Jim Reeves: His Untold Story

Jim Reeves: His Untold Story

Posted by jack_miller | Published 6 months ago

With 130 ratings

By: Larry Jordan

Purchased At: $22.41 (11 used & new offers)

Velvet-voiced Jim Reeves was not only one of the world's most popular (and enduring) recording stars, he was one of the most fascinating. Now, in this truly intimate and scrupulously well-researched biography, (the Kindle version the equivalent of the 672-page printed book), author Larry Jordan sets the record straight, dispelling rumors and misinformation that have swirled around Reeves for decades. More than 11 years in the writing, this riveting bio is based on hundreds of interviews with the people who knew Jim best, as well as his personal diaries and private correspondence. Jordan's brisk, though richly detailed narrative style tells an engrossing story, taking you virtually day by day through Jim's life. There are many intriguing - even explosive - revelations here, in a portrait that is honest, though sometimes painful; poignant, yet full of good humor. More than 150 rare photos depict the private as well as public side of the unforgettable "Gentleman Jim." "Country Music People" magazine says "rarely can a book have been as eagerly awaited as Larry Jordan's 'Jim Reeves: His Untold Story...'" Billboard reports "Though the author is a Reeves fan, he didn't put the singer on a pedestal... The book is a balanced account of Reeves' life and career..." The chairman of the Belmont Award, says "I believe this book could be in the major leagues with [Pulitizer Prize winners]. It is an excellent biography..." Winner of a prestigious Hollywood Book Award. Also order the NEW companion 2-CD 144-minute documentary called "JIM REEVES: THE NEW RECORDINGS," (based on the book) featuring 42 songs by Jim, including 20 NEW overdubs of RCA masters fans have not heard before, NEW unreleased songs, NEW interviews with Jim, plus comments by the author. (Total 86 tracks). To order it, just search Amazon by typing in the ASIN #, which is "B008YO11H0" or search by the title, "JIM REEVES: THE NEW RECORDINGS."
If you care for country music at all, do yourself a favor and read this wonderful book! I read its 600+ pages in less than a week; I simply could not put it down. Larry Jordan put decades of his own life into researching and writing this book, and no one ever has or ever will tell the story of the great Jim Reeves in as detailed and engrossing a fashion. It brings you an education on country music in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's, while recounting Reeves' life on an almost day-by-day basis that never gets tiring. Jordan did hours of interviews with ALL the key players in the Reeves life and career -- wife, siblings, band members, managers, fellow artists, business partners, fans, and yes, even lovers. He pored through newspapers, personal letters, diaries, school grades (that's right!), fan club publications, and all relevant research done by others. I thought I knew Jim Reeves as a lifelong country fan and being something of a scholar myself (writing the life of Ernest Tubb); but Larry Jordan told me things I didn't know (and I don't think ANYBODY knew) on almost every page! The detail is outstanding; the writing is brisk and engaging; the photos (MANY never seen in print before) are interspersed throughout the text and are always placed in the perfect spots for full effect. I never read a biography which handled illustrations as deftly as this one. On top of all this, Jordan's ability to EVALUATE the life and career of Jim Reeves -- describing its context and importance while it unfolded, and its lasting legacy since -- is unmatched. Jordan is not shy about passing judgments, and he supports every one he makes.

This book is as comprehensive as an encyclopedia while it reads like a novel or detective story. If you love country music, you MUST read this book. It will be well worth your time and money if you enjoy it half as much as I did.

- esmeralda_richardson

This book was so hard to follow. The most I could get from it was Jim Reeves was married to a lazy money hungry woman, and it wasn't much of a marriage at that. He then had a string of affairs with different women who were so ignorant they thought they were different than his other conquests. One by the name of Bea Terry on the West Coast was laughable, in the book she is so full of herself it was hard to read. He also liked to have sex with anything else that walked by, mostly one night stands. When he wasn't chasing women or drinking he did make some fairly good music. The way he died is tragic, but it's doubtful he would have lived to be old any way. The pictures in the book show a man who already looked old beyond his years, with a swollen face and bloated body, as if he had health issues.

- dylan_evans

Simply put, I was blown away with this book. Having published more than 20+ books myself, including biographies of Melvin Belli, Thomas Merton, Jonathan Pollard, Mike Tyson and former Hitler Youth leader Ursula Martens as well as "The Poison Patriarch" about the JFK assassination, I am most impressed with not only the incredible amount of research done about Mr. Reeves' life but also how the author permits a reader like me to feel as if he is experiencing the famous singer's defining moments as they happen. Best of all, the author debunks many of the myths surrounding Mr. Reeves' life and perhaps as important, his unfortunate death. We therefore get a clear picture based on fact, not fiction, including how Mr. Reeves rose from being an unknown to the top of his profession as a singer who thrilled listeners around the world with his magical stories. The author is certainly correct that Mr. Reeves was "velvet voiced" and this important biography is a true keepsake for anyone who loved his music as I do.

- juniper_wilson

This is the absolutely, hands-down definitive book on Jim Reeves - well-researched, well-written, and all-around excellent biography. Other bios written back in the nineties can't begin to compare with Larry Jordan's exhaustive work in accuracy and fleshing out the real Jim Reeves. It took my reading this book to begin to understand the man, and held my interest through the months it took me to finish the 600+ pages. If you're truly interested in the life of Jim Reeves, this is the only book for you.

- fox_gutierrez

First of all, I am a reader on the go, so the Kindle app for this book is absolutely perfect for me. In addition to owning a Kindle device, I have the app on my phone so my reading time can be flexible.

In all actuality, I have not completed reading this book but I was still compelled to say something in regards to its high quality. It is well written and without a doubt, thoroughly researched. The author's narrative is most engaging and, clearly, Larry Jordan, took pains to corroborate the massive details. For instance, did you know that Jim recorded songs in South Africa that have never been heard? Is it possible that the plane crash investigation could have been compromised due to a mysterious brief case that was on board? Those items are just the tip of the iceberg.

I will certainly update this review but the point that I wish to get across is this biography is simply a fascinating read. With 672 pages, it is not just a biography but a valuable reference tool as well. Larry Jordan's book is an excellent study of Jim Reeves and the golden era of country music.

- kristopher_kim

Although I don't have a Kindle, I got this book downloaded as an e-book from Amazon Kindle to my pc - didn't know you could do that. 700 pages for just £4.99 - compared to the £30.16 it was going to cost me to get the book sent direct from the States. What a price difference!!
As to the content itself, this has got to be one of the most balanced, well-researched and riveting biographies I have ever read - perhaps even THE most. And that's from someone who has read literally hundreds of biographies. What I liked most about this study is that the author wasn't scared to give the whole truth about Reeves - whether he liked it or not, and whether he thought his readers would like it or not. And I'm sure many won't appreciate some of the facts that Larry Jordan unearthed. He shows both the good and the bad about Jim - and there's plenty of both. This is in distinction to the many mainly Christian, biographies that I've read - a gredat majority of which ignore completely or partly the more negative aspects of the subject. That's such a pity - for it means you simply don't get to know the REAL person just a nice, sanitized, pc version. That's not what I want - I want to know what the guy/gal was truly like. And Jordan does that, in this whopper of a book. And the remarkable thing is that knowing the sexy, sleazy side of Jim Reeves, plus a few of his other vices (he could be quite arrogant, and was often seen as niggardly) doesn't make me respect this musician any less than before - at least not when taken in context of his more commendable attributes. It's a fascinating read and I thoroughly recommend it.
The truth remains - Jim Reeves singing voices is one of the most beautiful to be heard from any musician in any genre anywhere in the world. I'm so grateful to my mother for introducing me to his sound back in the 1970s, when I was a lad.

- lincoln_green

This book starts off with interesting details of Jim Reeves life and those of his friends and colleagues around him. However it very quickly digresses into far too much very fine detail to the point of distraction and irrelevance and also repetition. The story breaks off at regular intervals to unconnected events or people and there are also different writing styles in the book, as if it were written by different persons then put together for the story. Poor grammar doesn't help with the reading. It is a rambling book.

- jagger_morris

Enjoyed reading the book, filled in many things unknown about the singer. Its a shame the way the writer resorted to character assassination of both Jim and Mary with especially Mary not coming out well. This is usual with autobiographies insofar as the individuals featured cannot speak in response. Maybe the Reeves heirs can comment on what they think of the book. The book was a good read all the same.

- amirah_collins

The book was okay but I did find it a bit tedious. Didn't feel there was much of an insight as to who Jim Reeves really was.

- darrell_alvarez

Bought this for my elderly mother who is a long time Jim Reeves fan. Seems to be quite a comprehensive book with lots of information.
Good service from the supplier.

- tristen_cooper

well written story but id say goes a little too deep into jims life but I really enjoyed reading and I go read bits again well done
larry

- alejandro_sanders

I have read many biographies, but never one so deeply and completely researched as this one. I know I will need to read it a few more times just to try and take it all in.
A very real look into the life of Jim Reeves and an in depth view of what it was like to be a professional musician in the 50's and '60's.

- jaylah_moore

I liked everything i have read so far. Very fasinating

- maliah_clark

Enjoying this book very much. have been a fan for fifty years. and with all his faults that won't change. he was human like we all are. basically i think he was a good man. never get tired of hearing that beautiful voice. there will never be another Jim Reeves. What a tragedy he died so young.

- lana_gutierrez

Good book

- adele_ruiz

It`s good to have a comprehensive story of his life. But it is obvious there are omissions.

- winter_carter

It was enlightening to realise he was human and with his own self knowledge understood this , yet could not ride above the system he was enmeshed with.

- nathalia_ruiz

Ok but to much information about record ing sessions and concert dates make it to long

- kassidy_lopez

It's a Xmas present for my mum it's what she asked for

- fatima_anderson

Having recently acquired a Kindle, I found this format excellent value for money. The long term benefits are obvious if you enjoy a good read, even if like me you're not a devotee of modern technology ("tweeting" as far as I'm concerned, is what the birds do in my back garden)!

This biography of Jim Reeves takes me back to the days of my youth in the 50's and early 60's when the music world was vastly different to the world we live in today. The 45 rpm record made its debut in the UK about 1955 or 56, closely followed by stereo in about '58. It was the time of "Package Shows" when the big names performed live and were accompanied by musicians playing live, often on the stages of our local cinemas.

Jim Reeves was a major figure who attained international fame, at first racking up an enormous amount of miles crisscrossing the US with his band The Blue Boys, and then seeing all the hard work paying off when he was signed to RCA Victor in 1955. At this time he was singing (like most Country vocalists) in a fairly high register, standing well back from the mike. In 1957 he switched to a lower pitch, slower tempo and moved close to the mike. The effect was transformational (several people apparently claimed the credit for persuading him to adopt this style). "Four Walls" was his breakthrough and he was on his way.

When the phenomenon of Rock 'N'Roll first impacted the music business, the traditional "Country" artists must have felt a distinct chill, and there must have been a lot of soul-searching and head-scratching going on. Gradually the "Country/Pop" style gathered pace, with the town of Nashville, Tennessee at the heart of it. Reeves became a central figure in this. He abandoned his spangly jacket for a red Tuxedo, and turned out some seminal hits - "He'll Have To Go" being outstanding. The studios of RCA Victor (amongst others) became a fertile ground for the new Country/Pop sound, with Don Gibson, Chet Atkins, Hank Locklin, the Anita Kerr Singers and Floyd Cramer joining Reeves in creating a smoother, more "Middle Of The Road" style.

Larry Jordan has done an amazing job in documenting Jim Reeves' life and times, going into a lot of painstaking detail, interviewing many of Reeves' contemporaries and covering the last few years almost as a day-to-day diary.
Not surprisingly, the murkier side of the music business is in evidence, with the usual unscrupulous wheeler dealers and exploiters entering the picture. Jordan doesn't hold back in covering the seamier side of life on the road, with the various affairs and philanderings. Reeves was no exception in this, but his wife Mary stuck by him through it all.

The story gradually arrives at its tragic climax in July 1964 when Reeves and his colleague Dean Manuel were killed in Reeves' light aircraft on approach to Nashville Airport during a heavy rainstorm. He had joined the sad roll-call of artists who lost their lives in this way - Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, and many others.

Ironically, Jim Reeves probably achieved greater success after his death than ever before. The author describes, again in "no holds barred" fashion, the wranglings and cynical manoeuverings that took place as various individuals struggled to profit from and take advantage of the Reeves legacy.

I couldn't put my Kindle down reading this story. I think Larry Jordan has managed to be factual and candid without being sensationalist. Time has of course slipped away. Mary Reeves is no longer with us and I'm not sure who is pulling the strings these days. I just hope that whoever it is gives Jim Reeves the respect and credit that he deserves.

- kira_kim

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