Artists in Action #158


Jim Reeves asks, "Have you ever been lonely?"

6 comments:

Richard Gibson said...

Wasn't he the biggest selling artist in Jamaica?

Tom Sutpen said...

It's . . . possible. I don't know if Country (even Country as urbane as Gentleman Jim's) ever charted big in that part of the world, though.

Testify said...

On the popularity of Jim Reeves amongst Jamaicans this is from "Road Kill On The Three Chord Highway" by Colin Escott:
"(Jim Reeves)was certainly the only country artist selling to Jamaicans, the bog Irish and black South Africans. Jamaican record shops in London had huge Jim Reeves sections because,believe it or not, his records were considered "make out" music. In South Africa he was almost a demi god. News of his death was greeted with disbelief,and his records were pressed on 78's for sale in the black townships well into the sixties"
I seem to recall a TV programme on the Jim Reeves phenomona in which a colleague of Gentleman Jim (apparently a wildly inappropriate nickname by all accounts) recalled that his attitude to black people was exactly what one might fear from Southern Gentry.
Mind you 'bog Irish' from the above passage has me wondering about Escotts attitudes!!

Testify said...

More about the popularity of country music in Jamaica: "(In) the 1990's...Michele Bolt, president of United Record Distributors in Nashville officially confirmed regular exports of Country records to Africa and the Caribbean, bestsellers being old timers like Tammy Wynette and Johnny Cash" (from Johnathon Fischers sleevenotes to 'Dirty Laundry;The Soul of Black Country')Thinking about it Johnny Cash lived in Jamaica. Perhaps this had something to do with his apparently healthy sales there.

swac said...

Toots and the Maytals do a killer version of Country Roads, for what that's worth.

Richard Gibson said...

Testify ~ thanks for the background info...will dig out my copy of 'Bimbo' album out later for a spin...