James Travis Reeves was born on August 20, 1923, at Galloway, a small rural community near Carthage in southeastern Panola County, Texas. The youngest of nine children, his father died when Jim was a baby. In his early teens he was singing and playing guitar on KRMD radio in Shreveport, Louisiana.
When a leg injury ended Jim’s dream of a baseball career he returned to singing and promoting his appearances with a job as an announcer on several East Texas radio stations. After signing an agreement with Abbott Records, Jim Reeves had his first chart topping single in 1953, “Mexican Joe”.
Moving up to become an announcer on the giant 50,000 watt signal of Shreveport’s KWKH, Jim Reeves became a performer on the famed Louisiana Hayride. His second #1 hit, “Bimbo” was followed by top ten charters, “I Love You” and “Penny Candy” in 1954.
Signing with RCA Victor, Jim had a two sided top five hit, “Yonder Comes a Sucker” and “I’m Hurtin’ Inside”. Nine more number one country hits would follow, “Four Walls”, “Billy Bayou”, “I Guess I’m Crazy”, “This is It”, “Distant Drums”, “Blue Side of Lonesome” “I Won’t Come In While He’s Still There” and his Grammy Hall of Fame, multi million selling pop hit of 1960, “He’ll Have to Go”.
Among Jim’s dozen or more top five hits were, “According to My Heart”, “Am I Losing You”, “Anna Marie”, “Blue Boy”, “Home”, “I’m Getting’ Better”, “Adios Amigo”, “Guilty” and “Welcome to My World”.
The distinctive warm voice of Jim Reeves boosted country music to new popularity with fans both in the states and worldwide, where “Gentleman Jim” was an international favorite.
At just 40 years of age the life of Jim Reeves ended when the small plane he was piloting crashed during a violent thunderstorm in the late afternoon of July 31, 1964 near Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1967 Jim Reeves was elected posthumously to the Country Music Hall of Fame.