Daniel O'Donnell (you spelled his last name wrong), is a genuinely nice guy and a huge Jim Reeves fan who, as I mentioned before, did a 90-minute tribute show to him live from Branson that was aired on public broadcasting TV stations nationwide back in 2004, and viewed by 60 million people. He had a big orchestra accompanying him as he sang Jim's songs, and as I told Daniel when I took my daughter, Sara, with me to meet him in July of last year, hearing him do Reeves' material with that fabulous backing is what inspired me to do overdubs on Jim!
Here's a pic of us; he's reading the handwritten dedication to him I wrote in the front of my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story," which he is holding.
Daniel has initiated contact with me since and solicited my opinion on some of his material, which was very flattering. He also wrote a big piece for the Irish Sunday Times newspaper on my work, including overdubs and book.
Immediately upon meeting me, Daniel treated me like we were old friends. He offered to help me promote "The Great Jim Reeves" 8 CD set in any way he could, and was even going to take time from his busy schedule to immediately cut some radio spots promoting its release. But I preferred waiting until we could get him and his singing partner, Mary Duff, together to tape a TV commercial, which occurred in October of last year backstage prior to him hosting a 2-1/2 live TV show broadcast nationwide in Ireland, in which he paid tribute to favorite Irish female vocalists, who guested.
The TV spot regarding Reeves has been running worldwide because Daniel and Mary are known around the globe. He's sold out shows in Australia, Sri Lanka, Carnegie Hall in the U.S., all over Europe. There's no important venue where Daniel (who hails from Ireland) hasn't played, I don't think.
He laughed in agreement when I told him I knew what the secret was to his success: just like Jim Reeves, Daniel does songs that average people can sing along with. "That's right!" he brightened, and then elaborated how he chooses material with strong, simple melodies that are memorable -- unlike a lot of stars today who do complicated stuff that nobody can sing in the shower.
A VERY nice guy, to be sure.
Click the link below to see Daniel and Mary talk about "The Great Jim Reeves" CD set I produced.
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