Tex and Jim also had a mutual friend in Bea Terry, Jim's Hollywood publicist girlfriend, who also helped Mr. Ritter (though nobody wants to give this woman any acknowledgment for her major contributions to the entertainment industry). She SHOULD be in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, but that will never happen due to politics. And you can be sure Jim's niece Lani Arnold would raise a fuss. Tommie plays her like a harp, but Lani even called up Leo Jackson's recently bereaved widow and cursed her out, denying that Jim ever came onto Nell. How the hell would SHE know? Lani was a young child when this happened. She's just in denial about so many things.
She most likely could have made a deal with Terry Davis early on, but she wanted revenge (as she said to me many times over the years in taped interviews), and as a consequence, millions of dollars were drained from the Reeves estate in legal fees as a result of a protracted legal battle resulting only in a pyrrhic "victory." What has been accomplished other than moving Mary's remains to Carthage? The Reeves estate is now worth a fraction of what it once was, there are dozens of heirs (more Whites than Reeves to divide up the pie), and more litigation ahead before things are finally settled. (There is that little matter of Bill White's gross mishandling of the estate and his signing all Mary's assets over to convicted bank fraud felon Ed Gregory before Ed paid for it, resulting in Mary being ripped off for millions of dollars while she lay ill in a nursing home).
The next thing to happen is the bonding company will likely be forced to forfeit the $200,000 bond as a result of White's mishandling of Mary's affairs. So there are more legal fees to come. Anyway, I digress.
LEO HIMSELF told me on tape several times about Jim's overture to Nell, Leo's girlfriend at the time.
And as to the matter of honoring Bea Terry in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, which Mrs. Smith runs, I am sure that Mrs. Arnold would not want Bea acknowledged publicly, even though Jim himself credited Bea with teaching him how to sing on records (turning him from a high-pitched hillbilly to a beautiful baritone crooner), and professed his love for this woman who, by the way, encouraged Reeves to stay with his wife. Read my book for details of Bea's role in his life.
There are several people who have harmed Jim Reeves' legacy and continue to do so. We haven't even discussed Tom Perryman lately -- who bragged to me personally that he had put the deal together with Ed Gregory to sell the Reeves estate. Look how that turned out. Yet Tom continues to try to grab the spotlight every chance he gets and make himself the center of every Jim Reeves story. To hear him tell it, Jim never recorded a song without checking with Mr. Perryman first. RUBBISH!
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