Re: "Jim Reeves Sound"///Dean Manuel
Posted by Larry Jordan on July 16, 2017, 1:43 pm, in reply to "Re: "Jim Reeves Sound"///Dean Manuel"
Chet was anything but "quiet and easy going" at times. In fact, the union -- the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians -- shut down RCA's Nashville studio for awhile when Chet physically assaulted an engineer, Bob Ferris, in early 1959. The union came to Ferris' defense and insisted he be transferred. And until he was, Studio B (though it was not referred to by that name at the time) was shut down. All because Chet couldn't keep control of his temper. RCA in New York dispatched Les Chase to come down to Nashville to straighten things out, and that's when Bill Porter was hired as an engineer to replace Bob. |
Mr. Ferris had engineered a number of Jim's sessions, but Porter was very inventive. He started as a camera man at a Nashville TV station and being the low man on the totem poll, also had to mix sound for the station. He did a good enough job, however -- learning on the fly -- that he applied for the RCA job, which entailed being able to mix the 12 microphones that RCA had the capability to handle in their Nashville studio. Porter also studied sound and was responsible for improving not only the acoustics of the studio but also the reverb. This fortuitously happened not long before Jim Reeves recorded his big hit, "He'll Have To Go."
Bill and Jim didn't always get along so well, however, though they maintained a professional and respectful relationship. Tommy Strong was also an engineer who worked with Bill and was likewise talented. Tommy handled a number of Jim's songs.
I have other stories about Chet Atkins that will surprise many fans in my 672-page book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story."