Park Engineering

 John Park, 32 the Loaning, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Strathclyde, Scotland, U.K. ML1 3HE

       mobile 0781 8618547

 "e" mail jpark8@btinternet.com (click on this to send me an "e" mail)
 
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Gentleman Jim Reeves Weekly news 02 08 2014

He only lived to 40 -- but half a century later, we still recall Gentleman Jim. Born in 1923 in Galloway Texas, James Travis Reeves was soon a brilliant athlete and a brainy fellow, gaining a scholarship to the university of Texas.  Six weeks in, however, he threw it all away for a job in the shipyards. With his handsome, boy-next-door face, many reckoned he could have become a lead man in the movies, but he took the ship work to spend as much free time as possible playing baseball. That dream was crushed when he severed a sciatic nerve while pitching, which effectively put a end to his dream life in athletics.  He got some radio work, and when started to sing between records, the studio were taken aback by the positive reaction from listeners. Jim was blessed with a wide taste in music, which meant he loved Country and Western, but also the likes of Sinatra and Crosby. If any of today's nippers tell you Reeves is ancient history now -- "easy listening" -- remind them that they were actually very revolutionary in their time. The Louisiana Hayride was a famous show that featured Presley among others, in their early days, and when one singer failed to turn up, Reeves stepped onto the stage to replace him and blew the audience away. The song Bimbo, released 60 years ago, wasn't well known in the UK, but it was no.1 in the states Country Chart, and he was offered a huge 10 year contract on the spot. Given the Jim Reeves treatment, the deep, crooning voice and the subtle country backing, it was a smash, one of Country Music's all-time best sellers. From Norway to Australia, it raced to the top of the charts, and many reckon this was down to Jim's ability to add just a touch of pop to the country flavour. Tom Jones, Elvis himself, Bryan Ferry and all sorts have attempted it, but with all due respect, nobody's equalled the Reeves hit. Jim would have a most odd, quirky career, including recording a series of albums in the Afrikaans language -- and an early 60's tour of Britain and Ireland saw him greeted jike the musical god he was. Tragically, however, at just 40 years of age, Jim was killed in a plane crash on July 31, 1964. Jim was piloting, and it's believed that when the plane got into a storm, he became disoriented. Some experts say the plane flying upside down, and he thought he was rising from the ground when he was actually heading towards it. Thousands of people came to pay their respects at his funeral.  We can only guess what he would have gone on to achieve, but it will be consolation to his fans that Gentleman Jim Reeves will never be forgotten.                  

 

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