1923 - 1964
Born James Travis Reeves, in Galloway, Texas. At an early age he caught the music bug when his brother brought home a Jimmy Rogers recording. It wasn't long after that he made a trade and got his first guitar. During his youth, his other love was baseball which led to his playing on the University of Texas baseball team, which in turn led to being signed to the St. Louis Cardinals. A career that was cut short due to an injury.
Jim spent some time as a radio DJ, while playing music locally and regionally until 1952 when he moved to Shreveport to work at a station there. Part of his duties included hosting the Louisiana Hayride. He stood in as a performer when Hank Williams failed to arrive and was signed immediately to a smaller record label. In 1955 he joined the Grand Ole Opry and started recording for RCA in Nashville. A string of hits followed. Some of his best know are "He'll have to Go", "Four Walls", and "Welcome to My World".
He became of the world's first successful cross-over artists, helping to introduce country music to millions internationally.
In July of 1964, Jim told an interviewer that he loves to perform in front of people, but dislikes the traveling because of the danger involved. This interview has been called prophetic inas later the same month - July 31- he was killed flying home to Nashville after a concert.
Although Gentleman Jim was no longer with us, his velvet vocals stayed with us. Largely in part to a large backlog of unreleased recordings that where made available by his widow Mary, Resulting in posthumous hits. Mary Reeves, who did so much to keep his name alive died on 11 November 1999.
© 2001 Eddie Bear Productions