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Jim Reeves, Country Music's Greatest Legend
Gentleman Jim Reeves - Welcome To My World
The most comprehensive coverage of Jim Reeves, the country music legend. Few artists have produced so many beautiful songs and brought them into our homes for our continuing enjoyment.
Jim Reeves recorded a total of 444 songs in his 11 year career in country music, with 212 albums of Jim Reeves songs from 1960 to 2007 available worldwide. Read his story and review all of his songs and lyrics as well as watching the famous video of Jim Reeves singing, I Love You Because, live in Norway.
Then acquire some of his beautiful songs so that you can listen to his mellow voice in the comfort of your own home.
Welcome To The World of Jim Reeves, Country Music's Greatest Legend
Jim Reeves was at the height of his career when his private plane crashed outside of Nashville on July 31, 1964.
Jim Reeves Biography
The Untold Story
Gentleman Jim Reeves was perhaps the biggest male star to emerge from the Nashville sound. His mellow baritone voice and muted velvet orchestration combined to create a sound that echoed around this world and has lasted to this day, none can argue against the large audience that loves his music.
Jim Reeves was capable of singing hard country, Mexican Joe went to number one in 1953, but he made his greatest impact as a country pop crooner.
From 1955 through 1969, Jim Reeves was consistently in the country and pop charts, an amazing fact in light of his untimely death in an airplane accident in 1964.
Not only was he a presence in the American charts, but he became country music's foremost international ambassador and, if anything, was even more popular in Europe and Britain than in his native America.
After his death, his fan base didn't diminish at all, and several of his posthumous hits actually outsold his earlier singles; no less than six number one singles arrived in the three years following his burial. In fact, during the '70s and '80s, he continued to have hits with both unreleased material and electronic duets like, Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me with Deborah Allen and Have You Ever Been Lonely?, with his smooth singing female counterpart of the plush Nashville sound, Patsy Cline, who also perished in an airplane crash, in 1963.
But Jim Reeves' legacy remains with lush country-pop singles like Four Walls (1957) and He'll Have to Go (1959), which defined both his style and an entire era of country music.
The Early Years
He Tried His Hand At Many Things
Jim Reeves was born and raised in Galloway, Texas, where he was one of nine children. Tragically, his father died when Jim was only ten months old, forcing his mother to farm and raise her family. At the age of five, he was given an old guitar, and shortly afterward, he heard a Jimmie Rodgers record through his older brother.
From that moment on, Jim Reeves was entranced by country music and Jimmie Rodgers in particular. By the time he was 12 years old, he had already appeared on a radio show in Shreveport, LA.
Though he was fascinated with music, Jim Reeves also was a talented athlete and during his teens he decided he was going to pursue a career as a baseball player. Winning an athletic scholarship to the University of Texas, Jim Reeves enrolled at the school to study speech and drama, but he dropped out after six weeks to work at the shipyards in Houston.
Soon, he had returned to baseball, playing in the semi-professional leagues before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1944. He stayed with the team for three years before seriously injuring his ankle and thereby ruining his chances of a prolonged athletic career.
For the next few years, Jim Reeves went through a number of blue collar jobs while trying to decide on a profession. During this time he began singing as an amateur, appearing both as a solo artist and as the front man for Moon Mullican's band. In 1949, Jim Reeves cut a number of songs for the small independent Macy label, none of which were particularly successful.
In the early '50s, Jim Reeves decided that he would make broadcasting his vocation, initially working for KSIG in Gladewater, Texas, before establishing himself at KGRI in Henderson.
A 'No Show' By Hank Williams In 1952 Gave Jim Reeves His Chance As A Singer
Disc Jockey And Newscaster
The Popular Louisiana Hayride
Over the next few years, Jim Reeves was a disc jockey and newscaster at KGRI, moving to KWKH in Shreveport, LA, in November of 1952, becoming host of the popular Louisiana Hayride. Late in 1952, Hank Williams failed to make an appearance on the show, and Jim Reeves sang in his place.
His performance was enthusiastically received, and Abbott Records immediately signed him to a record contract.
Mexican Joe was Jim Reeves' debut single for Abbott, and it quickly climbed to number one in the spring of 1953, spending nine weeks at the top of the charts. It was followed by another number one hit, Bimbo, later in 1953, establishing that Jim Reeves was not a one-hit wonder; later that same year, he was made a full-time member of the Louisiana Hayride.
During 1954 and 1955, he had four other hit singles for Abbott and its parent company, Fabor, before RCA signed him to a long term deal in 1955; that same year, he joined the Grand Ole Opry. At RCA, Jim Reeves began to develop the distinctively smooth, lush, and pop oriented style of country that made him a superstar and earned him the nickname Gentleman Jim.
Peaking at number four, Yonder Comes a Sucker was his first Top Ten hit for RCA in the summer of 1955. It kicked off a remarkable streak of 40 hit singles, most of which charted in the Top Ten.
Many of his singles also became pop crossovers, which indicate exactly how much of a pop influence there was on his music. Indeed, Jim Reeves' vocal style derived from the crooning of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and early in his career he abandoned cowboy outfits for upscale suits. In the process, he brought country music to a new, urban audience.
Jim Reeves Country Classics - Just Listen To His Smooth Mellow Voice
The Story Continues.......
The Country Classics
Throughout the '50s and early '60s, Jim Reeves racked up a number of major hits and country classics like Four Walls (number one for eight weeks, 1957), Anna Marie (1958), Blue Boy (number two, 1958), Billy Bayou (number one for five weeks, 1959), He'll Have to Go (number one for 14 weeks, 1960), Adios Amigo (number two, 1962), Welcome to My World (number two, 1964), and I Guess I'm Crazy (number one for seven weeks, 1964).
Four Walls was the turning point in his career, proving to both Jim Reeves himself and his producer, Chet Atkins that his main source of success would come from ballads. As a result, Jim Reeves became an even bigger star, not only in America but throughout the world. Jim Reeves toured Europe and South Africa, building a strong following in countries that rarely had been open to country music in the past.
Jim Reeves was at the height of his career when his private plane crashed outside of Nashville on July 31, 1964. The bodies of Jim Reeves and his manager, Dean Manuel, were found two days later and were buried in his home state of Texas. Though Jim Reeves had died, his popularity did not vanish, in fact, his sales increased following his death.
Throughout the late '60s, RCA released a series of posthumous singles, many of which, including This Is It (1965), Is It Really Over? (1965), Distant Drums (1966), and I Won't Come in While He's There (1967), hit number one. The previously un-issued songs were frequently mixed in with previously released material on album releases, making his catalog confusing but profitable for RCA.
The flow of unreleased Jim Reeves material did not cease during the '70s or '80s; in fact, there wasn't a year between 1970 and 1984 when there wasn't a Jim Reeves single in the charts, either at the top or in the lower regions. Jim Reeves was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1967, and two years later, the Academy of Country Music instituted the Jim Reeves Memorial Award.
Though the flood of unreleased material ceased in the mid '80s, the cult surrounding Jim Reeves has never declined. In 1991, Bear Family released Welcome to My World, a 16-disc box set containing his entire recorded works.
Few Artists Have Produced So Many Beautiful Songs
Welcome To My World - The Definitive Collection - Every Song Jim Reeves Ever Recorded For Your Listening Pleasure
Gentleman Jim Reeves Songs
Here You Will Find Listed All Jim Reeves Song Titles And The Year That They Were Released
My Heart's Like a Welcome Mat
I Love You
My Rambling Heart
The Padre of Old San Antone
Yonder Comes a Sucker
Dear Hearts and Gentle People
My Lips Are Sealed
The Mother of a Honky Tonk Girl
Where Does a Broken Heart Go?
According To My Heart
Am I Losing You?
Two Shadows on Your Window
Waiting For a Train
He'll Have to Go
In a Mansion Stands My Love
I'd Like To Be
I'm Beginning To Forget You
If Heartache Is the Fashion
But You Love Me Daddy
A Fool Such As I
It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)
I'm Getting Better
I Missed Me
I Know One
A Railroad Bum
Welcome to My World
Stand at Your Window
What Would You Do
I Won't Forget You
Roses are Red My Love
A Fallen Star
I'm Gonna Change Everything
Losing Your Love
Pride Goes Before a Fall
You're The Only Good Thing
This World Is Not My Home
Is This Me?
The Merry Christmas Polka
Little Ole Dime
Love is No Excuse
Blue Canadian Rockies
Jim Reeves Music
After Jim Reeves Died In July 1964, His Backlog of Songs Were Released By His Wife, Mary.
Jim Reeves Posthumous Hits
The legend lives on and the records continue to hit the charts.
I Love You Because
Not Until the Next Time
There's a Heartache Following Me
I Guess I'm Crazy
What's in It For Me?
Oh! What It Seemed to Me
One Dozen Roses
When I Lost You
There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder
It's Only a Paper Moon
There's That Smile Again
Where Do I Go to Throw a Picture Away
Somewhere Along the Line
In The Misty Moonlight
You'll Never Know
I Can't Stop Loving You
A Nickle Piece of Candy
Moonlight and Roses
This Is It
Is It Really Over
Strike It Rich
It Hurts So Much (To See You Go)
How Long Has It Been
I Grew Up
A Roving Gambler
A Stranger's Just A Friend You Do Not Know
Blue Side of Lonesome
I Won't Come In While He Is There
I Heard a Heart Break Last Night
When You Are Gone
When Two Worlds Collide
Just Walking in the Rain
Angels Don't Lie
Missing You (re-release)
The Writing on the Wall
Am I That Easy to Forget
I'd Fight the World
Just Call Me Lonesome
Its Nothing to Me
You're the Only Good Thing (re-release)
Don't Let Me Cross Over
Oh, How I Miss You Tonight
Take Me In Your Arms and Hold Me
Have You Ever Been Lonely? Duet with Patsy Cline
There's Always Me
Make the World Go Away
I Fall To Pieces
The Jim Reeves Medley
The Image of Me
Why Do I Love You
Little Ole Dime (re-released)
When You Are Gone
In 1991, Bear Family released Welcome to My World, a 16-disc box set containing his entire recorded works.
His Great Catalog of Music
And Still The Hits Continue
Welcome To My World Collection
Senor Santa Claus
I'm a Hit Again
Memories Are Made of This
Jim Reeves recorded a total of 444 songs, in his 11 year career in country music, with 212 Albums of Jim Reeves songs, from 1960 to 2007, available worldwide.
It is a source of great frustration to Jim's fans and family that his great catalog of music does not get equal airplay today in the U.S. compared with other artists who have gone on, such as Patsy Cline. But Jim's legacy still lives on, as one of the greatest voices in recorded music, country or otherwise.
A Selection of Recommended Links That Provide More Coverage of The Country Music Legend.
Jim Reeves - Live Performing, I Love You Because
As His Family And Friends Knew Him
Some Unique Insights
Jim Reeves used a soft semi-crooning style suggestive of Eddy Arnold. Of all the country-pop singers of the late fifties and early sixties, Jim Reeves had perhaps the greatest ability to appeal to popular audiences without losing his sense of country identity. Whatever the source and nature of his musical style, there was no question about the authenticity of his country credentials.
He was born on Aug.20, 1923 in Galloway, Panola County. His father, Tom Reeves, died when Jim was 10 months old, leaving his mother, Mary Adams Reeves and his eight older brothers and sisters responsible for his up-bringing. His diversions as he grew up were baseball and country music.
After a successful athletic career at Carthage High School and the University of Texas, he became a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals system. An injured leg in 1947 changed directions for him.
He had majored in speech at the university and his fine speaking voice enabled him to secure a job as a disc jockey at KGRI at Henderson. He later owned the station jointly with Tom Perryman.
"I traded my glove for a guitar," he said. He had been a musical entertainer in high school and kids who rode the bus with him enjoyed his guitar music when he would bring it for a school program.
After going to KGRI, he began singing in the Henderson area. He made his first recordings in Houston in 1949, on the Macy label.
In 1951, he signed a contract with Abbott Records. He joined the Louisiana Hayride in 1953 and success was on the way. Mexican Joe was his first big hit, proving to be the beginning of a long string of successful recordings which took him to the "Grand Old Opry" and a contract with RCA Victor. Soon he became a popular favorite as far away as Norway and South Africa.
His European tour, a rare opportunity in 1957, was the result of a request by the U.S. Army. He and other American artists appeared in person to satisfy the widespread demand for country music. RCA released his single of Four Walls while he was in Europe. The tour was not as successful as had been hoped, but he came home to discover his name had become a household word in America. He'll Have to Go followed and was a greater sales hit. Two of his original compositions, You'll Never be Mine Again and What Would You Do were successful releases.
After 1959, he travelled to every state in the U.S. and most parts of the world. His 1962 tour of South Africa with Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer broke every known attendance record in the entertainment field.
The Legend Continues To Shine - Jim Reeves Will Always Be With Us
His Wife Mary Was His Greatest Fan
Elected To The Country Music Hall of Fame
Since Jim's death, his records have continued to sell. He was a prolific entertainer and a large backlog of unreleased recordings has been made available to RCA by his widow, Mary, who is a real promoter. She has opened a Jim Reeves Museum in Nashville and has been heard on TV promoting records and tapes.
Engineering techniques developed recently have been added to recent albums giving them a contemporary sound. Jim Reeves died before the Nashville Sound came into wide acceptance. Over two hundred albums are still available. Like many other artists who died tragically, his following today is as loyal as ever.
His version of It's Nothin to Me became a top 20 country hit in 1977, 13 years after his death.
In Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins (his producer) knew he had the kind of polished and mellow entertainer who could cross over into the pop market, so he used some symphonic sounding violins, leaving out the backwoods sounds of fiddles and steel guitars.
Jim's first gold disc came in 1953 for Mexican Joe. Bimbo in 1956 was his second gold disc. In 1957 he won his third gold record for Four Walls. His greatest hit to become a gold record was He'll Have to Go in 1959. The list of other songs that have been popular goes on and on. Some that are well remembered are: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Moonlight and Roses, Welcome to My World and Talking to Your Heart.
On a flight back to Nashville from Arkansas, July 31, 1964, following the negotiation of a property deal, Jim and his manager Dean Manuel reported their single engine plane had been encountering heavy rain while crossing remote hills a few miles from Nashville's Berry Field Airport. The plane was making its approach to land at 5 p.m. when it disappeared from the radar screen.
A search involving 12 planes, 2 helicopters and a ground party of 400 found the wreckage and bodies two days later amid dense forest.
After memorial services in Nashville, his body was flown to Carthage for burial. He was brought home to Carthage in a National Guard plane furnished by the Governor of Tennessee.
We know how popular the grave site still is, some three miles east of Carthage on U.S. 79. The memorial statue stands 12 feet tall, picturing the singer standing relaxed with his guitar. The detail on the statue is amazing. It is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction we have in the county.
Three years after his death (1967) Jim Reeves was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The inscription on the bronze plaque reads: "The velvet style of Gentleman Jim Reeves was an international influence. His rich voice brought millions of new fans to country music from every corner of the world. Although the crash of his private airplane in 1964 took his life, posterity will keep his name alive, because they will remember him as one of country music's most important performers."
Chet Atkins, who produced albums for Jim, said of him "a man like Jim Reeves is a rare find in the field of music because he has been a great in the country and western field, the pop field and in religious and inspirational music." His widow, Mary said "Jim's touching home base when he records religious and inspirational music."
The legend lives on and the records continue to hit the charts.