The tragic death in August 1964 of the great singer Jim Reeves marked the end of one of the most phenomenal careers in show business. During the 60's, Jim toured South Africa on two occasions breaking attendance records everywhere. At that stage he had sold an unprecedented number of records in excess of 5 million in South Africa alone. Fans throughout the world and particularly in this country will never forget the great warmth and tenderness this wonderful artist portrayed in his music and in his lifestyle. Here is yet another selection of fine songs from this truly memorable star. - omslag
A Big, handsome, friendly, casual Texan with a warm, soothing baritone voice - that was JIM REEVES, the greatest ever name in Country & Western music. But there's more, much more, to Jim Reeves than this.
His versatility, his sincerity, his personality are instinctively felt and enjoyed immediately one listens to a Reeves' album and this particular RCA Camden L.P. includes his first recording,"Mexican Joe", which won the year's "Best Country and Western" Award of music Press critics.
"Four Walls", "He'll Have To Go", "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?", "WaItzing On Top Of The World", "Oklahoma Hills", "Where Does A Broken Heart Go?", "Drinking Tequila" - all these international Smash Hits, and many others, bear the eloquent stamp of a genius whose style, whether it be in the "Grass-roots" tradition, Pop, Ballad or romantic, inevitably results in a global best-selIer.
What made this magnificent man tick? We believe ,it's because Jim Reeves insisted upon being Jim Reeves. There is no pretence, no "showbiz" gimmick, no glaring public relations image which so often triesto puff up an insignificant little man into a giant.
He was just a gentle, kindly, sort of man with a miIIion-seIIer voice and a natural, million-dollar personality - that was JIM REEVES. - omslag
Photographed in/Gefotografeer in Colour and scanoscope, Written and Directed by/Geskryf en Onder Leiding van Emil Nofal
Musical Director and arrangement/Musiek-Direkteur en Opstelling Bill Walker
Wide-open towns . . . saloons . . . honky-tonks! To most citizens, they mean only "the West". But, in the same era, there was another rip-roaring tide of fortune-hunters and gamblers - to South Africa . . . to the "Diamond Fields" - Kimberley, a pipe of diamonds found in the earth in the heart of South Africa. From all the corners of the globe they came, even some lured by the greater glitter of diamonds away from the gold of California. Gamblers, chancers, badmen. Andthey women to match!
They dug up diamonds by the bushel basket. Only a few made fortunes, the others dug their grave - a huge excavation renowned as the "Big Hole" of Kimberley. A mile around, a quarter of a mile deep - still there, in Kimberley today - one of the wonders of the world. A colossal, headstoneless grave of a multitude of hopes, dreams, schemes and gambles . . .
But - until they died - they LIVED . . .
They even broke with the government of Her Majesty Queen Victoria and set up a tiny rebel republic of their own - the "Digger's Republic. It tried earnestly to keep law and order, but . . . the adventurers, the con men, the high-priced women, the drinkers, the gun-men, the outlaws of three continents . . . they made interesting living in Kimberley in those early days.
They brawled and fist-fought, hi-jacked and claim-jumped - and shot it out in the burning veld. Water could cost a golden sovereign, but champagne was plentiful enough to bathe in . . .
The Diamond Fields are quieter now, but the spirit still stirs. The South African has forgotten it no more than the Oklahoman, the Texan and the Arizonan.
So we made a film of it with an American star - JIM REEVES - who is today the most popular recording artist throughout South Africa. He plays the singing gambler of that richly romantic era common to America's West and Africa's South.
Eenstraat dorpies . . . kroeë. . . ,,honky-tonks". Vir die meeste inwoners beteken dit slegs die ,,Wilde Weste". Maar in dieselfde era was daar 'n ander golf van losbandige fortuinsoekery en dobbelary - in Suid-Afrika . . . voort na die diamantvelde - Kimberley, 'n diamantpyp is diep onder ons Suid-Afrikaanse bodem ontdek.
Uit al die uithoeke van die wêreld het hulle gestroom, sommige verblind deur die skitterglans van diamante met hulle rug gekeer op die goud van California. Dobbelaars, fortuinsoekers, boewe en vroue om die prentjie te voltooi.
Skepelmandjies vol diamante is versamel. Slegs sommige het daarby gebaat, ander het hulle eie graf gegrawe - 'n massiewe uitgrawing - later bekend as die ,,Oop Myn" van Kimberley - vandag een van die wonders van die nuiwe wêreld - 'n myl in omtrek en 'n kwartmyl diep. 'n Kolossale mensgemakkte graf van verlore drome, hoop en verwagtings - maar voor hul gesterf het MOES hulle LEWE.
Hulle het selfs betrekkinge verbreek met die regering van Haar Majesteit Koningin Victoria, en 'n minderwaardige rebellerepubliek van hul eie gestig- die ,Delwer-Republiek'. Daar is naarstiglik gepoog om wet en orde to handhaaf maar . . . die avonturier, die bedrieërs, die losbandige vrouens, die kroegvlieë, die rampokkers, die uitgeworpenes uit drie kontinente - hulle is die mense wat in daardie dae, aan die lewe in Kimberley kleur verleen het. Hulle het getwis en handgemeen geraak, bedrog gepleeg en kleirns gesteel, en wat hulle wou bekom, met wapens uit die verkoolde velde gedwing. Water kon maklik een goue pond kos, terwyl daar 'n oorvloed van sjampanje was - genoeg om in te bad.
Die lewe op die diamantvelde is vandag heelwat kalmer, maar die baanbrekersgees is steeds daar. Die Suid-Afrikaner het dit net so min vergeet as die marine uit Oklahoma, Texas en Arizona.
Nou is daar 'n rolprent oor gemaak, met die Amerikaanse kunstenaar - JIM REEVES - wie vandag die mees populêre plaatopname ster dwarsdeur
Suid-Afrika is. Hy vertolk die singende dobbelaar uit daardie kleurvol, romantiese tydperk - eie aan die leefwyse in die Weste van Amerika en aan die Suidpunt van Afrika. - omslag
Gedurende die afgelope paar maande het Reeves - dié ,,boereseun uit Texas" - sonder die minste twyfel Suid-Afrika se hart gewen en daarmee ons gewildste sanger geword. En wie is daar in ons land wat Jim nie reeds as ,,een van ons" aanvaar het nie? Jim is sommer baie lief vir ons en vir hierdie land en hy bewys dit met hierdie unieke plaatopname; Dis die HEEL EERSTE keer dat 'n wêreldster soos hy so 'n wonderlike lofbetuiging aangepak het deur twaalf Afrikaanse nommers IN AFRIKAANS op 'n plaat te stel!
Jim se eerste vier Afrikaanse nommertjies (wat hy gesing het op daardie RCA-Victor blitsverkoper, ,,Jim Reeves, Floyd Cramer en Chat Atkins in Suid-Afrika") het intussen baie van ons gewildheidparades bereik en dit ten spyte van die feit dat Jim al vier binne drie korte ure moes leer en opneem. Met sy nuwe Afrikaanse langspeler, hierdie spogplaat wat u nou in u hande hou, het Jim vir wekelank gewerk, geleer en geoefen... en ons dink die resultate maak dit dubbel die moeite werd.
Van die twaalf pragtige liedjies wat hierop voorkom ten minste één nuwe Afrikaanse liedjie wat nog nooit tevore selfs in Suid-Afrika opgeneem is nie. Dis die nommertjie getitel ,,Verre Land", en dit kom uit die pragtige nuwe musiekblyspel in Afrikaans, ,,Jannewariebaai" geskryf deur Nico Carstens, Gilbert Gibson en Anton de Waal. ,,Verre Land" is een van daardie liedjies wat die verbeelding voel daarvan oortuig dat Jim dit eersdaiags in Engels op die wêreldmark gaan hê.
Nog 'n treffende nommertjie is ,,Daar Doer In Die Bosveld", tien jaar gelede as temalied vir Jamie Uys se heel eerste film van dieselfde naam. Hierdie liedjie, deur Ernst van Rooyen en Anton de Waal, is reeds talle kere opgeneem en selfs in Duitsland ook gewild. Nou sing Jim dit soos wat dit nog nooit tevore gesing nie... en mens kry amper die idee dat Jim werklik bosveld verlang - en ook nie die Afrikaanse ,,bosveld" nie, die opregte bosveld Bosveld!
Jim word bygestaan deur sy beroemde groepie, ,,The Blue Boys", en dis verbasend hoedat hulle 'n aanvoeling, ontwikkel het vir die Afrikaanse klankkleur. Hulle het heelwat daarvan ingeneem terwyl hulle hier by ons verkeer het heelwat se onlangse besoek... en nadat ons na hierdie opname geluister het, kan ons maar net sê:
Kom gou weer, Jim. In Suid-Afrika is jy ALTYD baie, baie welkom. - omslag
Around Nashville's busy Berry Field, those who staff the airline ticket counters call him "the going'est guy in town". And in the nation's coastal cities, customs officers encounter him so often they long ago abandoned the stiffy formal "Mr. Reeves" in favour of addressing the friendly young fellow simply as "Jim".
Just as enthusiasm for his records these past several years has spelled stardom throughout America for this son of East Texas, people have welcomed his voice into their homes the world around. So, it was in the logical sequence of events that folks overseas should clamour to meet him in person.
Twice Jim's transoceanic travels have taken him to Europe. And his position as South Africa's biggestselling of all recording artists made a two-week visit last year practically a command performance. What's more, the vast English and Afrikaans population of South Africa so completely took Jim to their hearts that his return this year is for the purpose of promoting a motion picture built around him.
After every trip to a foreign land, Jim brings home native songs - South Africa's Afrikaans folk music, the best-loved ballads of Germany and England, favourites of neighbouring Canada and exotic Hawaii. Jim has visited all the places most of us only dream of. But we can be transported there in a magical, musical way, with the familiar voice that caresses a melody and treats a lyric with such tenderness . . . the voice of THE INTERNATIONAL JIM REEVES. - omslag
JIM REEVES is 'n naam wat geen bekendstelling nodig het by Afrikaanse gehore nie. Deur middel van trefferopnames soos ,,He'll Have to Go" en ,,Adios Amigo" (om maar slegs twee te noem) is sy naam reeds bekend van die Limpopo af tot aan die Kaap . . . en daarby is hy natuurlik een van Amerika se gewildste name in the platewêreld. Op hierdie opname gebeur daar egter iets wat geskiedenis maak: Jim Reeves sing in AFRIKAANS! Die liedjies wat hy gekies het vir hierdie groot gebeurtenis, is die alombekende ,,Bolandse Nooientjie", ,,Tahiti", die gewilde ,,Ou Kalahari" van Danie Pretorius en ,,Ek verlang na jou", 'n nuwe komposisie deur skrywer-komponis Gilbert Gibson.
Ons kan maar sê dat Jim Reeves die aangewese sanger in Amerika was om hierdie liedjies aan te pak, want hy is wat ons sal noem ,,'n Amerikaanse boerseun" aangesien hy op 'n plaas in Texas gebore is en daar groot geword het. En 'as u nog wonder hoe 'n ,,Amerikaanse boerseun" sing . . . hier is die antwoord-en hierdie werklik unieke onderneming het reeds 'n versamelaarsitem geword!
FLOYD CRAMER is vandag sonder enige twyfel die wêreld se gewildste pianis. Meer mense het reeds van sy langspeelplate gekoop as die van enige ander klavierkunstenaar en sy opnames met die titel ,,Last Date" en ,,On the Rebound" (albei deur homself gekomponeer) het reeds die miljoenkerf in verkope verbygesteek. Hy is maar slegs 29 jaar oud, maar Cramer het die afgelope paar jaar 'n aandeel gehad in een kwart van Amerika se grootste treffer-plate. Dit is as gevolg van dié feit dat hy as begeleier opgetree het vir die meeste van Elvis Presley en Jim Reeves se treffer-opnames!
Die skugter en nederige Floyd is natuurlik in die eerste plek op sigself 'n ster wat nou drie Afrikaanse komponiste die groot eer aangedoen het om hul nommers in Amerika op te neem. Een van hierdie komponiste is wyle Danie Bosman van wie ,,Kaapse Draai" en ,,Boereseun" hier gehoor word . . . soos Floyd Cramer dit hoor! Daarby is daar ook Tommy Roering se ,,Bloemfontein se Rose" en Nico Carstens se welbekende ,,Sambesie". Inderdaad 'n groot gebeurtenis in ons musiekwêreld!
CHET ATKINS se uitmuntende ghitaarspel het reeds sy naam wyd en syd bekend gemaak in Suid-Afrika en nou het Chet sy dankbaarheid jeens sy baie Afrikaanse bewonderaars bewys deur vier bekende Afrikaanse nommertjies op te neem en hulle te speel soos wat alleen Chet Atkins hulle kan speel. Die nommers wat Chet vir hierdie besondere geleentheid gekies het, is Taffie Kikillus se mooi wals, ,,Marié", Nico Carstens se lewendige en alombeminde ,,Mossie se Moses", Chris du Toit en Neels Steyn se ,,Outa in die Lang Pad" en Chris du Toit se meesleurende ,,Westewindjie". Dit is inderdaad 'n geskiedkundige gebeurtenis die as ons daaraan dink dat Chet Atkins Amerika se bekendste en suksesvolste ghitaarkunstenaar is -- hy het reeds die bynaam van ,,Meneer Ghitaar" daar verower - boonop is hy ook in beheer van RCA-Victor se ateljees in Nashville, Tennessee, waar die meeste van Elvis Presley se treffers onder sy persoonlike toesig geskep word.
Met hierdie unieke opname behoort Chet Atkins se gewildheid in Suid-Afrika nog verder toe te neem!
JIM REEVES certainly needs no introduction to South African audiences. Hit recordings like "He'll Have to Go" and the current "Adios Amigo" have made him a top favourite in South Africa. Jim is, in fact, South Africa's third biggest seller today. With the four numbers featured on this disc, he pays tribute to South Africa and his record-buying public here by singing in AFRIKAANS - and this fact will certainly turn this long-player into a collector's item. Jim Reeves' background -- he was born on a farm in Texas andgrew up as a typical farm boy - makes him eminently suitable for his role as "a South African singer" and the four numbers chosen for this historic disc should reach new heights of popularity. First of all, there is the Afrikaans version of "Beautiful Dreamer" by Stephen Foster, known here as "Bolandse Nooientjie", He also sings the very popular "Tahiti" and "Ou Kalahari" by Danie Pretorius and a new number (it could have been specially created for Jim!) by writer-composer Gilbert Gibson, entitled "Ek Verlang Na Jou".
Welcome to South Africa and our own music, Jim!
FLOYD CRAMER is without a doubt the world's most popular pianist judging by his record sales alone. Apart from the staggering success of his "On the Rebound" and "Last Date" (both of them written by Floyd himself and both of them million sellers !), Floyd also had a hand in one-fourth of all the hit records produced in America in the last several years. This astounding feat was made possibleby the fact that Floyd and his pianistic genius provided the tasteful backing for many RCA-Victor best sellers like "Four Walls" by Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley's "Good-luck Charm", "It's Now or Never" and "Heartbreak Hotel"-- to mention but a few.
America's best-selling pianist has now applied his musical genius to four original South
African tunes. They are "Boereseun" and "Kaapse Draai", both by the late Danie Bosman, "Bloemfontein se Rose" by Tommy Roering and Nico Carstens' "Zambesi", The release of this long-player is indeed a great occasion for the Afrikaans world of light music . . . and a wonderful musical souvenir of their iirst visit to these shores during this year of 1962!
CHET ATKINS, America's own "Mr. Guitar", is equally popular in South Africa and with this special long-player he certainly forges a stronger link between himself and local audiences by featuring four popular and well-known South African tunes on his famous guitar. And they certainly have never sounded quite like this before! Recorded in the Nashville, Tennessee, studios of RCA-Victor in America, Chet's unique talent has added new lustre to numbers like "Mossie se Moses", by famed South African composer and orchestra leader, Nico Carstens. The rest of the South African numbers chosen by Chet for this historic occasion are the ever popular "Outa in die Langpad" and the hauntingly beautiful ballad, "Westewindjie", both by Chris du Toit. Finally, there is a striking waltz composed by Taffy Kikillus, "Marié".
Being America's most consistently selling guitarist is not enough for Chet. He is also Artist and Repertoire Manager for the RCA-Victor studios in Nashville, Tennessee. His records have also sold hundreds of thousands of copies in South Africa and this special recording of Afrikaans tunes is indeed something we can feel very proud of. It should make more friends for Chet Atkins in this country than ever before. - omslag
Produced by Chet Atkins
Recording Engineer: Bill Porter
At the time of Jim Reeves' big pop-country hit Four Walls, a big-time TV producer watched Jim perform on the Steve Allen show and was heard to remark, 'This boy could be a combination of a new Bing Crosby and a Gary Cooper."
He was referring to the young Texas-born farm boy's easy-going mellow baritone and quietly dignified manner. But the truth of the matter is that Jim Reeves doesn't want to be anybody but himself.
This is most graphically shown by what happened after Four Walls. It might have been easy, following a pop-country hit of this magnitude, for Reeves to turn his back on the country music field and go diligently after the large money to be reaped lin the strictly pop market. But Jim made his choice to sing 'pop," to sing any good song, but definitely never to stop singing the songs of the hill and the range for the people that loved them - and loved him for the way he performed them.
Here in this album the wisdom of his decision is vividly displayed. Here are performances and early hits that formed the solid foundation of Jim's career: My Lips Are Sealed and Yonder Comes A Sucker, the first a poignant ballad, the second a wry reflection on the fortunes of love. For more earthy traditional Americana, there's Railroad Bum.
There are songs here that display every side of the Reeve's talent: songs with bounce and pure free-flowing energy; songs that comment with sly or broad humor on the fate of the human specimen in the toils of love; ballads of deep emotion.
Whatever the material, the songs get the full knowledgeable Jim Reeves treatment. Quiet! Here is a pro at work, in a fine well-rounded program
that's strictly designed for entertainment. - IRWIN BERMAN - omslag
Let the writers of television commercials go right on grinding forth their slam-bang, run-down-to-the-shop-right-now variety of deathless prose, and let the show-busimess press agents give their all to manufacturing more glamour dolls . . . but the little story that will best complement the contents of this new Jim Reeves collection of songs is a job for the fellow who finds himself rather preoccupied with hearth and home. This is one album, my friend, that is bound to 'hit you where you live.
Long, long ago someone discovered that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. More recently, Jim has found that the shortest distance between two people, is a song - a song that goes heart to heart.
That's the way he sings 'em. The best reason being that, with Jim, it's a clear-cut case of doing what comes naturally. As a growing-up lad on the farm, he sang the ballads of the country music field, and since being singled out for fame he has found wide acceptance for whatever type of song he chooses to sing. But the unchanging factor has been the warmth with which every Reeves song is trademarked. One listener called it a 'quiet enthusiasm, and it occurs to us that an apt phrase was coined.
A powerfully built Texan who once earned his living as a professional athlete, Jim might wince a bit to hear himself described as having a great measure of charm. But how else can you-get down to the brass-tacks fact that he owns a voice that fascinates, a style that captivates.
R It is said that directing ]im's recording sessions is a refreshing oasis in a busy week's work: his time and his talent are cooperatively yours for just as long as you wish to go over a song, and over and over it again, to polish an arrangement - but please, whatever you do, don't suggest that he treat any song, whether a light-hearted novelty or a serious selection, in a way that he doesn't feel it naturally Jim's brand of sound judgment on the subject is well proved by the fact that the 'sound of Jim Reeves scores more and more heavily every day at the record counters of the nation.
Working alongside him in the network television phase of a many-faceted career, this friend knows for certain that the thought of 'selling sincerity" to the public has no appeal whatever for Jim. Instead, his thinking is geared to an attitude that is complimentary indeed to those who compose the songs he sings.
'When you invest a lot of time in finding a song you really believe in, he'll tell you in his soft-spoken way, 'then you owe it to yourself to bring out everything that you feel the writer has so carefully put into it.
A rather deep-thinking explanation for choosing the songs that seem to come so easily, so effortlessly, from the lips of Jim Reeves? Perhaps. But we'll agree with you that the singing does come easily, effortlessly.
So does the listening. - Don Richardson
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, December 9 and 19, 1958
and January 21, 1959.
Recording Engineer: Bob Farris.
Produced by Chet Atkins
Girls, Girls, Girls ...
I riffle through my mind like a nervous bank teller through his day's receipts. There have been so many girls I've known.
First there was Marie. I met her when we were both a few hours old. We had adjoining bassinets in the Newcomers' Room at the hospital. But our friendship was short-lived. She chose a much older man with a hairline mustache . . . her father.
I fell in love with Mona Lisa when I was just live. We met at the Louvre. She was on a wall and I was on the floor. We came together briefly when I piled a Greek urn on top of a Louis XIV table and reached up to wipe that silly smirk off her face. Then I left, under guard.
Juanita came into my life in Spain. She was my nurse and governess for several years. Tall, dark, stately, with flashing black eyes, she was everything a man could want in a woman. Alas, I was a child. And besides, she had a husband named Randolfo. And a son at Yale Medical School. But I was young as April those days ....
In Charmaine's saucy face I thought I had found all a young man of seven could desire in a girl of nine. We walked the streets of Montmartre together, hand in hand, and chattered to each other in French and English. Neither of us could understand the other. But we had the common language of checkers, until she won seventy-five games in a row one sunny afternoon on a little stone bench by the bank of the Seine and I broke the board on her head.
Back home and in high school, I met Margie, who is probably still a teenager today. She was a chubby, freckle-faced girl with an amazing amount of bright red hair churning about her face and onto her shoulders. We played basketball and field hockey, and made penuche fudge together. We were inseparable . . . until our report cards came out and she moved into her sophomore year, while I'stayed behind . . . alone.
That was when Anna Marie came along to console me. She was a library assistant, and a crackerjack at math. We floated through school on a cloud of equations and compound fractions. But she received a new pair of hornrimmed glasses for graduation, and kept looking at me strangely all through the ceremony, I never saw her again after that.
Sweet Sue and I worked a languid summer at a sea food restaurant onCape Cod. She waited on tables and I washed dishes. At night she was too tired to dance, and I was too waterlogged to hold hands. So we compromised; we would sit by the hour under the old Cape Cod moon; she holding my feet in her hands. But she ran off with a chiropodist, taking my best pair of tennis shoes with her. Sweet Sue, just you wait. . . .
Linda was corporal of my platoon for three glorious days when I was
inducted into the Army and somehow sent to a WAC companylfor basic training. Linda's training was so basic, it was elemental. She taught me the manual of arms, which I remember to this day.
A soldier far away from home gets mighty lonely in that biggest of big states, Texas. He can count himself lucky if he gets to look at an occasional handsome horse. But I got to know Ramona. We met by night under a big yellow moon with a Made in Texas by Texans sign on it. The one time we met by day brought an end to our romance. I don't mind a girl with a mustache, but I draw the line at sideburns. Maria Elena was the first face I saw when I recovered my senses following an attack of swollen ankles while on maneuvers in Louisiana; She was gentle and kind, Maria Elena, and so understanding. No other nurses' aide in the entire hospital would sit with me by the hour, figuring out four horse parlays at the Northern tracks. We never won one. It occurs to me now to wonder if she ever placed the bets she so willingly accepted.
Mary came into my life at college, where she was taking up everything.
She was the elevator operator, and many times would stop the car between floors for a hurried squeeze of my hand and a few words of endearment. But one day, when the elevator became jammed between the Chem Lab floor and the English Department, I saw her as she truly was: a domineering, bellowing female. She boosted me through the tiny escape hatch in the elevator's ceiling, and commanded me to hoist the car up to the next floor. For all I know, she may still be there . . . fuming between floors.
Which brings me to Irene, whom I met in industry. She was a taster in a sedative plant. Her work wasn't strenuous, but she always seemed so lethargic, so relaxed. Mostly, we communicated by yawning. I thought it time to break our engagement when I found my constant yawning had ruined all my bow ties and worn holes in my lapels.
Girls, girls, girls . . . what a collection. Jim Reeves had better luck with his dozen than I had with mine, as he's just singing their praises. I had to live with them. - FERRIS A. BENDA - omslag