Recently I talked to Mr. James B. Newberry, who over the last 40 years is regarded as the worldís premier collector of Jim Reeves recordings and memorabilia. He informed me about the progress of restoration of Jim's Cadillac Eldorado, the new pieces of memorabilia he had recently bought from Mr. Ed Gregory, and his plans for a museum to exhibit his collection. Below you can read what Mr. Newberry told me:
The most important record award I purchased is Heíll Have To Go. I have 27 Jim Reevesí Gold and platinum record awards. He'll Have To Go is the one that put Jim on the road to success and it is the only major record award presented to Jim Reeves when he was alive.
I am also fond of the red tuxedo jacket, because it was his favorite outfit.
I have always said in a museum format my record collection
would be of great interest to the public, even if they were not
fans of Jim Reeves.
We are fortunate to have RCA as his label. In Jim's era RCA pressed records all over the world. As you known many countries used different photo's on these records. I can vision the recordings on display and people could walk around the world with a display of Jim's recordings. This would be an interesting exhibit as well as being educational.
Also letís not forget we are dealing with 12" and 16" transcriptions, commercially recorded reel to reel tapes, reel to reel tapes, metal backed acetates, eight track tapes, eight track-boxed sets, cassettes, cassette- boxed sets, 78 rpm, 45's, 45 rpm, rpm boxed sets, epís, juke box 33 rpm epís, lpís, lp boxed sets, cdís, cd boxed sets, eight-millimeter film, 16-millimeter film, 35-millimeter film, kinescopes video cassettes. What a museum as far the history of recorded sound with Jim Reeves.
It has always been my desire to put all of my memorabilia in a museum. Never has been an easy thing to do. Mary Reeves and I spent untold hours talking about this subject. If any thing it is probably getting harder based on the longer time Jim has been gone and now Mary is not with us and therefor she is not driving Jimís career. The bulk of my collection is in storage and has been there for about six years. Can I promise in blood that it will all get on display in my lifetime. Who can, promise? All I can do is try. I have on going conversations with Charles Thomas (the city manager of Carthage). We now talk every three weeks or so. I now have a very strong personal relationship with Charles and this is a positive step in the right direction. In the near future he is going to be visiting me here in California. and I will be continuing my visits to Carthage. But as I have already mentioned it is not easy.
You don't see my collection being sold on eBay or for that matter anywhere. I have never sold a Jim Reeves item in my life, and have given more than a few items away to deserving people over the years. In fact I have given three Abbott lpís to people that were close to Jim. I am going on forty years accumulating all of this Jim Reeves memorabilia and a lot of personal sacrifices to this cause have been made along the way.
I have gone after rare items from Jim Reeves enterprises The awards, the car, the performing uniforms wallet, baseball uniform etc. A museum is more important now than ever before because I have acquired so many personal items that people who visit a Jim Reeveís museum would want to see.
In purchasing Jim's wallet I have the business card from the man he flew to meet in Arkansas. This probably makes this the last item given to Jim Reeves when he was alive. The wallet has thirty dollars in it, the money he had on him at the time of his passing. I purchased one of Maryís wallets with drivers license etc., so it can be preserved.
I purchased the baseball uniform and letter from the Cardinals as Mary had it displayed in the museum. I purchased one of the last record awards ever give to Jim from RCA. This was presented to Mary when she was honored on the Jim Reeves day in Carthage in 1995, and I remember that Mary was not well. It is a huge award about 4 ft by 5 ft. and has 40 cd's representing 40 years on RCA. This will have to be professionally crated and shipped to me. It means a lot to me because I was there when she received it and also being the last major RCA award received. It had very little time to be displayed before the Jim Reeves museum was closed.
I can tell you this if you ever restore a car in an effort to get what is referred to as a 100 point show car. Call some one in the Classic car club , The Cadillac-LaSalle Club or some one who is a professional in this area. To do it right is time consuming and expensive. The car will not be ready until November or December or maybe later. This will be over a year from start to finish.
Rarely would anyone put forth this kind of effort or expense in a 1960 Cadillac (even though the car is rare only 1075 were produced). It is personal and in most cases, you don't get your investment back. The car could be your fathers, or one you were married in, or in my case a celebrity car. What could be more important to me and to my desire to properly preserve all of the priceless memorabilia? It was Jim Reeveís car. We are going for a 100 point car the top award you can receive when you show a car in a Concours.
As you know I rarely give any kind of an interview regarding Jim Reeves and my memorabilia. A lot of shots are taken at me just because I have what I have. Over the years this has presented it self, people who have never met me donít like me simply because I have all of the Jim Reeves items. This is but one of the reasons I protect my privacy. You asked me if you could publish some of my photos around the time of the anniversary of Jim's passing. You advised the fans would want to see them. The answer to you is yes.
Regarding the current accusations expressed on a forum, I refuse to throw any stones at anyone regarding who is right or who is wrong regarding the on going saga of the fans, the family, the collectors, the writers, the friends, former employees, the entertainers, the ownership of the name etc., of one hell of a good base baritone singer. My life has not been perfect and neither has anyone else always been right, and human beings in general are a long way from perfection. I will simply continue as I always have regarding my memories of Gentleman Jim Reeves
We thank Mr. Newberry for allowing us to publish
these pictures on this web site.
Please note, it will take some minutes before all images have been loaded!
HE'LLHAVE TO GO
AWARD FOR OVER 5 MILLION RECORDS AND TAPES, DISTANT DRUMS
JIM REEVES' COLLECTION - PLATINUM RECORD AWARD, DISTANT DRUMS AND DOVE AWARD
SOUTH AFRICAN SINGLE RECORD AWARDS
NORWEGIAN SILVER DISCS
NORWEGIAN PLATINUM RECORDS: (TOP) YOU'RE THE ONLY GOOD THING", "I LOVE YOU BECAUSE",(BOTTEM) "I WON'T FORGET YOU" AND "HE'LL HAVE TO GO".
ARCADE PLATINUM RECORD
STAGE OUT FITS
TWO OF JIM'S PURSES AND ONE FROM MARY
note the burned dollar notes, a passport type picture of Jim and various cards
JIM'S CADILLAC ELDORADO
JIM'S CAR BEFORE THE CAR ENTERED THE UPHOLSTERY WORKSHOP
THE CAR DISPLAY SIGNS
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OTHER PICTURES FROM THE JAMES B. NEWBERRY COLLECTION, FORMELY DISPLAYED AT HIS HOME.