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Jim Reeves, Country Music's Greatest Legend

Updated on November 20, 2014

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

Scarlet Ribbons


Mexican Joe



I Love You

My Rambling Heart

The Padre of Old San Antone


Penny Candy

Drinking Tequila

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?

Four Walls

Two Shadows on Your Window

Young Hearts

Need Me

Waiting For a Train


Anna Marie

Blue Boy

Billy Bayou




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

After Awhile


Maria Elena

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

The Blizzard

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

Adios Amigo

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

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



Missing You

Mexicali Rose

Carolina Moon

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

Moon River

In The Misty Moonlight

Old Tige

You'll Never Know

I Can't Stop Loving You

A Nickle Piece of Candy

Moonlight and Roses

Ichabod Crane


This Is It

Is It Really Over

Strike It Rich

Rosa Rio

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


Distant Drums

Blue Side of Lonesome



I Won't Come In While He Is There

The Storm


I Heard a Heart Break Last Night

When You Are Gone


When Two Worlds Collide

Just Walking in the Rain


Nobody's Fool

Angels Don't Lie


Gypsy Feet


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


Danny Boy


Silver Bells


Jingle Bells


Silent Night


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.

Recommended Links

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.

Jim Reeves, One of the Greatest Voices In Recorded Music, Country or Otherwise.

Let Me Know If There Is Anything That I Can Do For You More.

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    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Wonderful page dedication to honor him, nicely done

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Can any one tell me where to get the Jim Reeves recordings on CD when he toured South Africa, I think there are possibly 3 in total some with other artists. I know the Bear family have the Welcome to my world and the songs are on there but it is an exspensive set at £300 pounds plus so any help out there please contact me at

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 

      5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      What a voice Jim Reeves had!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      After researching a singer of the late sixties by the name of Houston Wells I understand he toured with Jim in Ireland and shortly after Jim's passing he recorded a song "Well Remember you" although not released as a single at that time it is understood that had it been released it would have been a hit.

      Houston Wells can be found on Amazon with this particular song on his CD so perhaps we can get a chance to hear it at long last.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Jim Reeves was with his God given voice an artist that we will never see the likes again. He touched not only the heart but the inner soul of the listener, he sang so pure and gave each song his very all. Gospel, Love songs, up tempo all the recordings made by Jim will go on for the generations to come and they too will know and understand what a wonderful voice this country artist had.There will never be another so cherish his music today tomorrow and for ever.

    • James V Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

      James V Chapman 

      6 years ago from Portugal

      @anonymous: Hi Patricia, the Jim Reeves song, Satan Can't Hold Me is only available as Track 18 on Disk 06 of the Welcome to My World 16 CD Box Set.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i have grown up on jim reeves music and i am looking for a song by the name (ie)satan can't hold me- where can i get this record or the album contains this single?thank you patricia parsons -st vincent west indies

    • LynetteBell profile image


      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I always loved Jim Reeves

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      heart rending music

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      There is a new 672 page book out called "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story" that is based on more than 500 interviews, plus Jim's personal diaries and private correspondence. The book by Larry Jordan is virtually a day by day account of Jim's life with many revelations, some of which are explosive. This is a "must have" book if you are a Jim Reeves fan.

    • MarilynImanse profile image


      6 years ago

      Great page you have created! Jim Reeves has always been a favorite.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Jim Reeves was great, and it is hard to imagine how many more good songs would have been recorded by him. hIs smooth voice is one I always liked, I guess that is why I am also a bit Don Williams fan.

    • LynetteBell profile image


      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I loved Jim Reeves. It is sad how many great artists die in plane crashes. Guess it's because thay travelled a lot.

    • waldenthreenet profile image


      7 years ago

      A great topic and a story book. Thanks.

    • WorkitSmart profile image


      7 years ago

      Who knows how much he would have impacted the music world if he hadn't died.. :(

    • Noelle and Dan profile image

      Noelle and Dan 

      7 years ago

      Jim Reeves. I can listen to him all day long.

    • yayas profile image


      7 years ago

      It's as if you've been looking over my shoulder. All day long, I've been listening to Ol' Gentleman Jim. My mama loved him so much that it couldn't help but rub off on me. I so appreciate all the information. Although I thought I was knowledgeable about this great singer, I must say you have enlightened me on several points. Thank you.

    • DuaneJ profile image


      7 years ago

      My parents are big fans...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A very nice chronicle on the Gentleman Jim. Thank you and a nice day ahead.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Jim Reeves is my favorite and absolutely right Jim Reeves is Lagend of top country lyrics.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Am a christian based in the western part of Africa, I have greatly enjoyed songs of the legend Jim reeves and would want other people around me to have easy access to such wonderful songs within my locality. How can I have the franchise to do so?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love hearing Jim Reeves singing those precious Gospel favorites, and some of his other songs too. My fave. singer!

    • James V Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

      James V Chapman 

      7 years ago from Portugal

      @anonymous: Hi Hilary,

      Tall tales and Short Tempers is one of Jim Reeves best albums, it was first released in 1961 and there is a remastered version available now on Amazon.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Jim Reeves really had many great ones.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I used to have a record of Jim Reeves called "Tall tales and Short Tempers". I lent it to someone and now cannot remember who. I'd like to know where I can get another copy of Jim - he tells stories, rather than sings.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      He had great songs.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      7 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Jim Reeves brings back my childhood and teen time, OMG all those slow dances on his music with boys I fancied LOL

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Jim Reeves has such a soothing voice. I enjoy listening to him too. Thanks for all the info!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I haven't listened to Jim Reeves in quite long while, He did have voice "as smooth as silk". My grandmother loved his Gospel music.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful and informative, thank you :)

    • dahlia369 profile image


      8 years ago

      With a voice like this no wonder he was so popular. Beautiful collection of information and music!! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I enjoy listening to Jim Reeves music. This takes me back to when I was a kid listening to the country music programs and watching them on TV. Great article.

    • kimmie1967 profile image


      8 years ago

      I have very early memories of listening to Bimbo and Penny candy with my sister. I enjoy most of Jim reeves music but I think those two are my favorites. Maybe because of the memories associated with them.

    • Joanna14 profile image

      Christine Hulme 

      8 years ago from SE Kent, England

      This brings back memories of my childhood when my parents often played his records. A thorough presentation of this amazing singer!

    • jdwheeler profile image


      8 years ago

      I love Jim Reeves and Ronnie Milsap. Jim's unmistakable voice. Country music at it's finest.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Jim Reeves' recording of 'Diamonds in the Sand' is one of my favorite songs. What a pity he only made one film for us to remember him by, 'Kimberley Jim'

    • JustineNupp profile image


      8 years ago

      Great collection of the old time favorites. Still listen to these a sun. Free radio.usually they tell a story for those who sit in the mountains.

    • James V Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

      James V Chapman 

      8 years ago from Portugal

      @anonymous: Hi naomi,

      The lady you refer to was Deborah Allen, 26, a Memphis belle plucked from backup singer obscurity to harmonize with a man who died when she was 10. Says Allen (who has parlayed her "collaboration" with Reeves into a solo contract with Capitol): "I didn't think singing with Jim was strange until I started When Two Worlds Collide. Then I thought, golly, two worlds really are colliding.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i was wondering who the lady is that sang on (when two worlds collide ) with jim reeves on his ( Inducted into the hall of fame vinyl record. i can't seem to find this person at all.

    • James V Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

      James V Chapman 

      9 years ago from Portugal

      [in reply to Dorothy Truchanowicz,] You should be able to get the piano sheet music for Jim Reeves song, Missing You, at SheetMusicPlus,

      If they have not got it then it has gone out of print, which happens if there is not a great demand for a particular song. In which case I would suggest that you could try Ebay, maybe someone is trying to sell it there.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • profile image


      9 years ago


      I was wondering if you could help me, my Grandad recently passed away & his funeral is this Friday.

      For his song, we have chosen one that he always used to sing, my Grandma says it's a Jim Reeves song but which one I don't know.

      The lyrics go like this

      I love you dear with all my heart,

      No joy I feel when we're apart,

      You make my every dream come true,

      My day begins and ends with you.

      I've looked on your website and numerous others but I am unable to find anything.

      If you could help, it would be very much appreciated.

      Thank you for your time,

      Andrea Varey


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