James Travis Reeves was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music). Known as "Gentleman Jim", his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died in the crash of his private airplane. He is a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame.
Jim Reeves - widely known as Gentleman Jim - was one of the most successful and important country artists of the 1950s and early '60s, his rich, velvet voice bringing a unique sound and style, which was in the vanguard of the new Nashville sound, as the music headed away from honky-tonk fiddles and steel guitars as introduced strings and backing choruses, helping to move the genre towards the pop mainstream.
Gentleman Jim Reeves was perhaps the biggest male star to emerge from the Nashville sound. His mellow baritone voice and muted velvet orchestration combined to create a sound that echoed around his world and has lasted to this day. Detractors will call the sound country-pop (or plain pop), but none can argue against the large audience that loves this music. Reeves was capable of singing hard country ("Mexican Joe" went to number one in 1953), but he made his greatest impact as a country-pop crooner. From 1955 through 1969, Reeves was consistently in the country and pop charts – an amazing fact in light of his untimely death in an airplane accident in 1964. Not only was he a presence in the American charts, but he became country music's foremost international ambassador and, if anything, was even more popular in Europe and Britain than in his native America.
Country music is all about characters and the stories they tell. That, prior to the advent of the phonograph and, later, radio, was exactly how the songs were passed down through the generations. And the good news is we not only have some great songs here but we also have some very memorable characters telling them. Some of those characters enjoyed long careers, like Tennessee Ernie Ford who began performing at the age four in 1923 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1990, the year before his death. Others like Patsy Cline were taken from us all too soon, in her case in a 1963 plane crash. Cline came to overright fame on a TV talent contest and went on to become a classic country balladeer with some glossy, string-laden productions. 'Crazy', from 1961, was her greatest hit and has been covered in subsequent years by kd lang among others.
The collection is produced by the band, with all surviving members contributing to song selection. Ocasek also supervised digital remastering of all the audio with Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound. The collection features the band s big hits along with a rare, single mix for I m Not The One, as well as a live version of Everything You Say, and a new mix by producer Philippe Zdar of Sad Song, a track from the band s last album, 2011 s Move Like This.
Chip Taylor will probably always be known as the songwriter who wrote "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning." Born John Wesley Voight (actor Jon Voight is his older brother), Taylor began playing country music while still in high school in Yonkers, New York. After finishing high school, he briefly took up his father's occupation, becoming a professional golfer.