Scott commented good-naturedly to me about today's S.G. music: "we call it country until the words go on." Meaning that the melodies, the construction, the instrumentation, the feel of today's Southern Gospel music -- which is hugely popular, especially in the Bible Belt -- is very reminiscent of the "countrypolitan" sound to which you allude, Gary. Except the lyrics have a religious meaning.
You should find a station (or tune in XM/Sirius satellite radio to the "Enlighten" channel) and sample some of today's Southern Gospel music with its fine singers and musicians. It is really beautiful. And there are some VERY good vocalists associated with this musical idiom.
TO RETURN TO THE JIM REEVES WAY, CLICK ON JIM'S NAME AT TOP OF PAGE