"The Jim Reeves Show"

A script from Jim's network radio program!


In the latter half of 1957 and early '58, Jim did a daily, one-hour radio program called the "Jim Reeves Show." It aired on the ABN network (forerunner of ABC) and was carried coast-to-coast. It was done live from the WSM studios in Nashville. Featured were the infamous Owen Bradley and his orchestra, the Anita Kerr singers, soloists Dolores Watson and Buddy Hall, along with David Cobb as the announcer. Aside from being an incredible singer, Jim's other great talent was for the spoken word. He was a "natural," as Anita Kerr has pointed out, able to read a script so convincingly that it sounded informal and ad-libbed. Yet it was all scripted -- down to the smallest detail.

The show had a pop flavor to it, and Jim did many songs that even his die-hard fans have not heard him perform -- unless they were listening to his network show on the days it aired! Though transcription copies of the show were made, Mary Reeves only had a few of them, and just two or three bootleg versions have ever ended up in the hands of collectors. The show she did rave about -- and had planned to eventually release -- was a Christmas show in which Jim sang Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," among other tunes. He also did "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." This was a song he never recorded at RCA, yet the radio version has turned up even on the internet last holiday season.

In any event, the show was wildly popular, but tied Reeves down and prevented him from touring. When the network decided it would be cheaper to play recorded music rather than featuring a live performer -- even one as great as Jim Reeves -- the show ended in early 1958.

Here is what the opening of the show was like as outlined in the script above, for January 31, 1958:


Cobb: And The Jim Reeves Show is all yours for live listening...compliments of the American Broadcasting Network!
Music: Theme up & under.
Cobb: The star of our show's 'round here somewhere...(Pause)...Yep, there he is...with our audience telling Tall Texas tales...DeBerry style...and here he comes now...JIM REEVES!
(Applause & Theme Out)
(Chuckling) I've never understood why it's a "tall tale" when you're a Texan...but "just another story" when you're from anyplace else...But right now, I don't even care! I just wanna say "Hi", everybody!
Cast: Hello, Jim...etc.
Reeves: Now...that's a good sound, don't you think? Did you say "hi" back...there in your car, kitchen, or wherever you are? I hope so...if you didn't, do it now, will you? I'm listening! (Pause) Good for you! And here's my musical family to sing some live AMERICAN songs for you...Buddy Hall, the Anita Kerr Quartet, Dolores Watson...and playing the tops in tunes, Owen Bradley and the orchestra. David Cobb is right here ready, willing and able to give us the weather news...
Cobb: And I have some music-notes, too, Jim. Such as: Jim Reeves is gonna stay right here by this warm, live, AMERICAN microphone and sing a bright song for you...Here he is...song in hand...singing from his live AMERICAN heart..."Catch A Falling Star."
Music: "Catch A Falling Star"...Jim Reeves

and the show continued...

Can you imagine Jim singing that great tune that was such a big hit for Perry Como -- "Catch A Falling Star"? The list of songs he did on this particular show and the other broadcasts covered a wide range of musical tastes. He did get some flak from some of his country fans, however...and wrote a letter to one of them (that will be posted in the near future).

If you know of anybody who has a recording of a Jim Reeves radio show specifically from this series, drop us a line!

(Script from Larry Jordan's forthcoming biography of Jim Reeves).

Email us HERE.


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