James Newberry talks about his latest acquisitions

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.
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RECORD AWARDS

   

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

 

 

 

 

 

PERSONAL ITEMS

 

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.