"The Jim Reeves
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,
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)
Reeves: (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
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.
(press the BACK button on your browser to return
to preceding page)
©All contents copyright 1998
by Julie Campbell. All worldwide rights reserved. Photos and text
may be downloaded from this site for personal use ONLY. All photographs
used with exclusive permission of their owners, with signed affadavits
on file (at the law offices of Wallentine, O'Toole in Omaha, Nebraska)
attesting to this fact. Any re-use of photos/text is strictly
prohibited and will constitute violation of copyright, with violators
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.