What I'm sure he meant was that if Jim had lived he would have reached even greater heights. For example I can imagine Jim coming to Britain, as he said he would, and not entertaining at relatively small venues, but at for example at the Royal Albert Hall.
Moreover in 1964 it was said of Jim in Britain that he "maintains his mesmeric hold on the charts." Though he had a smash hit in 1966 with Distant Drums, the 'song of the year' inevitably his releases began to dry up. Had he lived I firmly believe that his influence and presence would have permanently changed the face of the British popular music scene, for the better.
We'll never know, but it's nice to dream.
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