguth claiming Mike portrayed Jim in a less than favorable light? Yes, sir, we'll certainly rest assured tonight knowing that material is in "the right hands".

Uh-oh. Wait a minute. Hold on.

That is disappointing. There seems to be a problem with the information about the new CD. It seems that it comes from a posting made on July 24, 2002. That is 11 years ago. Hmmm. What happened, why was the CD never released? There must be an explanation. After all, there is always an explanation from the individual behind the book and the sites.

Of course, we don't know why the CD is still in "forthcoming" status. The self-published book was in "forthcoming" status for 12 or 13 years. Maybe next year will be the year the CD moves from "forthcoming" to available. Or maybe not.

Or perhaps when the individual behind the site was laying "the legal groundwork", the owner of the Opry laid some legal groundwork of his own.

Perhaps the individual behind the site was busy with other things. He does admit to playing golf. Maybe he was on the links much of the time during the past 11 years.They say golf is good for the heart and the nerves.

Perhaps the guy, back in 2002, did not know how to get around the US copyright laws by having CDs released overseas.

Whatever the reason for the "forthcoming" status on the CD, surely the fans will welcome it whenever it is no longer "forthcoming". Whenever that might be.

Frank C. Anderson

 DID YOU KNOW THAT FREDERICK J.  BUNYAN WROTE AN   ARTICLE   “FINAL FLIGHT  -  JIM REEVES”?
 

In the book to end all books, the author devotes much time and effort into formulating his opinionated disquisition into the most nauseous & repugnant part of his story -  the tragic, untimely death of Jim Reeves in an air crash.  Using pilot Bill Larson as his star witness with 42 mentions,  the blow by blow narrative is expounded at a rate of knots.

 But there was another player in this sad story who the author seems to brush aside almost disdainfully.   Mr. Frederick J. Bunyan, with a mere 11 throwaway namedropping referrals as “salesman” and finally “hustler” is given short shrift.  Once you have read his article you will appreciate his story should have equal billing with Mr. Larson’s.

 Not a great deal is known of Mr. Bunyan.  If he hadn’t been a seriously qualified individual, he would not have had his position with Southeastern Beechcraft in Nashville.   He was born 18th September 1921 & died in Nashville 10th May 1994 aged 72.  In fact, on 1st January 1966 he had a book published in the Modern Aircraft Series entitled “Your Jet Pilot Rating.”

Mr. Bunyan's article was published originally in the New Dutch Jim Reeves Fan Club magazine No 13 of August 1978.  It had a 2 page addendum to Bunyan's 3 page piece written by Arie den Dulk.   It re-appeared in book no. 33 of David Bussey’s scrapbooks in between adverts for John Rex Reeves’ 1978 UK tour. 

 

                          To read  Fred J. Bunyan’s article - click here

David Bussey

 

 

DID YOU KNOW SOME OLD POSTCARDS CAN BE UTTERLY REVEALING?

Especially ones 68 years old concerning and written by Jim Reeves.   He was only 21 years of age, 1024 miles away from home, lonely, homesick, missing his friends and family (especially his mother Beulah),   and not enjoying the Virginia weather when he decided on Thursday, May 3rd 1945 to write a postcard to his mother.  He loved getting letters reminding him of people he’d left behind, and was constantly reminding those not writing often enough to not forget him.  Here we have just your average country guy with very little self-confidence,  no real career, no star quality, a less than impressive  professional sports CV to brag on, no ego, and no weaknesses or vices  which were to beset him later in life. At times like these he must have felt a sense of disappointment and maybe failure. He had taken long enough with his decision to make the  move to Lynchburg, Virginia  after giving backword,  or was just not picked up the previous year.  One gets a clear feeling that he wasn’t keen on upping his roots.  He had turned his back on a college education and the chance to at least give himself  some sort of paper qualification to fall back on.  But  three things he never lacked - the American dream, perseverance  and a genuine love of hillbilly music.   

He was ensconced at the Arlington Hotel,  Seventh & Court Streets,  Lynchburg, Virginia.  The postcard he was writing, as well as the  picture, give us a description of  this “Modern fireproof hotel.  Two blocks from the heart of the business district.  A charming, convenient and economical place at which to stop.  Room, bath & free parking.”  Lynchburg, known as the “City of Seven Hills”, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is situated approx. 180 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C..

 

(This is NOT a reproduction  from the front of the postcard Jim sent to his mother)

He had received a telegram from Wallake (should be Wallace) McKenna, business manager of the Lynchburg Cardinals baseball team dated March 19th 1945  which read:   “Upon receipt of your signed contract we will mail you transportation to Lynchburg.  You will also be furnished with room & board during Spring training.”   Training began the first Monday in April.  The Western Union telegram was delivered to Jim’s correct address in Shreveport at 2814 Milton Street, though the telegram was addressed to J.T. Reeves, 2814 Melton Sport.   It was signed for by Mrs. J.D. Thomas (Jim’s sister Vergie) with whom he was residing at the time.  Jim must have been out at the time,  and the telegram is interestingly marked “Firestone Tire Co” in what appears to be Vergie’s handwriting, indicating the possibility that Jim was already employed at Firestone in early March 1945.

Lynchburg Cardinals were a Minor League baseball team who played in the Piedmont League between 1943 & 1955.  They acted as one of over thirty farm teams supplying talent to the Major League’s St. Louis Cardinals. The Lynchburg City Stadium ( a former fairground) took two years to complete and housed football & baseball. It hosted its first baseball game on April 11th 1940.  At the time there was no outfield fence, scoreboard or lights, but 7000 folks crowded into its 4000 seat bowl for the inaugural game - a pre-season exhibition between NY Yankees & the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Once the regular season began, Lynchburg Senators fielded a team in the Class B Piedmont League and was affiliated with Washington Senators.

                                          

Jim’s postcard was addressed to:   Mrs. M.B. Reeves, c/o L.H. Reeves, Bethany, Louisiana.

It read:    Dear Mother,   How are you feeling?  I am doing fine and hope you are well.  It has been raining here for the past two days, but the sun came out this  afternoon.  Write to me soon and tell Vergie to write.  Tell all hello for me.  I’ll be thinking of you.    Love,      Travis

 Just plain old fashioned pleasantries between mother & son.  No exciting mention of his new baseball career which on that date had yet to begin.   He pitched his first game five days later on Tuesday, May 8th.  In Britain & the U.S., May 8th 1945 was celebrated as V-E (or VE) day, standing for Victory in Europe day, to mark the official end to World War II.  Alas, a mere month later on June 7th he was sacked  after just 6 games for the team and not a win to show for it!.   American authors have covered extensively  the baseball career of  Jim Reeves and those this side of the pond either don’t understand it or just aren’t interested.   Suffice it to say, the biggest chance he’d ever get at a major league baseball career had gone forever.  In his defence, the team didn’t do much better without him, hiring & firing pitchers at will.  In the 1945 season when a roster of 45 team players were registered,  the team used a total of 18 different pitchers, 7 of whom never reached Jim’s 6 game total.  Virginia has never had a major league baseball team.

 The address on the postcard yielded yet more interesting unknown information. 

The Mrs. Mary Beulah Reeves is of course Jim’s mother.  No one knew  the identity of   L.H. Reeves until John Rex Reeves came up with the answer.  The name belonged to Lorenzo Hulan Reeves, one of Jim’s elder brothers, born in 1908, who within the Reeves family was commonly known as Hulan.  He died, aged 52  from a brain tumour in 1960.  John’s answer stated:

“Lorenzo Hulan Reeves was my uncle.  He was a welder for United Gas Pipeline. My father was the section foreman for the Latex gas fields of United Gas.  Our family lived in a community called LaTex which was only about 3 miles from Bethany, La., and our address was Rt.1, Bethany, Louisiana because LaTex didn’t have a post office until later.  LaTex was changed to Panola when I was about  12 years old when they got the post office.  I grew up there which is about 3 miles from Bethany where I attended 1st through the 7th grades in school.  It is west of Bethany on Highway 79 just out of Louisiana.  The United Gas Compressor Station was the center of La Tex/Panola  population of 165.  It was only a bump in the road.  I have walked on almost every foot of Latex.  Beulah lived in Deberry about 2 miles from them, so she probably had friends all around as most  people did.”

Bethany & Deberry are 2 incorporated communities in Panola County along with Clayton, Corinth, Deadwood Galloway, Long Branch, Murvaul & Panola.   DeBerry (or De Berry) sits at the junction of US Highway 79 and Farm Roads 31 & 1794 in NE Panola County and  14 miles NE of Carthage. Discovery of oil in the twenties led to a population boom, but since then it remains around the 200 mark.

The final notable piece of the postcard Jim sent, is the date he wrote it.  As he scrawled, he couldn’t possibly have known the significance of May 3rd 1945 to the history of mankind.  That date the  British army XII Corps took the city of Hamburg while the RAF tragically sank 3 ships in Lubeck Bay killing 7500 prisoners (mainly Jewish)  rescued from the concentration camps.  This hush-hush disaster became the world’s greatest shipping loss of life,  far eclipsing the sinking of the Titanic   Military historians now recognise that date as being the beginning of the end of World War II.  In five days the Nazis surrendered unconditionally at Reims, France  and the European war was finally over.

Very soon, mothers & families would be  re-united with their sons safely returning to Britain & the United States from the battlefields of Europe.   Oh what joy & celebration there must have been!  In  Deberry, Panola County, East Texas in early June 1945,  Beulah Reeves was waiting patiently for the return of her youngest son.   He would need a mother’s love and support at this time in his life.  

David Bussey

Courtesy:    Frank C. Anderson

Thanks:       John Rex Reeves

 

 

 DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES ONCE HAD A SECRETARY CALLED MARY SHANNON?
 


In a 1980 interview with BBC Radio 2 producer Colin Chandler, Mary Reeves Davis discusses things.

CC: How much did you overlap with the professional life? Did you gradually get involved in the..... like travelling on the road and things?

MRD: Yeah. Um, I did a lot of that, um, even as far as the bookings and uh, answering some of his personal mail, his fan mail, some of it, although most of that was done himself. Um, mainly what I did was the um, business letters that he would either dictate or if he was away for six weeks at a time, which he was a lot of times, had to be answered in the interim. Uh, if I knew what the answer would be, then I would write it that way, subject to his approval, of course, or disapproval. Um, and I changed my name by the way too, so nobody would know who it was, actually......doing his mail. (laughter) My name was Mary Shannon, isn't that interesting? Why would I choose that name? I have no idea. I just think it was pretty, and uh..... because then, during that era, it was not proper. We didn't think anyway, for an artist's wife or an entertainer's wife to be doing his uh ..... letters and more particularly to be doing his booking, because the booking agents didn't really like to deal with a woman first of all. Um, and most of them were men which I've never felt any kind of um...um... well, let's see what's the word, any pressure from anybody else except that one field because, simply because I'm a female, not because I was Jim's wife because they didn't know that. But it was simply uh, a male world and that's the only world I've felt any pressure, uh ....in... in that I was in, you know. I've always been accepted as a business woman or whatever I was supposed to be at that time, you know, whatever field.

Excerpted from a BBC transcribed interview. Courtesy: David Bussey

 

DID YOU KNOW SOMEONE AT RCA ITALIANA FORGOT TO POST JIM´S POSTCARD HOME?
 

On Friday 17th August 1962, Jim Reeves, the Blue Boys, Chet Atkins & Floyd Cramer were en route to tour South Africa. Mid morning they landed at Rome airport for a 12 hour stopover. They were met by RCA Italiana bigwigs and for the rest of the morning & afternoon were entertained with wining, dining and sightseeing. They made a whistlestop tour of the beautiful city which according to the postcard Jim wrote home to Mary, included "St. Peter's Cathedral, The Fountains of Rome, & The Colosseum." The postcard was a picture of the Piazza del Campidoglio (Campidoglio's square) and so this must have been on their itinery of sites to be visited.

The Piazza del Campidoglio is located on top of Capitol Hill and houses the headquarters of the Italian government. Here you can also find the statue of She-wolf with the twins Romulus & Remus.

In the sheer turmoil of their visit, Jim obviously relied on one of the RCA Italiana executives to see to the stamping and posting of his postcard to Mary. The postcard contains the clearest of frankings from the RCA Italiana office. On the left is the logo "RCA Italiana, Via Tiburtina - KM.12 - Roma." The Poste Italiene stamp is in the amount of 40 Italian lire. In the centre is the postmark dated 30th August 1962, 13 days after the card had been written. Whoops! The card must have lain around in the office sometime before someone eventually saw it and dealt with it.

It is difficult to know just how much a 40 Italian lire stamp was worth in 1962, but the card had a serious omission - the statutory "Via Air Mail" sticker necessary for the speedier service. One has to assume therefore that the postcard was dispatched via surface mail.

Jim arrived home from the South African tour on 7th September 1962. It seems most likely that he beat his postcard home!!

Courtesy: David Bussey, Frank C. Anderson

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM REEVES WAS A GENE AUTRY FAN?


Reading about Jim Reeves on the Internet can be interesting or amusing for his fans. Of course, it is hoped that most of the information on this site is interesting. There is another site, however, which some find amusing, some irritating, because of the pervasive self promotion and product hype which take up much of the space there. And that site has a sister site (or blog) with a section claiming to name Jim's favorite musicians and singers. One problem with that blog section is that the self-appointed expert behind both sites failed to include one of Jim's favorite singers.
 
From the time when he was a young man, one of Jim Reeves' favorites was Gene Autry. Simply look at the list of Gene Autry songs which Jim recorded or performed and it will become obvious that Autry's music eventually became Reeves' music.


Here is a partial list:
 
1. Tweedle O'Twill
2. Someday You'll Want Me
3. Maria Elena
4. There's a Goldmine in the Sky
5. That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine
6. Be Honest With Me
7. Blue Canadian Rockies
8. Mexicali Rose
9. Deep In The Heart of Texas

 
There could be a "Jim Reeves Sings Gene Autry" CD!
 
But long before Jim became an internationally known singer, before he was a radio disc jockey, he was a Gene Autry fan. The main evidence for that is within the pages of Jim's personal scrapbook, which was started while he was in high school in Carthage, Texas. There inside the faded and worn book, past the pages of baseball photographs, near the high school graduation name cards, there is a large magazine photo of Gene Autry. And it is the only item on that particular page.
 
Many years after Jim grew up and left Texas, he was in California in a recording studio where Gene was recording an LP of some of his previous hits. There are a couple of photos of Jim and Gene together in the studio. Standing there next to Gene Autry, Jim has the widest smile on his face.
 

Courtesy: Frank C. Anderson

 

DID YOU KNOW THE FIRST REFERENCE TO JIM REEVES IN "THE BILLBOARD MAGAZINE" WAS IN ......

 

Did you know  the first reference to Jim Reeves, in “The Billboard” Magazine, was in the February 11, 1950 issue. Macy’s Recording Co. placed their first ad in this issue. Listed among the recordings for sale was “Teardrops of Regret”/”My Heart’s Like a Welcome Mat” – Macy’s 115. “Teardrops of Regret” was also mentioned in a Macy’s ad in the July 15, 1950 issue. His next mention in the magazine, was in the February 9, 1952 issue: “Tommy Perryman, KSIJ, Gladewater, Tex.; Jim Reeves, KGRI, Henderson, Tex., and Charley Stokely, KSKY, Dallas, are gathering talent for a big benefit in Gilmer, Tex., for Cecil Greer, the singer, who is seriously ill.”(with thanks to Ron McBride)
 

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT THURSDAY, 15TH OCTOBER 1959 WAS A MEMORABLE DAY NOT JUST FOR JIM REEVES?


Jim Reeves would never forget the recording session of that morning. He covered Billy Brown's "He'll have to go" and everyone in the studio knew he had a smash. His life was at a low ebb at the time - shortly no secretary, no band, no manager and no money. He desperately needed a hit record. This was to be a red-letter day with his career about to be reborn.

It was destined to be a very long day. He didn't like daytime 6 hour sessions with only a half hour break in-between. Having struggled with Johnny Russell's song "In a mansion stands my love" in the morning (16 takes), the last thing he would want was a taxing, frustrating session in the afternoon. But he knew he had to put down Pat Twitty's "But you love me daddy" and he realised that would be no easy task. Little did he know then the job would take a mammoth 22 takes!

Arriving at the RCA Victor studio B for one o'clock came one excited Robert Steven Moore, known to his friends as Stevie. He was a 7 year old schoolboy who by some great stroke of luck had managed to have been chosen to provide an overdubbed backing vocal to a Jim Reeves recording. We have no idea how this came about, though his father was the accomplished A team session bass player Bob Moore who had been playing already all morning, and no doubt wheels within wheels had sorted out the important matter with the Nashville Union Local of a minor playing in a studio. Just where Stevie's vocal pedigree came from is unknown; it could have been the customary grounding in school or church choirs, but sing with verve & gusto he certainly could.

The young man was not playing hookey. It seems young Stevie could well have been on holiday from school. The second Monday in October was always celebrated as "Columbus' Day", a Federal holiday which at many schools extended to a week off. This day remembered Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on October 12th 1492.

His memories of that day are understandably very hazy and confused. Backing singer Dottie Dillard had prepared a musical template for the lad to follow, and his father was to be his guiding light and mentor, with the remaining 3 musicians, Jim Reeves, Floyd Cramer & Chet Atkins somewhere in the background. Hank Garland, Murray Harman & Marvin Hughes from the morning session had all gone home.

It is unusual for a youngster to forget their first professional pay cheque. $20 must have been a fortune to one so young just for singing part of a song! The recording sheet info for the session reads: "1-side Stevie Moore (7 yrs) - $20.00 (Guardian: Bob Moore)." The previous line reads: "(5-sides) Dorothy Dillard - $112.50 (5 hrs)."

Depite the best efforts of the performers, the song remained infantile, trivial & banal, and begs the question just who considered it worthwhile recording in the first place. It had no part in the new countrypolitan sound which would be the way forward for the Nashville music industry during the next several years. It was never commercially released during Jim's lifetime and only reappeared in 1968 when Mary was seeking material to overdub for the album of duets "Jim Reeves & some friends" (LSP4112) released in January 1969. Strangely, RCA used a substandard acetate onto which to overdub the new backing, when it is clear from the version on the Bear Family 16 cd set, that the original master was available.

And then, quite out of the blue, RCA in England decided to release "But you love me daddy" as a Christmas single coupled with the Ned Miller song "Snowflake" in November 1969 (RCA1899). To everyone's surprise on 6th December the song entered the British Top 40 Charts where it remained for 16 weeks, reaching 15th position. The fan club instigated a blitz on all the BBC radio stations in order to push the seasonal song "Snowflake". It received massive airplay and this must have helped overall sales of the single. The single was also released in Europe and reached the Top 10 in Norway.

Amazingly, Stevie Moore was never aware of the song's European single release & success until the nineties. He will no doubt admit the seeds of his musical career were sown in the late fifties. Now aged 61, he still pursues a very active musical career both performing gigs & on You Tube as R. Stevie Moore. He is a multi-instrumentalist and is a prolific songwriter having to date written 2000 songs. In 2005 the New York Times dubbed him a "lo-fi legend"! As recent as 29th April this year, he was featured on BBC Radio 6.

His part in the Reeves legend is guaranteed with the many performances of the song on the web. The most interesting is the one on You Tube which features Stevie & Dorothy simultaneously double-tracking.

For more information visit his 
official website.

Courtesy David Bussey

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know it wasn't just  twenty first century authors still hoping for mileage in their conspiracy theories, or  the vast numbers of Americans who are still convinced of suspect plots or cover ups, who continue to give credence and debate to the legend of John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (JFK), 35th President of the United States who was assassinated on the streets of Dallas, Texas, on Friday, November 22nd 1963?

Four days after the event, almost 50 years ago, songwriters were already seeking to cash in on the tragic event.  Songwriter Bobe Wes (1928 - 2002),  writer of "Railroad bum" & "You're slipping away from me", had already been  hard at work on his compositions   "Beloved John F.K."  and   "Sad day in Dallas" which he copyrighted and published on November 26th 1963.  The copyrights were renewed 28 years later in 1991, but despite the writer's affiliation to ASCAP, there is no record there of the 2 songs.  It is not known if the songs were ever commercially recorded.

Information courtesy of Kurt Rokitta

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?


Did you know that Jim wasn't the first to recognize the pop potential of the song "Missing You"?


The song was written in 1955 by Dale Emerson Noe and Woodrow Wilson 'Red' Sovine. The initial copyright listed both names, but subsequent copyright documentation listed only Noe, indicating that Sovine had little or nothing to do with the original song except record it and get his customary cut of the action which was commonplace at the time.

"Missing you" was released as the B side of Sovine's Decca single D-29755, the A side of which featured a duet with Webb Pierce of "Why baby why?". The single reached no.1 on the Billboard country charts and remained there for 25 weeks.

Fast forward to 1961 and pop singer Ray Peterson who had already had 2 RCA Victor hits "The wonder of you" & "Tell Laura I love her", changed labels to the Dune label and had another hit "Corinna, Corrina" which reached the no.9 spot in the Billboard Top 40. His final Dune chart entry (Dune 2006) in Sept. 1961 was "Missing you", given the full pop orchestrated arrangement, and the single reached no.29 in the Top 40 remaining there for 3 weeks. He recorded without success for Uni, Decca and Cloud 9, but by the mid-70's his career wound down. He was eventually ordained at a non-denominational church in Houston and spent the rest of his life dividing his time between music & faith. He died in 2005.

Jim gave the song his own stamp of approval when he recorded it at his final session on July 2nd 1964 alongside two Cindy Walker songs. It was one of the songs featured on that most majestic of his albums "The Jim Reeves Way" (LSP2968) released in February 1965. The song's chart potential wasn't realised until some 7 years later when it was released as a single (74-0744) in June 1972 and by August it was in the Billboard Country Music Charts for a total of 14 weeks reaching no.8.

The song was also recorded in June 1968 by West Coast country singer Wynn Stewart for his Capitol album "In love" (ST-113). The writer of the song Dale Noe played guitar on the session. He had been for a time a regular member of Stewart's band, being a very accomplished lead guitarist.

Dale Noe's excellent songwriting credentials included "Angels don't lie", "Missing angel" & the 1960 demo "My hands are clean." Among his 32 published songs, he attained 3 BMI Awards, the two aforementioned Reeves recordings and "It's such a pretty world today." He died in 2004.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know you shouldn't always believe what you read in  "BILLBOARD" magazine?

In the Country Music Corner of the May 11th 1963 issue of Billboard magazine, edited by Bill Sachs, we read:
"Ray Baker, manager of Tuckahoe Music Inc., and Open Road Music Inc., both with offices in Madison, Tenn., reports that One-Four-Two Music of London is repping the firms' catalogs in the British Isles...."

The music publishing firm of 142 Music was owned by Philip Solomon who was about to become legendary as the promoter of Jim's ill-fated Irish tour which was to commence just 3 weeks after the above appeared.

Fast forward to the May 6th 1972 issue of the magazine, to an article headed "U.K. Decca's Nice into own operation." After 21 years with the Burlington-Palace Music Group, (a subsidiary of Decca Records), General Manager John Nice was leaving the company to form his own company Valentine Music. He had become manager of Burlington Music in 1956 and general manager in 1959 on the formation of Palace Music. Burlington had played a very generous & supportive role to the Official Fan Club during its lifetime, especially thanks to John's successor John Merritt.

On February 23rd 2013, after over 40 years, David Bussey made contact with John Nice, now in retirement in his eighties. In their conversation he asked if during John's tenure with Burlington, 142 Music had ever had the rights to administer the Jim Reeves catalogues Open Road, Tuckahoe, Acclaim & Maree in the United Kingdom. He confirmed that Phil Solomon & 142 Music had never had any contractual rights to the Reeves catalogues which had been handled exclusively during his time by Burlington Music.

In November 1968, Mary Reeves visited London, having taken legal action against Phil Solomon. No reports of this appeared at the time and it would appear that the matter was settled out of court.

In March 1969 a Nashville newspaper reported a dispute over the right to exploit songs of Jim Reeves was settled  by the High Court in London, England. Tuckahoe, Inc., and Open Road Music, companies that Jim Reeves had formed  and owned by Mary Reeves won a suit against ONE-FOUR-TWO- MUSIC CO.  LTD of London. That company was owned by music impresario Philip Solomon. The High Court learned that ONE-FOUR-TWO- MUSIC had a 12-month license  which had expired. ONE-FOUR-TWO- MUSIC agreed to pay 3,600 US dollars and part of the legal  costs.  It seems Mr. John Nices's statement of above, is incorrect.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know Jim intended giving up professional singing at the end of 1963, according to an interview he did in 1960? Jim should have been on top of the world when he attended radio station WSM's Ninth Annual National Country Music Festival on  4th & 5th November 1960 in Nashville. For the first time WSM officials had dropped the words "disc jockey" from the festival's title. In Billboard's 13th Annual Disc Jockey Poll, he had taken top honours and been voted "Favourite Male Singer of 1960" as selected by US & Canadian country & western dj's, and had "The Best Single Record of 1960" with his smash "He'll have to go." Chet Atkins was voted "Country Man of the Year."

Considering Jim had probably had his best year financially since his start in the business, his reply to a reporter's question certainly wasn't one of his most positive replies.  "I'll always want to sing, but I plan to retire professional singing in about 3 years. Singing for a living is not as easy as it looks - or sounds."

The interview was most likely conducted on November 4th at the 5-30pm Reception-Buffet in the Andrew Jackson hotel ballroom where the Sponsor was RCA Records & hosts were Chet Atkins & Steve Sholes.
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know the Browns had a country hit in 1964 with "Then I'll stop loving you", written by Jim and recorded by him in the Spring of 1953 at the KWKH studio in Shreveport? Session musicians are unknown, but likely to be those who backed him on "Mexican Joe" in the January of that year. The 2004 3cd set of "The Abbott Tapes - historical recordings" contains the master (take 3) from box 4, a workpart take from box 6 and 2 takes from box 10. Fabor Robison produced the session. The song was released as the B side of Abbott 160.
 

The Browns version was recorded on February 7th 1964 with 3 guitarists - Jerry Reed , Jerry Kennedy and Velma Smith. We don't know who played the vibrant 12 string which is dominant on the recording. Also on hand were Henry Strzelecki - bass, Kenneth Buttrey - drums and Pig Robbins - piano. Chet Atkins produced.


It was released as the A side of the single (47-8348) in April 1964 with the John D. Loudermilk song "I know my place" as the flip.
It entered the country charts on May 30th 1964 where it remained for a total of 17 weeks reaching no.20.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

DO YOU KNOW THE REAL STORY SURROUNDING THOSE 1961 OIL WELL INVESTMENTS?

In 2007 Ken Nelson's autobiography was published entitled "My first 90 years plus 3."   His name & significance will only be known by those fans interested in the history of country music.  He never quite received the fame & recognition he deserved, as Nashville was only ever his second home with Hollywood being his first homebase.  From 1951 when he became director & producer of Capitol Records Country Music Dept., until his retirement in 1976 after 28 years service with that company, he was a high profile figure in the country music business, producing transcriptions, pop & country records and albums of over 200 artists.

He was a co-founder of the CMA and served two terms as its president.  In  2001 he he was finally inducted into Nashville's  Country Music Hall of Fame.  He passed away 7 years later, aged 96.

His 352 page autobiography, an excellent read, reflects his renown, honesty and respectability.   In the chapter 1961-1970, he relates on page 181 the story of his connection with Alex Zanetis & the oil well deals.

 "It was either Chet or Owen who recommended that I invest in oil wells with them, and Owen's brother Harold, Jim Reeves and a couple of other people.   Because of my past experience, I was a bit reluctant but they assured me that the East Central Developing Company of Flora, Illinois was a reputable firm, owned and managed by Alex Zanetis.   Alex was an aspiring songwriter with whom Chet and Owen were well acquainted.   We each invested  $1,500 in two wells;  the Lynn Pearce Lease, and the Sam Howell Lease.  But you can bet your boots, I didn't tell our President, Glenn Wallichs, about these wells.  Both wells paid off handsomely until they went dry, a few years later."

This account of an event is totally at variance with another more recent account by an author, who while recounting the lifestory of Alex Zanetis, took delight in referring to him as a "hustler - selling stock in oil wells."  He suggests that the deal always benefitted Zanetis and not the investors he mentions - Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins and Anita Kerr.   No reference to Ken Nelson or the Bradleys.  He finishes the paragraph with an incongruous quote from singer Dottie Dillard which has little relevance in the author's continued attempts to besmirch and denigrate the name and reputation of Alex Zanetis.  His telling of this story smacks of journalistic licence sourced from tittle tattle, with no hint of any sort of research.

Permission to reprint from Ken Nelson's "My first 90 years plus 3", available as a hardback book & e-book, from Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Irving Berlin is widely regarded as the greatest American songwriter. Jim recorded 4 of his songs. But did you know that he took the liberty of recording one of those songs with just the chorus? In 1912 Irving Berlin wrote his first ballad "When I lost you" in memory of his wife who had tragically died after only 5 months of marriage.

When Jim recorded the song on 18th December 1963 for the "Moonlight & Roses" album, he neglected to sing either of the two verses of the song, but sang only the chorus and after the musical bridge he repeated half the chorus, making the song a respectable two minutes and twenty seconds. It is interesting to note yet again he just had to add his musical imprint by changing the word "angel" in the last half chorus!

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that the song "Blue Christmas"  was one of Jim's favourite Christmas songs? On October 19 and 25, 1962 Jim Reeves recorded 11 Christmas songs. One of the songs he chose to record was a song he liked called "Blue Christmas."

The song had been written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948. Three artists recorded the song in 1949 - bandleader Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra, bandleader Russ Morgan and his orchestra, and Ernest Tubb. On August 26th 1949 Ernest Tubb recorded the songs "Blue Christmas" & "White Christmas". Interestingly, the backing singers listed as The Three Troubadettes, consisting of Evelyn Wilson, Alcyone Bate Beasley & Dottie Dillard. The songs were released on Decca single 46186 which got to no.1 in the country charts Christmas of 1949, and again at Christmas 1950 & 1951 when it again reached the top 10. On September 9th 1950, the same backing group appeared on the Ernest Tubb recording of "Christmas Island" & "C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S" (Decca single 46268), only this time called the Beasley Sisters.

In an interview I did with Burton Harris, he mentioned he heard Jim sing "Blue Christmas" on several local shows at Christmas 1951. As Ernest Tubb sang an extra verse in his version of the song, it can be surmised that Jim had sung that extra verse too.

Jim did not include the extra verse in his rendition of the song when he sang it in the Christmas episode of the ABN JIM REEVES SHOW on December 25th, 1957. Elvis Presley had reluctantly recorded the song in September 1957, and discarded the extra verse Ernest Tubb had included.

According to reports by Gordon Stoker and Millie Kirkham and mentioned in Don Cusic's book "Elvis in Nashville", Elvis did not want to cut the song, even though he was a fan of Ernest Tubb. When RCA ordered him to do the song, he told the background singers to "do something stupid behind him." Elvis sang it in an unsual way too, which the record buying public liked very much! The song was released as a double-sided promotional single for the "Elvis' Christmas Album" released on Oct 15, 1957 and has since sold 13 million copies. It is the best-selling Christmas/holiday album of all time in the United States!

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?


Did you know that in April & May 1964, correspondence was exchanged between Jim Reeves & a Canadian promoter with regard to a possible show in Ontario in September of that year? Reeves had stated he "might consider a date in September."

This was to be an ambitious and unique affair in that it would feature solely 6 male & female duet artists who performed and recorded regularly together in a duet capacity, as the promoter called it "a once in a lifetime show." He had already approached and spent considerable time discussing the feasibility of such a show with the other artistes who, bar Jim, had all given it their thumbs up.

Jim Reeves & Dottie West, scheduled as headliners of the show, were flying high at the time with their hit duet single "Love is no excuse" (RCA8324) which had ENTERED the country charts in March 1964 and would REMAIN there for almost 6 months. Each of the other artistes had enjoyed duet chart single success & had albums that were selling well in that area.

The promoter was well aware that "the risk on this package is extensive", but was happy to press ahead. Capacity of the venue was 5000 & they could run two shows per night. Budgets would certainly be tight with 6 stars to pay. He threw the ball firmly into Jim's court. "Jim, it is all up to you as regards a date, & as regards whether we can afford to purchase this package."

Whether Jim finally condescended to agree to the September date, we just don't know, but one thing we can surmise, that had this show ever taken place, it would have been tremendous.


Documents courtesy: Frank Anderson

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim recorded the song "Beatin' on the Ding Dong", written by Bob and Idell Shelton, after he heard the Shelton Brothers perform that song at a show? Bob and Idell Shelton specialty was writing novelty songs. Bob was member of the Shelton Brothers, they performed regularly on the Big D Jamboree and on the Louisiana Hayride.    

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves gets a mention in a new book "ELVIS IN NASHVILLE"? Don Cusic, one of the premier historians and writers on country music, author of 25 books including 2 novels, has written an excellent 297 page book (published by Brackish Publishing, Nashville) on the connection between the musical career of Elvis Presley and the city of Nashville where he recorded over 260 songs in the RCA Studio B between 1956 and 1971.

Almost one third of the book comprises serious research detail, sources, bibliography, all Nashville recording sessions plus the most indispensable of all, an index.  There are 7 mentions of Jim, merely name checks, but in 'Chapter 7 January - March 1960' we learn more detail on the very first session Elvis did in Nashville on Sat. 20th March 1960 & Sun. 21st March 1960, after being discharged from army service only 15 days earlier.

 The writer talks of the top secret nature of the session and how the musicians were told they were playing on a Jim Reeves session.  (editor's note: Did anyone tell them they would be playing all night long??)   Elvis must have been a little rusty as he only managed to put down 6 songs in the 11 hour session (2 before midnight & 4 after).

 Musicians on the session were the customary A team players - Hank Garland (guitar), Bob Moore (bass), Floyd Cramer (piano), Buddy Harman (drums) and 2 members of Elvis' old band, Scotty Moore & D.J. Fontana, plus the Jordanaires on backing vocals.  Also present were RCA executives, Steve Sholes, Chet Atkins & Bill Bullock, Col. Parker, his assistant Tom Diskin & the Hill & Range publisher's representative Freddy Bienstock.

Obviously the secrecy of the event wasn't watertight, as a reporter from the Nashville Tennessean and about a dozen teenagers had gathered outside the studio!

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Most UK and European fans of Jim Reeves are well aware of the connection between Jim & the Irish singer Larry Cunningham whose sad passing was reported on the fan club website on 29th September 2012. They know of how Larry calmed the storm when Jim took umbrage to an out of tune piano and cut short his act during the 1963 Irish tour. They know of his 1974 albums of Jim's songs on his 2 volumes of "Larry Cunningham remembers Jim Reeves" on Release Records BRL4048 & BRL4068. They know how Larry Cunningham & the Mighty Avons entered the British Singles Chart on 10th December 1964 with their single on King KG1016 "Tribute to Jim Reeves" which remained in the charts for 11 weeks peaking at no.40.

But did you know that Larry Cunningham achieved more than twice the Irish Chart entries of his idol Jim Reeves? Between 1965 and 1984 Larry had 25 entries in the Irish Chart while Jim only had 11 chart entries between 1962 and 1967. Larry had hits with "Tribute to Jim Reeves", "Fool's Paradise", "Snowflake", "There's that smile again", "I guess I'm crazy" and "Don't let me cross over". Among the 25 hits he only had 2 no.1's - "Lovely Leitrim"/"There's that smile again" and "Slaney Valley".
Among his 11 entries, Jim had no.1 hits with "Welcome to my world", "I love you because" and "I won't forget you".

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?


Vis-a-vis a recent item in "Did you know..?" taken from the personal diary Mary Reeves kept during the European tour in April 1957, when she recounted the sterling efforts of herself and Bonnie Brown to attend a church service in Germany on Easter Sunday, April 21st 1957, we print five further excerpted selections from her diary, reproduced in her own words with her own spelling.

The troupe left Nashville on Sunday 31st March at 7.05 AM and arrived in Akron, Ohio where they played two shows. Then they drove to Trenton, New Jersey. On Monday 1st April they were at McGuire Air Force Base. From there they flew to Newfoundland, arriving around 10:20 PM. (paraphrased)

MONDAY, APRIL 1st 1957 (McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey):
"Jim very sick, smallpox vac. (vaccine) & almost pneumonia - Jim went to A.F. Dr." (Air Force Doctor)

MONDAY, APRIL 1st 1957 (Harmon Field, Newfoundland):
"Jim was real sick. Took him to hospital in Army ambulance. Will be O.K. now."
Note: That day the party were still en route from the States. They didn't arrive in Germany until the 2nd.

TUESDAY, APRIL 2nd 1957:
"Left Harmon Field, Newfoundland at exactly 12:00AM - Midnight - On our way to Prestwicke, Scotland - nine hours without landing. We didn't land at Prestwicke. The weather was cloudy so couldn't see land. Passed over London and on to Frankfort."

MONDAY, APRIL 15th 1957 (after performance in Karlsruhe previous day):
"Last night we ate in Karlsruh O.C. (Officer's Club) banquet style. Our seargent for the date was a Negro from Washington, D.C.. He ate at the same table with us. The Negros have it made. They are accepted in every society and have it better than they have ever had it. The German girls like the Negro men. We have seen several couples at our shows. Negro G.I. and German white girl - of course, they have access to all cafes, hotels, etc. which I suppose is very good."

MONDAY, APRIL 22nd 1957:

"Real pretty day. Jim & I went to snack bar and ate breakfast about 12.00. Everything else was closed because it was still a holiday for the Germans. Walked some in the sunshine. Went to O.C. (Officer's Club) and played pool & shuffle board & ping pong. Stayed all afternoon. Had fun."


Courtesy: Frank C. Anderson

Highly recommended: Bear Family 2001 cd (BCD 16491 AH) " "5000 miles away from home - Nashville stars in Germany 1957" featuring 9 tracks by the artistes on the tour, including 2 by Jim - "Have I told you lately that I love you?" & "Courtin' in the rain". Although a very rare amateur recording and extremely short by Bear standards (24mins. & 19 secs.), plus a 28 page booklet by noted writer Colin Escott (18 pages of rare photos), to a Reeves collector it's well worth the investment. AdD
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that in just a few short months, at the end of 2012, 82% of Jim's RCA recorded material (a total of 282 songs) will be out of copyright in the U.K. where a 50 year copyright ruling exists in music recordings (unlike the U.S. where it is 70 years) However the songs themselves (i.e. words & music) have a 70 year copyright so that songwriters and music publishers must receive their due payment of royalties.

The situation is now ripe again for overseas operators and their pseudo record companies to base themselves in the U.K. to plunder and milk the Reeves scene still further with their rehashes and doctored tracks which they insist the fans should own in this supposed lucrative market they believe to be everlasting.

To this end, anyone who feels a desperate need to play with or release out of copyright material in order to cash in on the U.K. pot, can now do it. You no longer have to be a musical genius or record producer to achieve your goal - just a computer and the requisite software will suffice.

But remember, if you produce more than 50 copies, the mechanical copyright people will demand their slice of the action!

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves had a kind of computer when learning how to navigate an airplane across the sky?
 
When Jim was learning to fly an airplane, he had to learn how to navigate: to move the aircraft through the sky from one place on the earth to another. One tool he used to help him do this was a Kane Mark VI Dead Reckoning Computer, manufactured by Kane Aero Company of Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Although the word "computer" was used in the name, the meaning was different then than it is today. Today, to most people, a computer is a PC or a Mac. Jim's tool, his "computer", was essentially a circular slide rule made of anodized aluminum. The copyright date on Jim's device is 1957.
 
"Dead reckoning" is a method of determing the position of an airplane (in this case) by charting its course and speed from a previously known position. Today, satellite navigation (GPS) has made dead reckoning obsolete for many pilots.
 
The owner's manual (last date 1960) to Jim's Kane Dead Reckoning Computer  explains some of the uses of the device. "The circular slide rule of the computer enables the pilot to solve problems involving time, speed, distance, and fuel consumption." "Solution of wind vector triangles is accomplished on the face of the computer using the rotating compass ring and plotting disc."
 
Jim's 1950's aviation "computer", its imitation leather carrying case, and the original owner's manual have all survived in excellent condition.

(You can Google for "Kane Mark VI Dead Reckoning Computer" and find pictures of the device on Ebay and an interesting article about this kind of aviation "computer" in Wikipedia. - Arie)

 

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Did you know that the very first single by Jim to be released in the UK  in March 1954 on the London label was not "Mexican Joe", his US country chart topper, but  "Bimbo" c/w "Gypsy heart" (HL-8014)?   It was issued in both 45 & 78 rpm format.  This was not the first Abbott single to be released outside the U.S.A.  -  that fell to Mitchell Torok's "Caribbean".  Between March and July 1954 Jim had 4 single releases on the London label.  After "Bimbo" came "Mexican Joe" c/w "I could cry" (HL-8030), "Butterfly love" c/w "It's hard to love just one" (HL-8055) and "Then I'll stop loving you" c/w " Echo Bonita" (HL-8064).  It would seem that Fabor Robison had signed a 10 year deal with London Records (UK Decca's US arm) for worldwide exclusivity to Abbott releases (excluding the U.S.A & Canada).

In total, 9 of Jim's 14 Abbott single releases were released on London in the UK up to December 1956. 

 

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Did you know that during the 1957 European tour, while in Germany, Mary Reeves and Bonnie Brown made quite an effort to attend a religious service?

On Easter Sunday April 21, 1957, Mary got up at 5:15 AM with the intention of going to outdoor sunrise services with Bonnie at the football field near the American military base where they were staying.

They tried to call a taxi to transport them from their quarters to the football field, but soon learned that taxi service did not begin until 8:00 AM. So, then they called the U.S. military motor pool, and a car was sent "right over". Unfortunately, the driver was German and spoke no English. They could not tell him where they wanted to go, so he ended up taking them back to the base. This was okay, as it turned out, because they were too early for the service, anyway. Mary and Bonnie had the driver drop them off at the Officer's Club, somehow communicating to him where to stop. While there, the two women drank some coffee.

At 6:30, the German driver picked them up again and this time he was able to drive them to their intended destination for the Easter services. From the document ( a small diary kept by Mary) used for this, it is unclear how he knew where to go the second time.

When Mary and Bonnie arrived, frost covered the seats, and Mary wrote that she and Bonnie "almost froze" outside during the service.

After it was over, Mary wrote that it was a "good service" and that she and Bonnie walked back to the Officer's Club, where they ate breakfast. After their meal, they returned to their quarters, and Mary went back to bed, staying there until around noon.

 

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If you ask Jim Reeves fans about the makers of his guitars, most would reply that Jim played either a Martin or a Rickenbacker. But did you know that he also owned a Gibson J-200 guitar?

 Orville Gibson founded the company which makes Gibson mandolins, guitars, and other instruments in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1902. In 1938, Gibson began production of it's J-200. "J" was for Jumbo, because of the large size of the guitar body, and "200" because $200 was the original cost of the guitar.

The Gibson J-200 had a big, booming sound which was good for chording during live performances. It also had a sweet, clear sound for individual notes.

During Jim Reeves' time in Nashville (1955-1964), many musicians played Gibson instruments. Among them was early Nashville guitar virtuoso Hank Garland (1930-2004). Hank played on several of Jim's studio recordings.

On 27 March 1957, Jim Reeves bought a Gibson J-200 from Hank Garland. Jim paid $209.02 for the guitar.

There are several photos of Jim and his J-200, and even some video of Jim playing the instrument. One unpublished studio photo has Jim seated, minus his hairpiece, proudly displaying the J-200 for the camera.

 

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Did you know that the poem recited by Jim in the "Count your blessings" corner of his ABN Radio show entitled "Footprints on the sands of time" was not called that at all, even though it was rightfully credited to Longfellow, the original writer?    The original 9 verse poem was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  (1807 - 1882)  and drastically cut to just a 3 verse taster of verses 7, 8  & 9.   Verse 8 contains the immortal words - "Footprints on the sands of time".

The poem's correct title is  "A Psalm of Life -  what the heart of the young man said to the psalmist".   It was first published in the "Knickerbocker Magazine"  in October 1838 and also appeared in Longfellow's first published collection "Voices in the night". 

Please  click here to read the poem

 

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Did you know that Jim Reeves knocked the Beatles off the first place with "I Won't Forget You"? Yes, it really happened, but not in Great Britain.  Billboard magazine of August 29th 1964 reported that Jim Reeves Ko's the Beatles in the Norwegian Hit parade.  The Verdens Gang newspaper published  that chart.  A stock of 10.000 Norwegian pressed copies of that record was depleted in no time and  they were forced to order another 10.000 copies from Germany!

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Did you know that the Top 10 songwriters (besides himself of course) who contributed most songs to the recording career of Reeves contains some surprises?

 

       1.  Cindy Walker                                 17 songs

      2.    Nellie Smith & Leona Buttrum     9 songs

    2.    Al Courtney                               9 songs

3.     Alex Zanetis                            8 songs

4.    Harlan Howard                         6 songs

4.    Anton de Waal                         6 songs

4.    Taffy Kikillus                            6 songs

5.    Roger Miller                             5 songs

5.    Gilbert Gibson                         5 songs

 

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Did you know that in Jim's day, chart longevity was commonplace.  Jim occupied the number 2 spot in Cashbox magazine's statistics table of "Most weeks at Number 1 by Record" with his song "He'll have to go" which spent a phenomenal 16 weeks in the number 1 spot in 1960.  

Ferlin Husky occupied the number 1 spot in the table, also in 1960, with his  Capitol smash hit "Wings of a dove" which hit 19 weeks. Ferlin also pipped Jim in the total number of weeks the song had in the Cashbox Country Singles Charts, by 37 weeks to 34.

 

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Did you know that Tom Perryman in an interview with me, published in the the fan club magazine in 1993, revealed that for Jim to get his RCA contract, he cut "I've lived a lot in my time" and some other songs on tape for RCA to listen too. RCA didn't use that recording but re-cut it, with the same arrangement.

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Did you know that in August 1962 Jim Reeves received a letter from Emma Jean Hall, Oklahoma fan club representative, and her husband Dan. They informed Jim about the birth of a baby, that they named after Jim.

Jim replied in a letter that he was proud to have the baby named for him, but states he never particularly liked the name. He also states he was in the hospital on August 9th for some needed surgery.

Jim Reeves toured Oklahoma regularly. He had performed there almost 10 months earlier, at the Bamboo Theatre in Enid, October 13th, and at the famous Cimarron Ballroom in Tulsa, October 14th, 1961 and again on June 23rd, 1962.

 

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Did you know that Jim Reeves kept detailed records of his career?

Jim had to keep detailed records of his income and expenditures for income tax purposes. Long after the taxes were paid, the records remain. It is interesting to see some of the things Jim spent his hard-earned money on. Here are a very few items listed as expenditures from Jim's personal records from 1955.

-Jan. 3, 1955- $$6.53 at Sears in Shreveport, La. for "wardrobe"

-Feb. 9, 1955- $21.00 to see The Harlem Globetrotters in Shreveport, La. for "promotional expense" (The Harlem Globetrotters are a highly skilled, comedic professional basketball team.)

-April 2, 1955- $631.06- to Abbott Record Co,- Hollywood, Ca.- for "Advertising, Posters, Prints, Pictures, etc."

-May 2, 1955- $100.00 at Longview, TX to Sherman Sparks- for "drums"

Courtesy: Frank C. Anderson

 

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Did you know that Jim Reeves performed on two segments of The Grand Ole Opry on October 13, 1956?

Jim hosted the Prince Albert portion of The Opry from 8:30 til 9:00, and was scheduled to sing three songs: "According to My Heart", "It Is No Secret", and "My Lips Are Sealed". Also appearing on the Prince Albert portion with Jim that night were The Old Hickory Singers, Rose Maddox, Del Wood, Minnie Pearl, and Chet Atkins.

Later, on the final segment from 11:30 til midnight, when the sponsor was Jamison, Jim was scheduled to sing, "According to My Heart", "Each Time You Leave", and "Bimbo", which was the closing number for The Opry that particular Saturday night. The other performers for Jamison were The Old Hickory Singers, Jimmy Newman, Benny Martin, Goldie Hill, Sam and Kirk McGhee, Lew Childre, Del Wood, and The Fruit Jar Drinkers.

(The above listed information has been taken from the original souvenir program. The Country Music Foundation released an album with live recordings: JIM REEVES - LIVE AT THE OPRY. Included  is the gospel song  "When God Dips His Love In My Heart", erroneously  dated on October 12, 1956.  From various documentation in my own collection I  have reached the conclusion that Jim Reeves had switched songs after the copies of the program had been printed.  One must never go blind on printed information, it may not contain all the facts. The Nashville Tennessean's radio log for WSM Radio that evening, lists Jim Reeves only at the 8.30 segment. The reason for this is that the logs usually only listed the artist who hosted each segment.)  

 

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Did you know that on July 15th, 1963, the JIM REEVES WEEK began on station KWBA in Bayton, Texas? As a promotion they played a Jim Reeves reccord every third tune on July 14th. Nodoubt the station played "Guilty" too as they had received an additional copy of the record from Jim  at the end of June 1963.   

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Did you know that Mary Reeves kept a diary of the 1957 European tour? She wrote from the time the troupe left the US until the time she arrived home in Nashville.

Here is an excerpt, all in Mary's words and spelling, from Monday April 22, 1957: "Real pretty day- Jim & I went to snack bar & ate breakfast about 12:00. Everything else was closed because it was still a holiday for the Germans. Walked some in the sunshine. Went to O.C. (Officer's Club-FCA) & played pool & shuffleboard & ping pong. Stayed all afternoon. Had fun. Played theater in Langerkof. Went to bed early."

Courtesy: Frank C. Anderson

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim was not the first artist to record or release his song "Need me" in 1957? That privilege fell to Dot artist Jimmy Newman at a session in March of that year, when he recorded the song at the Owen Bradley studio, among 3 titles for consideration as a single release. Alas "Need me" was unissued. The A side of the single on Dot 15574 was the James Joiner song "A fallen star" which went to no.2 on the Billboard Country Charts.

However, Jimmy must have liked the song, for he re-recorded it in June/July of that year and this time it was released in August on Dot 15627. Jim Reeves did not record the song until 26th June 1957 for his pop orientated album "Jim Reeves" (LPM-1576) released in October.
 
DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim's 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville is still for sale? James Newberry, who used to have one of the largest Jim Reeves collections, bought the car out of the Jim Reeves Estate from the late Ed Gregory. The car was beautifully restored but is currently believed to be in storage and for sale. Perhaps one day it will turn up in the Swedish Jim Reeves museum? That museum has a few original parts of that car on display.

 
DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Mary Reeves once revealed that Jim Reeves had recorded 5 songs in the Jim Beck studio in Dallas? It can be confirmed that these 5 songs, all written by Jim Reeves, were recorded in March or April 1951.
 
It is known that Jim entered a talent show on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas around the same time and was beaten by Jimmy Lee Fautheree.

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Did you know that the 19-26 July 1967 issue of the Irish magazine 'New Spotlight' mentioned in an article that Jim Reeves had said he would have liked very much to have recorded popular Irish songs on an album?

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Did you know that Jim Reeves was among other country artists such as James O'Gwynne & Webb Pierce who sent  a  supportive tape recording to a deejay who was the organiser  of  'Operation Leaky Arm' in May 1959? As that title suggests, it was all about promoting a blood-donor campaign due to be held for several days in the following month in Michigan's largest prison.

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Did you know that  Jim Reeves performed a few times the 'PET MILK' sponsored portion of the  WSM 'FRIDAY NIGHT FROLIC'  radio program  between October 1959 and March 1962? The program took place in WSM's  studio C in Nashville. In 1964 the program moved to the Ryman Auditorium and changed its name to 'FRIDAY NIGHT OPRY'.

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Did you know that Jim Reeves participated in the 1956  'MARCH OF DIMES'  campaign which was to arouse interests for the fight again infantile paralysis? A blue-and- white Pullman train  called the 'RCA VICTOR STARLINER' and on board  as many as 20 great RCA Victor recording artists, visited 12  major cities in 10 days. The artists would visit deejays and do interviews only.  Besides Jim Reeves, famous artists such as  Eddie Fisher, Vaughn Monroe,  Eddie Arnold, Homer and Jethro participated part or all of the trip. During the journey, Jim Reeves met Herb Shucher who would become his personel manager a few weeks later. The train reached its final destination Philadelphia on January 21. 

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Did you know that December 14, 1961 was proclaimed  JIM REEVES DAY by the  Mayor of Henderson, Texas in honour of  hometown lad Jim Reeves? The highlight of the day was an appearence  by Jim in the Henderson High School  Auditorium.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves and a friend visited a record shop in Longview, Texas in May 1955? There Jim took  the latest Johnny Cash record out and both listened to  'Cry, Cry, Cry'. Jim told the friend:  "Watch that boy, he'll be the next superstar in country music". 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that on April 9, 1963, halfway during a farewell concert at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, Jim Reeves received a Gold record for 'From A Jack To A King'?  Jim had recorded that song in the EMI studio in Johannesburg, shortly before the shooting of the movie 'Kimberley Jim'. 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that, according to a report in a Grand Ole Opry newsletter, Jim Reeves played a show at the VFW Hall in Goodland, Kansas on July 4th, 1962, almost 50 years ago? It must have been a special treat to the Veterans of Foreign Wars  who attended the show on the day Americans celebrates the Declaration of Independence ( 1776).

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that, according to Tom Perryman, FABOR ROBISON first heard Jim Reeves sing the song 'WAGONLOAD OF LOVE' at the 'REO PALM ISLE' in Longview, Texas and  that inked him to the ABBOTT label? Jim's first  release on ABBOTT was 'Wagonload Of Love' / 'What Were You Doing Last Night'.
 
 
DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves considered the song 'IS IT REALLY OVER?' a perfect nightclub ballad? Jim recorded the song on July 2nd, 1964. The recording was posthumously released on single and  reached the number One position in the US country charts in September 1965.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

 

Did you know that on September 6, 1958 Hank Snow introduced Jim Reeves at the Prince Albert  Tobacco portion  of the Grand Ole Opry: " And ...our very special guest.....back after a long absence.....JIM REEVES!"  Jim then sang his latest RCA record " Blue Boy" , and his greatest hit until then, "Am I Losing You"  on the broadcasted portion of the show. 


DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that on January 26, 1956, Jim recorded for RCA in Nashville, between 19:00 and 22:00 hrs. his last four selections for his debut album "  SINGING DOWN THE LANE"  .

Just a few blocks away in Bradley's Film & Recording Studio between 19:15 and 22:15 hrs. another fellow Texan, by the name of BUDDY HOLLY, made his debut session for DECCA Records, recording four titles.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

According to Mary Reeves, Jim was working at a tyre establishment in  Shreveport, Louisiana,  when they first met at a  dance in Marshall, Texas in 1947. He was also playing professionally baseball for the Alexandria Aces in the Evangaline league in Louisiana at the time.


DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that according to Jim's old friend and business associate Tom Perryman, Jim Reeves would have loved to have been the first to record the song "  MY SPECIAL ANGEL"  ? Jim Reeves performed  the song on his ABN radio show series . However, it was Bobby Helms who recorded  the song in 1957 and topped the charts. He had another Number One hit earlier that year with the song " Fraulein"  .  
DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that in 1947 Jim Reeves was invited to sing a few numbers with fiddle player Caeser Massey and his Swinging Dudes?  Jim was still playing baseball at the time. It is believed that Jim's performances were not captured on pictures or acetate records.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that in a 1962 interview that Jim Reeves said  he earned $200,000.00 to $300,000.00 dollars from the  music business?  That amount could be true after he Jim had his big hit "  He'll Have To Go"  in 1960. Jim did a tour in the early 1960s, and he earned $10,000,00 for performing twelve days. According to the CPI inflation calculator, $200,000.00 in the early 1960s had the same buying power as $1,465,622.52 has in 2011. 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves played  a  show in Dessau Hall, near Pflugerville, Texas, probably in early 1953? The house band, who backed him at the show were three very young musicans, Justin Tubb, the son of Ernest Tubb, and his cousins Douglas Glen and Billy Tubb. They had worked hard to learn the songs Jim had put on ABBOTT records.  Jim sang only Ernest Tubb songs in the first part of the show, because he expected  they would not know his songs, but certainly Ernest Tubb's songs. When he learned they did know his songs,  he sang only his songs in the second part of the show. 

(With permission from the author, from Ronnie Pugh's book "  Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour"  .)

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Did you know that 4  Blue Boy members played together  on STARDAY album  SLP-138  NASHVILLE STEEL GUITARS?  Dean Manuel on piano,  Leo Jackson on guitar,  James Kirkland on bass, and Mel Rogers on drums accompanied steel guitar players  Pete Drake, Don Helms, Little Roy Wiggins, Jimmy Day,  Dick Stubbs, Al Petty, and Herb Remington. The recording engineer was a former member of Jim's earlier band "  The Wagonmasters"  . The album was released in 1961 and re-released as STARDAY NLP-2017 in 1965. It's a great country music album, which should not be lacking in the collection of Jim Reeves' fans who appreciate the Blue Boys for their musical craftmanship.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Blue Boy member Bunky Keels was married to a British girl? When the Blue Boys  toured the British Isles in 1965, they and Mary Reeves visited this girl's  family which  is from  Gillingham. They all went to an authentic British pub, Turk’s Head, at Winchester Road in Twickenham, Greater London. It  was featured in the Beatles' movie "  A Hard Days Night"   and was owned by an aunt of Mrs Bunky Keels.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that  Jim and Mary Reeves celebrated Mary's 35th birthday by taking a sightseeing trip with friends to Mexico City at the end of January 1963?

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that  Royce Glenn Sutton, a famous Nashville songwriter and record producer, was a performer on KGRI during Jim Reeves' tenure at the station?  This was mentioned in  the book "  How Nashville became Music City USA - 50 years of Music Row" ,  written by Michael Kosser and published in 2006.  Certainly Mike Curb gives it a glowing review when he says: "  Kosser's book is the most complete documentation that's yet been written on the incredible impact that Music Row has made on American pop & country music."   Reeves is mentioned nominally 8 times, but it is the 9th time on page 128 that is the revelation:     

"  Another great songwriter from this group was Royce Glenn Sutton, who grew up in a sawmill town called Chireno, Texas, just outside Nacogdoches.  Later he moved to Henderson, Texas, where one of the announcers at radio station KGRI, was Jim Reeves.  He started writing songs as a child, about "  horses & saddles & stuff" , and at the age of 16 he got a fifteen-minute radio show on Saturdays.  And Jim was the announcer in the booth.  He woud write up requests at home, from family, or somebody at school.  His theme song was the old Bob Wills' song "  I bet you my heart I love you"  ."

The following pages to 137 deal with Glenn Sutton's career. He had 485 songs on BMI, including classics such as " Almost Persuaded" , "  I Don't Wanna Play House", and "  What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)"  .


DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?


Did you know that Werly Fairburn recorded the song "  I GUESS I'M CRAZY"   in 1955 and performed it at the Louisiana Hayride. Jim apparently liked it and recorded it a few months before he died,  at RCA Studio B in Nashville on 18 May 1964 between 6:00   and 9:30 pm.  Chet Atkins produced the session. Session details are: Jim Reeves on vocal, Jerry Kennedy on guitar, Wayne Moss on guitar, Bob Moore on bass, William Ackerman on drums, Hargus Robbins on piano, Bill Pursell on vibes and strings section, and the Anita Kerr Singers on vocals. 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that in 1959 Jim Reeves didn't spend New Year's Eve at home but was on tour with other Grand Ole Opry artists? Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells, Johnny and Jack, Hank Locklin, Cowboy Copas, and possibly some other Opry members on December 29th performed in the Sioux City Municipal auditorium. On December 30th they did a show in Lincoln, Nebraska and on December 31st one in Omaha, Nebraska and  January 1st in Wichita, Kansas; and on January 2nd in Topeka, Kansas. On January 3rd, the troupe, consisting of Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells,  Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and other Opry members, performed in the Kansas Memorial Building. It is very likely on each of the dates, there was a different set of Grand Ole Opry artists.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that on  November 2, 1963 Cloda Rogers, from Northern Ireland,  flew to Nashville at the invitation of Jim Reeves and performed at the Grand Ole Opry one week later? Cloda Rogers was one of the acts  Jim Reeves knew from his 1963 Irish Tour. Jim probably spotted then that she was a talented and promising artist. Cloda represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest  in Dublin, Ireland  in 1972.
DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that on Monday September 10th, 1962, Jim Reeves and The Blue Boys performed two shows at 7:00  and 9:30 pm, at the Andrew Lewis High School, Salem, Virginia,  in aid of the Fort Lewis Rescue Squad? 

Some of  the songs performed were; 'He'll Have To Go', 'Four Walls', 'Wheels' - by Leo Jackson, 'Danny Boy', 'Stand At Your Window', and 'I'm Gonna Change Everything' .

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that the writer of 'Goldmine In The Sky' was so pleased with Jim's performance of the song that he wrote Jim a letter?

The western song, 'Goldmine In The Sky', was written by Nick and Charles Kinney, and published in 1937. Gene Autry recorded it, and starred in the movie by the same name in 1938.

Twenty years after the song was first published, Jim sang it on his ABN network radio show. At that time, the song was having a bit of a revival, having been recorded by Pat Boone and others. Since the song selection for Jim's show included   older standards as well as then-currently popular songs, 'Goldmine In The Sky'  fit in both categories.

Nick Kenny wrote to Jim,"  I was in the audience...the other morning, when you and the Anita Kerr singers gave that beautiful rendition of my song, 'Goldmine In The Sky.' I have never heard it done better and I am sorry you didn't record it just the way you did it the other morning."

Nick also could not pass up the opportunity to pitch a couple of his songs to Jim in the same letter.
 
DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves performed at a dance at a church-sponsored university early in his career?


In the autumn of 1954, Jim and the "  Louisiana Hayride Band"   performed at a show and dance at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Brigham Young University was founded by The Mormon Church.

While many main stream church-supported colleges and universities banned dancing on their campuses because they believed that dancing was sinful or could lead to sin, such was not the case at B.Y.U.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as The Mormon Church, not only allowed dancing, but apparently encouraged it. This stance was in contrast to the stance taken by most baptist churches, which was part of Jim's background.

Initially, it may have seemed odd to Jim to look out over an audience of college students on a university campus as they danced to his music. This is a scene which would likely have not been played out on almost any Baptist school in Texas at the time. But by the time the night of dancing in Utah was over and Jim had collected his $400.00 fee, he probably was accustomed to the sight.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves played in a semi-professional baseball tournament in the summer of 1942?

The Hughes Tool company had a semi-pro baseball team in Texas during World War II. Jim pitched for the Hughes Tool team. In mid-summer 1942, the Hughes Tool team went to the Texas State Tournament of semi-pro baseball. The tournament was held for more than two weeks in Waco, Texas, and was sanctioned by the National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress. Jim was scheduled to play for Hughes Tool.

Jim's own Player's Pass from this tournament has survived and is in Frank C. Anderson's  collection.


DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves had to contend with 3 covers of " Mexican Joe" ? 1. Billy Walker on the Columbia label which according to Walker had a sale of 200.000 records, 2. The Rhythm Harmoneers  on Flair, Tom Bearden, of whom we published an exclusive interview in on of our latest fan club magazines,  was member of that trio, and 3. Dewey Groom & his Texas Longhorns on Richtone,  the song sung by a then very young fiddle player, Johnny Gimble.


DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Jim Reeves used to do the song "  Chew Tobacco Rag"   on the  live shows  at the Reo Palm Isle in Gladewater, Texas. Unfortunately   no tape recording of Jim singing that song survived. The song was first recorded by Billy Frank Briggs, who also wrote it,  on the Liberty label in 1950.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

In December 1980 the Billboard  magazine reported that Jim Reeves Enterprises had two Jim Reeves album projects  in the can; a show taped live at the 'Grand Ole Opry',  and a Christmas album based on a network radio show broadcasted live  by Jim Reeves from WSM-AM Studio C.


DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

On Sunday March 20, 1960 a group of musicians gathered for a recording session at RCA's Studio B.  Some of them were initially told they were hired for a Jim Reeves session. Besides guitarist Scotty Moore, drummer D.J. Fontana and the vocal group Jordanaires,  members of the famous Nashville A team studio musicians were present: pianist Floyd Cramer, guitarist Hank Garland, bass player Bob Moore, and drummer Buddy Harman. It turned out to be the first Elvis Presley recording session after Elvis left the Army. RCA kept the recording session secret for fear of disturbances by thousands of fans turning up at the studio to see their favorite artist.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Jim's motto was :  " A stranger to me is just a friend I haven't met"  . Jim  admitted he had adapted it from Wil Rogers whom he had admired in his youth.

William Penn Adair " Will"  Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was a Cherokee cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville  performer and actor. One of Will Rogers's most famous lines, "  I have never yet met a man that I didn't like," was part of a longer quotation and it originally referred to Leon Trotsky: “ I bet you if I had met him and had a chat with him, I would have found him a very interesting and human fellow, for I never yet met a man that I did not like. When you meet people, no matter what opinion you might have formed about them beforehand, why, after you meet them and see their angle and their personality, why, you can see a lot of good in all of them."

Trotsky was a Bolshevik  revolutionary and Marxist theorist. He was expelled from the Communist Party and was eventually assassinated in Mexico by a Soviet agent in August of 1940.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that in September 1959, Jim Reeves signed a new five year contract with RCA Victor? Negotiations for the contract were done by Jim's manager Herb Shucher and the then  New York based RCA official  Steve Sholes, with whom Jim had inked his original RCA Victor contract in Nashville in 1955.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that after attending a Jim Reeves show in Calgary, Canada, Canadian songwriter and artist Ray Griff presented Jim Reeves with a song he had written; "  Where Do I Go From Here"  ? Jim Reeves recorded the song an invited Ray to come and record in Nashville. Soon after Ray arrived in Nashville, Jim Reeves got killed in an air crash.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that when RCA  released a Jim Reeves record, Jim bought a few hundred to a  thousand copies of that record and mailed them, at his own expenses, to radio stations for promotion? 

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim Reeves had blue eyes and brown hair, was 5 foot and 11 inches tall , and weighted 190 pounds in March 1961?
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim 's great-grandmother  from his mother's side, Martha Adams  was a native Indian from the Choctaw tribe? On  one occasion at a concert Jim proudly mentioned  he was a part Indian. Jim's great-grandfather Wyat Woodruff Adams - and his wife Martha lived in Sevier County, Tennessee. Their son Lorenzo moved to East Texas and got married. One of his 8 children was Jim's mother, Mary Beula Adams.

Jim had good reason to be proud to be part Indian. During the American Revolution, most Choctaws supported the Thirteen Colonies' bid for independence. The Choctaws and the United States agreed to nine treaties. Three treaties were designed to remove most Choctaws west of the Mississippi River. They were the first Native Americans to walk the Trail of Tears.  With ratification in 1831 of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, those Choctaws who lived in the newly formed state of Mississippi were the first major non-European ethnic group to become U.S. citizens. During the American Civil War, the Choctaw in both Oklahoma and Mississippi mostly sided with the Confederate States of America.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that in a letter to Doris and Elmer Gath, of  March 30th, 1960,  Jim wrote:  "  We have had 53 inches of snow this winter. A record. I hope I'm not around when a new record is set. I hate snow and rain" . (courtesy by Doris Gath) 

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that on August 8, 1959  Jim had re-joined the Grand Ole Opry as a member after 16 months of absence? The Opry rules dictated that a  member had to perform at the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry 26 weeks per year. As a consequence,  occasionally when Jim was on tour with the Blue Boys, he had to return to Nashville to perform at the Opry on  Saturday night, and return to his band the next day and continue the tour. Because of the usually high travel expenses and lost income for not being able to do shows at the weekend,  and the little money the Opry paid, many country music stars who were riding high in the charts and cashing  in on the popularity at shows, decided to discard their Opry membership. During that period of 16 months, Jim Reeves performed at least twice at the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry and at some Friday Night Frolic shows too.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that Jim celebrated his 39th Birthday in South Africa in Johannesburg on August 20th, 1962, at the start of a South African tour. Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, the Blue Boys and Dick O'Shaughnessy were participants of the show. Jim gave himself a birthday present, he talked  by telephone  to  his wife wife Mary and secretary Joyce.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that, according to Wikipedia, "  Goodnight, Irene"   is a 20th century American folk standard, written in 3/4 time, and was first recorded by American blues musician Huddie 'Lead Belly' Ledbetter in 1932?

The lyrics tell of the singer's troubled past with his love, Irene, and express his sadness and frustration. Several verses make explicit reference to suicidal fantasies, most famously in the line "  sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown,"   which was the inspiration for the 1964 Ken Kesey novel Sometimes a Great Notion. In 2002, Lead Belly's 1936 Library of Congress recording received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
 

On January 9, 1958 Jim Reeves recorded the song for his album 'GIRLS I HAVE KNOWN' .

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ...?

Did you know that  within 24 hours after returning from a  successful tour of South Africa, Jim Reeves and the Blue Boys left for a tour which ended with a 2 week engagement at the Mint Club, Las Vegas, at the end of September 1962?

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT  JIM REEVES AND GINNY WRIGHT ALMOST RECORDED A SECOND DUET?

Did you know that  Jim Reeves and Ginny Wright almost recorded a second duet after their hit “ I LOVE YOU"  ?  They were to record “ I’M IN HEAVEN" , and even practised it at Jim’s house, but when Ginny arrived at the recording studio, Tom Bearden instead of Jim, was her recording partner. Fabor Robinson and Jim Reeves had  some disagreements earlier that day and Fabor decided to replace Jim Reeves with Tom. It is Ginny Wright's opinion  that the record had a much smaller success than it would have had, if Jim had sang on it.

DID YOU KNOW THAT  JIM REEVES WAS ONCE WAS MEMBER OF A TRIO?

At the start of his singing career , Jim was member of a trio, he was known as Sonny Day, the two other members were  Fred Ledbetter, aka. Cole Knight, and Al Courtney. They performed locally and occasionally on radio.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ON 3 DECEMBER 1959,  JIM REEVES PERFORMED AT A CAMPUS?

Did you know that on December 3, it was 50 years ago that Jim Reeves, and some other country acts entertained at a banquet in the Vanderbilt University in Nashville. It was the first time that Grand Ole Opry artists appeared on the campus.

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM RECORDED A CHRISTMAS SONG WHICH IS KNOWN BY TWO TITLES?

Did you know that Jim Reeves recorded a Christmas song which is known by two titles? 'Mary's Boy Child' is a 1956 Christmas song, written by Jester Hairston. It was first recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1956, for his album An Evening with Belafonte.  The song was also recorded by Mahalia Jackson in 1956 but titled as 'Mary's Little Boy Child'. Jester Hairston is given credits for text and music for both titles by the US Copyright office.

On the 'Twelve Songs of Christmas'  album, the song is listed as 'Mary's Little Boy Child' on the US version, and 'Mary's Boy Child'  on the UK release.

Jim Reeves recorded 11 Christmas songs in two sessions on 19 and 25 October 1962. They first appeared on a South African Jim Reeves album; RCA 31.672 'MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM JIM REEVES', due to Jim's huge popularity there after a very successful tour in that country.  Click 
here to read about more about the South African release.

Jim recorded the song 'Silver Bells' on 5 July 1963, to make it a twelve song album for Christmas 1963 release in the USA.
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ON 15 OCTOBER 1955 JIM REEVES PERFORMED ON THE "OZARK JUBILEE" TV SHOW?

On 15th of October 1955, Jim Reeves sang "Yonder Come A Sucker" on what likely was his very first appearance on the "Ozark Jubilee"  television show. The show was hosted by Webb Pierce, who replaced Red Foley. This was the first of quite  a few appearances in that show, which was renamed "Country Music Jubilee" in July 1957, and "Jubilee USA" in  August 1958.  In June 1958 Jim replaced Red Foley as host for a few  weeks. 
 

DID YOU KNOW TOM PERRYMAN WAS THE FIRST WHO PLAYED JIM REEVES' RECORD AM I LOSING YOU?

Did you know that Tom Perryman was the first deejay to play Jims "AM I LOSING YOU" record? Jim had recorded the song earlier that evening  in RCA Studio B and took an acetate record of it  to Tom, who played it at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning at his all night show at WSM Radio.   The song was the biggest self penned hit for Jim Reeves.

 

DID YOU KNOW JIM REEVES HELPED A BLIND GIRL?


As was his custom after a performance, Jim Reeves was signing autographs. The autograph line moved along, and when it became her turn, a woman asked Jim if he would autograph a photo for her blind niece. Of course, he did.

Later, there was an article about this particular blind girl in her hometown South Carolina newspaper. She was ten years old, and had been blind from birth. Her eyes were "undeveloped".  Recently, her left eye had begun to shrivel, both eyes hurt, and the headaches she'd been having were blamed on her eyes. Her doctors decided that the best thing to do would be to remove her eyes and replace them with plastic ones. The article was published on the day of her surgery.

Besides mentioning that the girl attended the school for the deaf and blind in Spartanburg, the article also told about her singing in church the previous Sunday, how she loved to play house and play with her dolls, and that Jim Reeves was her favorite singer. She said that she had an autographed picture of Jim which she treasured.

Near the end of the article, the girl's mother said that her daughter wanted a braille watch, but the family had been unable to find one for her.

A disc jockey at a small radio station in the blind girl's hometown cut out the article and sent it, along with a letter, to Jim Reeves. The DJ wrote that the little girl loved the songs by "My Jim Reeves", as she called him. The DJ asked Jim to send the girl a card or "...a small record with you saying a prayer for her recovery."

Jim responded to the DJ's letter about the little blind girl by going beyond what had been asked of him. Although it took several weeks, Jim did what the girl's parents had been unable to do: he found and bought the little blind girl a braille watch and had it sent to her.


DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES SOLD PUZZLES?


Along with the photos and tourbooks and songbooks which Jim Reeves sold at his performances, he also sold puzzles. Inside a tiny envelope with "Jim Reeves and The Blue Boys" printed on the outside, was a paper "T" puzzle. The puzzle consisted of several odd-shaped pieces of paper with the object of the puzzle being to arrange the pieces to form the letter "T". In October, 1962, Jim ordered 3,000 of the puzzles from a printer in California

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES HAD A "RUN-IN" IN PRINTER'S ALLEY?

Did you know that around 10:30 on Saturday night July 21, 1962, Jim Reeves drove his 1960 Cadillac into downtown Nashville and onto Printer's Alley. Turning onto a side alley alongside The Rustic Dinner Club, he parked his car, got out, and headed towards the night club door.
 
When Jim noticed that the rear of his car was sticking out a bit onto Printer's Alley he got back in to straighten it up and move it fully onto the side alley. As he backed his car out, a taxicab came down Printer's Alley. In a hurry to get out of the way, Jim changed gears, hit the accelerator, and caused the right front bumper of his Cadillac to strike the left side of the doorway to The Rustic Dinner Club, cracking several bricks in the wall.
 
It was a testament to the sturdiness of 1960s American-made automobiles that, although Jim's accident cracked several bricks in the wall of the building, there was no visible damage to either the body or the bumper of his Cadillac.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES ENJOYED NASHVILLE'S MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL?

Did you know that Jim Reeves loved baseball. In high school he was an all-state pitcher for his Carthage Bulldogs. After high school he played minor league professional baseball until an injury forced him to look for another way to make a living.
 
Long after Jim's playing days were over he still enjoyed baseball. In the spring of 1961, he bought two season box seat tickets and 25 general admission tickets from the local minor league baseball team in Nashville.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM BULLEIT HELPED TO BOOK JIM REEVES ON THE LOUISIANA HAYRIDE IN 1951?

Jim Bulleit helped to book Jim Reeves on the Louisiana  Hayride on July 14, 1951? In January 1951, KWKH hired Jim Bulleit, who had started his own  Bullit record label in 1946,  as a full-time artists' service representative.   In 1952  Jim Bulleit quit and moved back to his family in Nashville. In the brief period he was at KWKH, he had helped to book several important acts such as JIM REEVES, Slim Whitman, and the Wilburn Brothers.

This very interesting and important information had first been published in a 1995 Ph. D. dissertation "LOUISIANA SATURDAY NIGHT: A History of Louisiana Country Music"  by Steven R. Tucker, and quoted in the book "LOUISIANA HAYRIDE - Radio & Roots Music Along the Red River" by Tracey E. W. Laird, which was published in 2005.  I sincerely hope that this info is useful for a Jim Reeves biographer who, for a number of years,  has been struggling to finish his book and apparently is quite unaware of this information.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE FIRST 'THE JIM REEVES SHOW' WAS BROADCAST ON OCTOBER 7, 1957?

Did you know that the first 'The Jim Reeves Show' was broadcast on 7 October 1957 over ABN ? It ran for 21 weeks on weekdays (105 one hour episodes)  till 28 February 1958. The ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICE is known to have transcribed  74 condensed episodes  of 25 minutes each on 16" discs for transmission to American Forces serving abroad.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT IN 1965 JIM REEVES' FANS   COULD LOOK FORWARD TO A BOOK ON JIM'S LIFE?

Did you know that Jim Reeves' fans could look forward to a book on Jim's life? In April 1965 Mary Reeves reported in an interview that she soon would begin work on the book. The title would have been derived from the conversation Jim was having with the tower at the Nashville airport at the instant the plane went down.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ....?

Did you know that on May 26, 1962, Jim Reeves appeared on the Harvey's Record Department portion of the Grand Ole Opry. He sang both sides of his new RCA Victor release, "Adios Amigo", and "A Letter To My Heart." The single was offered free along with an autographed  photo of Jim, with each purchase from Harvey's of Reeves' album, "He'll Have To Go."  Harvey's is a well known department store in Nashville.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT EDDY ARNOLD REPLACED JIM REEVES ON ONE EPISODE OF THE ABN 'THE JIM REEVES SHOW' ?

Did you know that Eddy Arnold replaced Jim Reeves on  one episode of the ABN 'The Jim Reeves Show'? Jim reported ill with the flu and Eddy Arnold was invited to replace him.  It must have sounded funny to the audience to hear Eddy, "The Tennessee Plowboy' making jokes about situations in Jim's  birthplace, Carthage, Texas.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT ....?

Did you know that in April, 1957 RCA Victor artists Jim Reeves, Del Wood, Hank Locklin, Janis Martin, The Browns, and the Wagonmasters embarked on a European tour, giving approximately 30 concerts for both military and civilians. Before leaving for Europe, they did two shows, one in the armory at Akron, Ohio  and one  in Toledo.  And they also appeared on the NBC-TV's TONIGHT show.
 

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES PERFORMED OTHER ARTIST'S SONGS BEFORE HE HAD HIS OWN SONGS?


In 1952, a year before Jim Reeves had his first hit record, he performed the popular songs of the day which had been made famous by established singers. To help him remember the lyrics to the songs he performed, he carried a little black notebook which contained the typed and hand-written words to many songs.

Within the notebook are the words to many country and western songs, but also there are several "pop" songs as well. The notebook is arranged  alphabetically by song title. The first song in the notebook is the same song which Jim recorded about eight years later for his RCA LP, "The Intimate Jim Reeves": "Almost".

The established artist  who had more songs in Jim's book than any other was Hank Williams. Hank was still living at the time, and his popularity was reflected by all the aspiring artists like Jim Reeves who performed Hank's songs. The following Hank Williams songs were in Jim's song notebook in 1952:

1. Baby, We're Really In Love
2. Cold, Cold Heart
3. Half As Much
4. Hey, Good Lookin'
5. I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You
6. I'm Sorry for You, My Friend
7. Jambalaya

Jim also performed songs by Eddy Arnold, Lefty Frizzell, Carl Smith, and several other country music singers, as witnessed by their songs appearing in Jim's song lyric notebook.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that the Vickers Viking  airplane in which Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer and the Blue Boys were flown during their South African Tour in 1962, has been preserved.  A two part article about that tour by Mr. David Davies, was published in the latest two issues of the fan club magazine. Mr. Davies mentioned several incidents with the airplane during that tour. In January 1963, the airplane was put on the roof of a petrol station near Johannesburg. It was removed and taken to the Jan Smuts airport for restoration in March 1987 where it still stands as a tatty hulk.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE ABN RADIO JIM REEVES  SHOW WAS ALSO TRANSMITTED IN EUROPE?

Did you  know that the US ARMED FORCES RADIO TRANSCRIPTION SERVICE produced 25 minutes  editions of the ABN RADIO JIM REEVES SHOW for transmission on  AFN radio stations outside the USA? The program was broadcast in Europe too and  attracted little or no attention from the then few European Jim Reeves fans. It did not got mentioned in any of the  European 'Hillbilly Music' magazines of that era or in any other European country music magazines since. Possibly the 'pop' content of the programs was the reason for this. 
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES WAS A DEPUTY SHERIFF?

C.V."Buster" Kern was the sheriff of Harris County, Texas (Houston is the county seat) from 1949 until 1972. Sheriff Kern had a custom of deputizing celebrities who visited Houston. He presented them with gold deputy sheriff's badges. Among the celebrities who became Harris County deputies and received gold badges were actor James Cagney, comedian Milton Berle, Elvis Presley, and Jim Reeves.

During a visit to Houston in March,1960, Jim was made a deputy by Sheriff Kern. The badge which the sheriff gave to Jim reads, "Deputy Sheriff, Harris County, Texas, Jim Reeves". Jim also received a matching pair of cuff links (with the Harris County Sheriff's logo) at the time. The Badge and cuff links have survived, and are in a private collection.

In a photo taken on the occasion, Jim is wearing the black and white houndstooth coat which can be seen on the " Gentleman Jim" LP, among others. Sheriff Kern is placing the badge on Jim's left coat lapel, and Mrs. Kern is standing between the two men.

On the back of the picture, in Jim Reeves' handwriting, is the following caption:
"Sheriff Buster Kern pinning badge on Jim Reeves deputizing him as a member of the Harris County Sheriff's Dept. Mrs. Kern looks on. Houston, Texas, Rice Hotel, Thursday March 24, 1960."
 

 

DID YOU KNOW WHICH COUNTRIES CONTRIBUTED THE MOST TO JIM REEVES  ROYALTIES EARNINGS IN 2004?



Did you know which countries contributed the most to Jim Reeves royalty earnings in 2004? Here is the list of the top eight countries and their percentage of royalty contributions to the Reeves estate as published by a Nashville newspaper:



1. United Kingdom - 24.7 %
2. Canada - 8.5 %
3. South Africa - 4.6 %
4. Australia - 4.6 %
5. Germany - 2.1 %
6. New Zealand - 1.7 %
7. India - 1.2 %
 8. Ireland - 1.2 %

 

It is very likely that the figures have little changed in 5 years time.
 


 
DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES WAS TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR HIS BIOGRAPHY?
 

Did you know that Jim Reeves was to be interviewed for his biography during a two week period  in November or December 1964? In January 1964, he had written to a Florida promoter and tentatively set up the appointment for  two weeks of meetings for the promoter to work on the book. The  promoter had previously handled promotion for Tennessee Ernie Ford, Eddy Arnold, Tex Ritter and 50 other entertainers.
 


DID YOU KNOW THAT MARY REEVES HIRED SOMEONE TO PROMOTE THE JIM REEVES MUSEUM WHEN IT FIRST OPENED?


Fredda Lee was employed to publicize the new Jim Reeves Museum at Nashville, Tennessee. She went to to television and radio stations all across America. In the early 1980's, Fredda logged thousands of miles working for Mary by talking about the museum devoted to Jim.

Almost everywhere she went to be interviewed about the museum and Jim Reeves, whether it was a radio station or a TV station, her promotional work was recorded. Now, almost 30 years after the Jim Reeves Museum first opened, many of those audio tapes and video tapes still survive. Unfortunately, The Jim Reeves Museum itself has not survived.



DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES RECEIVED A CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FROM THE COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION?


Jim Reeves and several other country music performers participated in a couple of C&W shows sponsored by The Country Music Association. The shows were intended to promote country music.

Afterwards, Jim received a certificate from the CMA, dated February 22, 1964, "...for his generous contribution of time and talent in our mutual cause for the broader acceptance and progress of country music."

The certificate was signed by Frances Preston, as Chairman of the Board of the CMA. It was also signed by the then President of the CMA, Tex Ritter. As many fans know, Tex and Jim were both natives of Panola County, Texas.


 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES MADE A PILOT FOR A TV SHOW?


During Jim's time as a professional singer, several country music performers had television programs. Pee Wee King was a TV pioneer in 1947 with his TV show in Cincinnati. Red Foley's nation-wide show began in 1955. Tenn. Ernie Ford's show originated in California in 1956. "Eddy Arnold Time" was filmed in Chicago in 1955. Flatt and Scruggs had their TV show beginning in the late 1950's. Jimmy Dean's first program was in the '50's. Porter Wagoner's show began in 1960.
The Wilburn Brothers Show started in 1963.

All of these country music shows enjoyed varying degrees of success either on a network basis or in syndication. Yet, the pilot for The Jim Reeves Show did not sell. From the documents which survive, it seems that there was little or no interest in Jim's show among TV executives or advertisers.

One possible explanation for the failure of The Jim Reeves Show pilot to sell has little to do with Jim Reeves himself. The format of the pilot, it's production values, and the general show environment may have caused it to go unsold.

Jim Reeves was a major star and was quite popular by the time the pilot was made, so it seems doubtful that he was the reason the show was rejected. If you compare Jim's pilot with the successful TV shows of his contemporaries, there are some differences, however.

On the successful country music shows of the day, almost all of the music was performed live using singers and musicians, and very little lip-synching. Jim just talked and lip-synched. Most of the other shows had an ensemble-like cast: the star, the musicians, and often a comedian. Jim's show had Jim and a couple of guests. The guests also lip-synched their songs. There was often lively, humorous interaction between the cast members throughout these other shows. Jim talked to the camera or introduced his guests. Most of the other shows had relatively higher production values than Jim's show. The other guys had nicer sets, better visuals, etc. Jim had a slide projector, slides, and a screen.

It is unfortunate that a performer of Jim's stature did not have a better media vehicle to take him before the TV public. If only...

If Jim had performed his songs live with The Blue Boys; if there had been a first class TV "set"; if he would have used a comedian, such as Archie Campbell or Minnie Pearl; if...

But it happened the way it happened. And the powers that be were not interested.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES WAS AN OUTSTANDING PLAYER ON HIS CARTHAGE, TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL TEAM?

Did you know that Jim Reeves was an outstanding player on his Carthage, Texas high school baseball team?

Although he was 85 years old at the time, Jim's coach, Mr. E. B. Morrison, remembered Jim well when asked about him. "Jim Reeves was one of my players. He was an all-state pitcher." said Morrison.

In those days, "The boys didn't get letters for playing baseball. I did have three boys who won all-state honor for baseball and did receive awards. They got little gold baseballs."

Jim Reeves won his little gold baseball in 1941, and it was engraved to him and recognized his outstanding achievement. That particular little gold baseball has survived and is in a private collection.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES GAVE A NEW RCA TELEVISION TO AN ELDERLY LADY?


On October 21, 1963, an 81 year old woman living in Houston, Texas wrote a letter to Jim Reeves asking for his help in obtaining a television set. She did not ask Jim to buy her a TV and give it to her for free. Apparently, the woman's reasoning was that since Jim "worked" for RCA, he might be able to help her get an RCA TV at a discount. She wrote: "I can
pay by the month a small amount...I was hoping that you could get one cheaper than I can."

It appears that Jim soon contacted the RCA distributor in Houston and made some secret arrangements to surprise an old woman.

On October 30, 1963, one of the female employees from the Houston distributor delivered a brand new RCA TV and TV stand to the elderly lady's modest home, set it up, and showed her how to operate the TV.

In his letter to Jim, an employee of the Houstion RCA distributor wrote that the elderly lady who received the gift from Jim "...was thrilled beyond words."

 

DID YOU KNOW?


Did you know that after Jim Reeves appeared on Lawrence Welk's television program in 1958, Mr. Welk sent Jim a thank you note?

In his thank you note to Jim Reeves, Lawrence Welk expressed his appreciation to Jim for appearing on his TV show. Welk said that they "all" enjoyed Jim's performance. And Welk further said: "...your wonderful cooperation made it a pleasure to work with you."

An interesting feature of Lawrence Welk's personal stationery is a silhouette of Welk and his accordion standing in a champagne glass with bubbles all around.
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES HAD AT LEAST THREE MANAGERS?

Did you know that Jim Reeves had at least three managers? Early in his career when he was with Abbott Records, Jim signed a management contract with Fabor Robison, owner of Abbott Records. After the acrimonious split with Robison, Jim next hired Herb Shucher to manage his career. By that time, Jim had signed with RCA Records. The business association between Jim and Herb lasted a few years, but was eventually dissolved. Many fans may not know that Jim had a third manger by the name of Jim Barry. Barry's tenure as Jim Reeves' manager was short. The few photographs of Barry taken with Jim show Barry dressed in a dinner jacket and wearing a bow tie, which is quite similar to the attire worn at the time by his boss.
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT CHEYENNE HAD ORIGINALLY ANOTHER  NAME?

Did you know that when one day Mary Reeves bought a Collie and called him Tango. Jim was out on a tour and when Mary phoned him and mentioned the name of dog. Jim told her that he didn't like that name. They decided that since he was in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the dog would be  called Cheyenne instead.
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES RECEIVED AN AGRICULTURE CLASS AWARD?


Most fans are aware that Jim Reeves grew up on a farm in Texas, but did you know that Jim received an award while in high school for his work in an agriculture class? In 1940 Jim received a certificate of achievement from his high school chapter of the Texas Future Farmers of America for his outstanding work in class. The certificate still exists and is part of major private collection of Jim Reeves memorabilia.


DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM WORE A HAIRPIECE?

Most Jim Reeves fans know that he wore a hairpiece. The hairpieces which he wore during the last few years of his life were top quality, coming from a California maker.

However, some of his earlier "rugs" did not look so good. In fact, one hairpiece in particular may have played a small part in Jim's missing out on what could have been a significant career advancement.

In 1957, Jim's hit record, "Four Walls", opened many doors for him. One door led Jim to New York City and a meeting with talent agents from an internationally known agency and representatives of corporate America. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Jim to the corporate reps. Unfortunately, the meeting did not go well for Jim. Later, in his analysis of the meeting, one of the agents stated some reasons why he thought Jim was passed over, and the hairpiece was mentioned. The agent suggested that Jim get a new and better-looking hairpiece.

It is clear from the surviving documents that the hairpiece was only a minor factor in the New York meeting not going well. But it appears that from the time of the meeting onward, the quality and appearance of Jim's hairpieces improved. He seems to have heeded the advice of the New York talent agent.


DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM REEVES HAD MORE THAN ONE SECRETARY?


Did you know that Jim Reeves had more than one secretary? Most long-time fans are aware that Joyce Gray (later Joyce Jackson) was Jim's secretary for several years. But before Jim hired Miss Gray to take care of the office work of correspondence, filing, typing, etc., another woman had those responsibilities. Although it was only for a short time, Shirley O'Daniel handled the secretarial work before Joyce Gray took over.