The Johnson sisters had founded the International Fan Club Organization (IFCO) that did so much over the years to promote country music. Loudilla also gave me encouragement during the writing of my book, and helped publicize it after it came out. Though she and I had our differences over her refusal to even mention the new Patsy Cline release, "The Divine Ms. Cline," in any of her writings, out of loyalty to Charlie Dick, in part because she said she feared his reprisal. He doesn't deserve a friend that good.
Now comes word Loudilla has passed away. My condolences to her family over her passing, as the only surviving sister is now battling cancer.
Also I want to note the passing of the daughter of Bill Walker, whose name was Lisa. Bill is the arranger whom Jim met on his first trip to South Africa in August 1962. Reeves was so impressed by him he later worked for more than a year through Tennessee Sen. Al Gore Sr. and the U.S. State Dept. to arrange for Bill and his first wife to relocate to America. Jim had been offered a chance to host a weekly network television show and also wanted to take his music in more of a pop direction, and he felt Mr. Walker was the musical arranger who could help him do it.
Contrary to what was reported on the Holland DISinformation website, Bill did NOT arrive "in America on the day that Jim Reeves was killed..." (Can't they get ANYTHING right?) As I accurately reported in my book, Walker arrived BEFORE then but decided to stay in New York briefly to see a Broadway show in which he was especially interested. He and Jim spoke by phone and Jim said that was fine, that he would see him when he got back from Arkansas. When Walker came out of the theater the night of July 31st, he was met by Steve Sholes of RCA who told him Jim's plane was missing.
My condolences to Bill and Jeannie Walker on the sad loss of their precious Lisa.
TO RETURN TO THE JIM REEVES WAY, CLICK ON JIM'S NAME AT TOP OF PAGE