Fifty years ago on Thursday one of the best-loved country singers died. So popular was he that even now his records still out-sell many other singers living or dead.
Reeves died when the private plane he was piloting came down in a storm. With him was his manager and pianist Dean Manuel.
Events surrounding their deaths are well known. Reeves should never have been flying the aircraft as he was not a competent pilot. Flying through a storm he lost vision, turned left when he should have gone right, and crashed in woodland.
I do not know of any country singer that comes up to Reeves’s standard of laid-back vocals – melodies that can change an atmosphere.
I know that when I played in a country band, The James Boys, as soon as our vocalist Jimmy Algrove introduced a Jim Reeves number there was a definite ‘Ah’ in the hall.
I Love You Because, I Won’t Forget You, Golden Memories and Silver Tears, the list is endless. In 1966 Distant Drums entered the hit parade two years after he died, remaining in the top 20 for 45 weeks.
One final note, if your baby is playing up and will not sleep, play a Jim Reeves CD quietly in the background. The mite will go out like a light believe me. It works on my granddaughter Verity every time.