But briefly put, Jim was a forward-thinker with a vision and a game plan. T. Tommy Cutrer, his closest friend in Nashville (and whose friendship with Reeves dated back to Louisiana days), said Jim was one of the true business people in the music industry. He knew what we was going to be doing five years from now. He had a plan for his life.
This is also seen in the fact that from the early days, Jim and then Mary saved everything. Casual letters, etc., to document his career.
Ted Staples, who befriended Reeves even before Jim got on the Hayride, and was to have spent that weekend with Jim and Mary at the end of July 1964, still marvels at what a visionary the singer was.
As someone observed, while Eddy Arnold amassed a lot of money in the bank, had he lived, Jim would have OWNED the bank.
Reeves did Pee Wee King's television show and confided early on that he wanted to develop his own style so that "Jim Reeves music" could be featured by his band even after his voice gave out. So he envisioned himself a perennial force in the entertainment industry. On one of the early dance hall gigs, amidst singing western-style music, Jim had his band play "Danny Boy" while he strode up to the microphone and sang it with such power and beauty that the noisy crowd fell into awed silence. Though he was not yet in a position in his career to be able to record pop songs, he knew the direction he wanted to move in -- and demonstrated it to his musicians that night.
Jim also had many conversations about his life's plan with his Hollywood publicist/paramour, Bea Terry -- whom, as I reveal for the first time in my book, helped guide him in the right direction. At the end he wanted to buy a ranch in Texas (which he had put money down on just before he died), and "only play the big dates." But he was also intending to do a network TV show and had brought orchestra leader Bill Walker over to the States from South Africa to help him.
Jim's fascinating life story is truly remarkable, with its various twists and turns. But he always had a vision. And that's the stuff from which legends are made.
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