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."
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