Posted by Dermot Devitt on January 4, 2015, 7:07 am
When one is a Jim Reeves buff it is hard to get away from him - thank God ! Not least at Christmas time, to the musical culture of which the mellow baritone made such a telling contribution. |
During five days of the Festive Season spent in Munich and environs I experienced what might be called 'Reeves moments', one good, one not so good.
The latter first: during an evening of polkas and pretzel etc in the Hosbanauf, the biggest beer hall in Bavaria, I happened to find myself seated next to a genial American lady. On telling me she was from Nashville, Tn I enquired which part.
-Oh, you probably never heard of it - Brentwood-Franklin direction.
On telling her I most certainly had heard of it, as the greatest ever minstrel of Music City, USA had died there in a plane crash, this drew a blank. After a few puzzled moments' thought, she replied: 'Do you mean ...Dotty West ?'.
It is only fair to say the lady was still only in her 40s or thereabouts, but that doesn't prevent folk from hearing of Ella Fiztgerald or Bing Crosby.
Another day, Christmas Eve, I found myself on the small local train which connects Music City, Austria,Salzburg, home of Mozart and the Sound of Music, for the short trip down to the small village of Oberndorf.
There I encountered a visitor from Pretoria, South Africa in the large international crowd gathered outside the site of the church where 'Silent Night' was first sung, in 1818. A cheerful gentleman, approaching 70 at a guess. Naturally, in an effort to retrieve some lost ground, I discreetly broached the topic of Gentleman Jim
His face immediately lit up. 'You'd never guess it, but before I left home to come on this trip I was looking through my old collection of vinyl LPs and came across my Jim Reeves one. It brought back happy memories of the time I saw him live in my home town !'
You lose some, you win some. May One Five be a year in which the memory of Gentleman Jim will continue to thrive !