Friday, March 29, 2013

Anita Kerr: "Someone Finally Had To Tell the World About the Real Jim Reeves"

I was very honored to receive a nice letter from Anita Kerr, whose wonderful group, the Anita Kerr singers, backed Jim Reeves on many recordings, including his biggest hits like "He'll Have to Go" and "Welcome To My World." Anita, a Grammy Award winner, has also worked with a Who's Who in the music industry, backing many stars including Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Roy Orbison, Bobby Vinton, Al Hirt, Ann-Margaret and such diverse people as the Smothers Brothers (on their TV show), and poet Rod McKuen. Anita also received an ASCAP award citing her for being "a lady of class...and a first-class musician" and saluting her for "her significant contributions to the birth and development of the Nashville Sound."
THE ANITA KERR SINGERS:
Gil Wright, Anita, Dottie Dillard, Louis Nunley

In her letter, Anita mentioned she had been ill the latter half of 2012 but said "the good news I am still alive and finally beginning to feel fully recovered from the health problems." I'm very glad to hear that.

During her recuperation she'd read my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story," and commiserated with me about some of the more ludicrous personal attacks on me by a couple of fans who have accused me of destroying Jim's "image." Anita, who now lives in Switzerland, came to my defense. This is what she wrote me:

I did have time to read your book and I enjoyed it. I think that someone had to finally tell the world about the real Jim Reeves. He was always nice with me, but he wasn't easy to get along with. Of course I only saw him for recording session, and during our tour to Europe in 1964 I only saw him for the concerts. During my free time I was with my singers, and he stayed most of the time around Chet or band members.

I can understand that you got various opinions. What is that old saying? You can't please everybody.

Good luck. I hope that the sales of the book are good.

Sincerely,  Anita Kerr



Sunday, July 22, 2012

"JIM REEVES: THE NEW RECORDINGS" 2 CD, 42 NEW OVERDUBS RELEASED!

I am thrilled to announce that, in conjunction with my book,  ("Jim Reeves: His Untold Story"), a NEW 2-CD (144 minute) documentary, "JIM REEVES: THE NEW RECORDINGS," has been released, featuring 42 songs by Jim, including 20 NEW overdubs of RCA masters, NEW overdubs of unreleased songs, NEW interviews with Jim you haven't heard before, plus commentary from me.

Narrated by Dan Hurst, (whose mellifluous voice has been heard promoting Disney, ESPN, Hallmark, Ford and Sprint), this new documentary traces the evolution of Jim Reeves from east Texas farm boy to world famous singing star. Like my book, it is a very honest look at this wonderful artist.

Some of Mr. Reeves' best RCA studio recordings have been stripped down to the bare essentials, his voice digitally remastered for better clarity, and then combined with tasteful new instrumentation to give them a sound as fresh as today! You won't believe your ears. There are a total of 86 tracks (including narration).

New recordings were done in studios ranging from Nashville to Atlanta, from the Carolina mountains to Europe, and feature some of the top musicians, orchestrators, background singers and engineers working today. This keepsake 2-CD set is priced at only $24.95 -- a real bargain! You can order the CDs alone, or as a combo with my book, for a big discount.

Believe me, the music is INCREDIBLE. I'm very proud of this release. There are some fun surprises for you, that showcase the talent and the life of the great "Gentleman Jim." I will be writing more on my blog in the days ahead to tell you about how this project was assembled, and show you some "behind the scenes" photos, so be sure to check visit my blog again soon.

To see a track listing and listen to samples of songs, click HERE.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Remembering Dick Clark

Entertainment legend Dick Clark not only shared his memories of Jim Reeves with me, he also gave me help in tracking down rare video on the singer. As you probably know by now, Mr. Clark passed away today at the age of 82. I remember seeing his TV program when I was growing up. I was introduced to it by one of my female cousins who was a bit older than me, when she came to visit our family for a few days. I was accustomed to watching a kid's show after school, that played cartoons, and I was NOT happy when my cousin insisted on tuning in "American Bandstand" instead. I was amazed to see a bunch of teenagers out on the dance floor twisting and hopping and bobbing around to one rock 'n' roll tune after another! I was a confirmed country and western music fan even then, so I didn't initially appreciate the kind of entertainment Dick Clark presented. But as my horizons broadened I came to enjoy many of the performers that Clark showcased. I wish I'd seen Jim Reeves on the show at the time, but it wasn't until many years later that some clips of him fell into my hands. As I was writing my book, Mr. Clark was most gracious in helping me, and putting me in touch with some of the right people. I appreciate it so much.

In 2008, the Academy of Country Music awarded Dick Clark the prestigious Jim Reeves International Award.

You can read more about Jim Reeves' appearances on Dick's shows in my new book. And to see a great tribute to Mr. Clark, here's a video you will enjoy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review in Country Music People

The April issue of Country Music People in the UK has a big review written by the magazine's former editor, Tony Byworth, of my new book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story." He does a very thorough job of analyzing the various components of the biography, and it's interesting to read his insights. Columnist David Allan also has some comments about my book.

To read the review, click on each page icon to enlarge it. (Or download a zip file here).


The same issue of CMP contains a scathing personal attack on me in a letter to the editor from David Bussey, who formerly ran the Jim Reeves Appreciation club back in the early 1970s, but has not been active in fan circles for many years. Although it is not my intention to normally reply to critics, in this case I feel I must, because Mr. Bussey has made several statements about me in public print which are factually wrong and malicious in nature.

To read my response — and hear audio excerpts from a taped interview I did with him years ago in which he took an entirely different view of things than he now evinces — click HERE.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Mentioned on XM/Sirius Radio

I finally heard Dallas Wayne of "Willie's Roadhouse" mention my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story" today on XM/Sirius satellite radio, channel 56. Friends and fans have been telling me that he's been talking about it as he's been reading it. I sure appreciate the plug. The station plays traditional country music like Jim and his contemporaries. It also keeps track of current performers and their bookings. I think half of Texas listens to this channel and the rest soon will! It's an incredibly popular channel. Click the audio below to hear today's mention:


Saturday, March 31, 2012

47th ACM Awards Show April 1st

Just a reminder that "Country Music's Party of the Year," the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on April 1st at 8 p.m. ET on CBS television. The show is produced by Dick Clark Productions and will be hosted by Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton. The program will originate from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The ceremony, which honors country music's top talent as well as the industry's hottest emerging acts, will see stars like LeAnn Rimes, Ashton Kutcher, Grace Potter, Jake Owen and the Eli Young Band present awards. Music performances will be by Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Steve Martin (who plays a mean banjo!) and surprise guests.

As previously noted, the ACM will bestow the "Jim Reeves International Award" on Alan Jackson, but this will not be televised. Not sure why, but the Academy has several awards that they do not take TV time to present.

A number of pop artists will be on the show but that's okay, because it draws more viewers and when additional people see the program, that stimulates interest in country music. The fact that Mr. jackson is going to be given the Reeves award has already been well publicized and that is great exposure for our favorite singer, Jim Reeves.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alan Jackson Wins Jim Reeves International Award

Singer Alan Jackson has been chosen to receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented by the Academy of Country Music to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.

Alan's down-home music and laid-back personality have translated well internationally. He played for eager audiences inSweden and Norway in August 2011, brought back by popular demand following his 2009 shows. Jackson's album, "Good Time," has also earned platinum sales in Norway where Jim Reeves was so big. Jackson also toured Australia for the first time in March 2011. He'll play four arena shows in Canada in 2012, as well as a summer concert in Saskatchewan. Jackson won his first ACM award as 1990's Top New Male Vocalist.

Past recipients of the Jim Reeves International Award include Garth Brooks, Dick Clark, Merv Griffin, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Buck Owens. (Reeves is turning over in his grave over that one, since Jim did shows for Buck but never got paid, and he detested the man).

Congrats to Alan Jackson!