Jim Reeves

Born: August 20, 1923
July 31, 1964
Galloway, Texas, U.S
Country, Nashville Sound
Years Active:

Jim Reeves was born in Galloway, Texas, a small rural community near Carthage. Winning an athletic scholarship to the University of Texas, he enrolled to study speech and drama, but quit after after six weeks to work in the shipyards in Houston. Soon he resumed baseball, playing in the semi-professional leagues before contracting with the St. Louis Cardinals "farm" team during 1944 as a right-handed pitcher. He played for the minor leagues for three years before severing his sciatic nerve while pitching, which ended his athletic career.

Reeves began to work as a radio announcer, and sang live between songs. During the late 1940s, he was contracted with a couple of small Texas-based recording companies, but without success. Influenced by such Western swing-music artists as Jimmie Rodgers and Moon Mullican, as well as popular singers Bing Crosby, Eddy Arnold and Frank Sinatra, it was not long before he was a member of Moon Mullican's band, and made some early Mullican-style recordings like "Each Beat of my Heart" and "My Heart's Like a Welcome Mat" from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.

He eventually obtained a job as an announcer for KWKH-AM in Shreveport, Louisiana, home of the popular radio program Louisiana Hayride. According to former Hayride master of ceremonies Frank Page, one day singer Sleepy LaBeef was late for a performance for the Hayride, and Reeves was asked to substitute. (Other accounts—- including Reeves himself, in an interview on the RCA album Yours Sincerely—- name Hank Williams as the absentee.)