Sunday, April 16, 2017

GENTLEMAN JIM ...


The Post Office in my little town has a nice feature. They've set up an area where people leave and trade books. My latest choice was the autobiography of Susan Boyle from Scotland, the woman who amazed the world with her show stopping rendition of the song, “I Dreamed a Dream” on the TV show “Britain's Got Talent”.

The book is an easy and pleasant read but what caught my attention was when she mentioned how her dad enjoyed many singers but his favorite was Jim Reeves. This very same comment was posted on my blog a few years back from a reader in Pune, Maharashtra, India. “Wow”, I thought, “For a country singer Jim certainly had an international following of admirers” … and I was among them.
 
The year was 1957 and I was pretty much living my dream in New York City.   I had been hired to write promotional material for WABC Radio. With TV about to take center stage this was a last ditch effort to keep radio alive and our campaign featured an array of celebrities performing live shows weekly. Among the celebrities was Jim Reeves. I only saw him once but was very impressed with his quiet demeanor and his friendliness, a far cry from some of the ego driven “stars” that swarmed our office. 
 
Of course our efforts were in vain and none of the Live Shows lasted long. In the meantime Jim had become a world wide traveler … his trips taking him to such diverse countries as South Africa, Britain, Ireland, Norway, India and Sri Lanka.  In 1964 I was no longer at WABC, or even in the city, when I heard that Jim had been killed in a plane crash. It was a great loss but I marveled at what he'd accomplished in his short life span. His efforts had created a world wide market for country music … and he did it “the old fashioned way”, one trip at a time and without the aid of today's technology.





 


 


6 Comments:

Blogger Marie Smith said...

I remember growing up to his music too, Ginnie. He has an incredible voice.

Have a great week.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I also enjoy some of his songs on country music stations we listen to online.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I so remember enjoying his song "Green Door." I had no idea he had a world wide following.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We are currently watching a NZ mystery series, Brokenwood, with a country soundtrack. I like it.

4:36 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Read your post and went to YouTube to find some Jim Reeves music... ah, yes. I was a kid at the peak of his popularity... what memories came rushing back. I lost track of him and his music when I went to the Middle East. I long ago fell in love with the manliness of his voice - funny I had forgotten so much. AH, YouTube! He is singing away as I type this.
Thanks for taking me back to my early teen years.

On another note, having worked in off-Broadway summer stock in the Poconos with "real" stars - I know what you mean by the EGOs and the ones who are so genuine and kind. Never met Reeves, lucky you!

10:00 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

I remember him well. Was in college then. Glad to learn now what a nice person he was....:)

2:12 PM  

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