Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Country Music Month: The Texas Connection - Jim Reeves

Let's , for a moment, look at Texas as a metaphorical Mother. She has given birth to so many Country Music stars that if all the states in the country spawned no more country music talent, Country Music would still have a pedigree rich with history and tradition. Just in the past four weeks we have written a veritable Country Music History Book filled with nothing but the Legends of Country Music from Texas. A quick recap of our star-studded roster:  Waylon, Willie, Tanya Tucker, George Strait and about twenty others. There is one name that, I'm a little ashamed to admit, that almost slipped my mind. Though his career in Country Music was a short one, he's still one of the most recognizable names in Country Music and has a singing voice as cool as the other side of the pillow. His name? Shame on me for almost forgetting about Gentleman Jim Reeves.

Jim Reeves was born in Galloway, Texas in Deep East Texas near Carthage. At one time or another, Jim was a student at the University of Texas, a radio DJ, a shipyard worker and a pro baseball player in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system. Not exactly the typical foundation of a Hall of Fame music career. While a DJ, Reeves ended up in Shreeveport at KWKH, home of the Louisiana Hayride. When a performer was late for the show once, Reeves was asked to fill in. We all know what happened from there. Oh, by the way, the guy who was late for the show? Hank Williams. Go figure. There's good Jim Reeves bio here if you'd like to dig a little deeper into his short life. The story about the plane crash in which Reeves died is especially compelling even though it's only a few sentences long. You should take a look at it.

The Music of Gentleman Jim Reeves:
I was a little surprised that YouTube has a nice selection of Jim Reeves music. For a guy whose career was so short, his impact on Country Music almost fifty years after his death, is still felt. Just think about, this is one time that Hank Williams being late for a show benefited us all. His tardiness gave us another Country Music Legend, Jim Reeves. Thanks, Hank.

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