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4.4 out of 5 stars22
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2012
Although I don't have a Kindle, I got this book downloaded as an e-book from Amazon Kindle to my pc - didn't know you could do that. 700 pages for just £4.99 - compared to the £30.16 it was going to cost me to get the book sent direct from the States. What a price difference!!
As to the content itself, this has got to be one of the most balanced, well-researched and riveting biographies I have ever read - perhaps even THE most. And that's from someone who has read literally hundreds of biographies. What I liked most about this study is that the author wasn't scared to give the whole truth about Reeves - whether he liked it or not, and whether he thought his readers would like it or not. And I'm sure many won't appreciate some of the facts that Larry Jordan unearthed. He shows both the good and the bad about Jim - and there's plenty of both. This is in distinction to the many mainly Christian, biographies that I've read - a gredat majority of which ignore completely or partly the more negative aspects of the subject. That's such a pity - for it means you simply don't get to know the REAL person just a nice, sanitized, pc version. That's not what I want - I want to know what the guy/gal was truly like. And Jordan does that, in this whopper of a book. And the remarkable thing is that knowing the sexy, sleazy side of Jim Reeves, plus a few of his other vices (he could be quite arrogant, and was often seen as niggardly) doesn't make me respect this musician any less than before - at least not when taken in context of his more commendable attributes. It's a fascinating read and I thoroughly recommend it.
The truth remains - Jim Reeves singing voices is one of the most beautiful to be heard from any musician in any genre anywhere in the world. I'm so grateful to my mother for introducing me to his sound back in the 1970s, when I was a lad.
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on 7 March 2012
Finally and sadly I have finished reading, Jim Reeves, His Untold Story.
In the UK thereis a saying about something that comes along maybe once in a lifetime. The saying, This is a Concorde moment, an aeroplane so beautiful that I wonder if another will ever be built?
This I feel about Larry Jordan's book.I may read the odd snippet of information about Jim Reeves on a CD etc, but I know I will never read so much about Jim Reeves, and my favourite singer ever again.
So well researched and very well written. Of course many questions race through my mind after reading the book but will settle knowing more of Jim's life as I now do.
As I read the book and learned about the recordings, it was interesting for me to play each vinyl LP and CD, to more of Jim's temperament and mood as he recorded. It brought a more realistic idea of the recording.
From 1971 I have collected his music and no matter what came from the book I would still love his music.
It still, however, did'nt stop me wondering on many occasion if he was in full control of his mind. He came across, sometimes, as quite belligerent, intransigent and autocratic in his views and attitude to many people.
It mentions in the book that he had to work hard to like people. Perhaps his motto, A stranger's just a friend I've yet to meet or do not know perhaps does'nt ring true?
However, this does not matter. Im sure because of the many millions of people love his music and the legacy he left behind he will always be regarded as one of the good guys.
I know I will read this book over and over again. As someone who reads mainly bios and autobios this book is by far the best of the lot.
Many thanks to Larry Jordan for his hard work and efforts.
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on 1 October 2015
This book starts off with interesting details of Jim Reeves life and those of his friends and colleagues around him. However it very quickly digresses into far too much very fine detail to the point of distraction and irrelevance and also repetition. The story breaks off at regular intervals to unconnected events or people and there are also different writing styles in the book, as if it were written by different persons then put together for the story. Poor grammar doesn't help with the reading. It is a rambling book.
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on 28 December 2011
I bought this in hardback from the USA as a Christmas present for my Dad who has been a Jim Reeves fan since the beginning. The book has been many years in the writing but it seems well worth the wait. A thoroughly researched book that provides real insight into the life of one of the great singers of the 20th century.
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on 14 March 2015
I have just finished the book and found it wonderful. Larry Jordan has told the story of someone who died when I was four but my parents were avid fans and I grew up with that velvet voice and lovely songs. Jim was no perfect man but who is?. The final few chapters were quite sad for obvious reasons but the whole book was compulsive reading. A long read but it will be with you forever. Get it and enjoy. Thank you Jim Reeves and thank you Larry Jordan.
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on 26 December 2011
I first came across the velvet voice of Jim Reeves as a very ill, eleven year old boy and had to stay with my Grandmother as both parents worked, my Gran had a record player so took some records with me, but looked thru her collection and found about 15 Jim Reeves records, put on Gentleman Jim and from that moment was hooked....now have nearly every CD available, love the voice.
it was nice to get this book and to read it, because, it humanises the pictures on the albums, this is a man, as they say, warts and all, i love Mr Jordans use of all text and interviews available, you get both sides of the story, if you were to ask my Ex-Wife about me, she will tell you a different story than say my wife now and that is what is great about this book, nothing has been left out, it does not paint Jim as a golden voiced saint who did no wrong and had no enemies, this book tells you about the golden voiced MAN, jim was.
it is great the way Mr Jordan has set the book to a time line, so you get it in order not flying all over the place, it also gives you insight into why he recorded some songs and not others, a look at some myths about,his life, his recordings and his relationship, with the equally legendary Chet Atkins.
If you love the Music of this great man, Jim Reeves, then get this, you won't be disappointed, I wasn't, a highly recommended read.
well done Larry Jordan.Jim Reeves: His Untold Story
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on 11 September 2014
I have read many biographies, but never one so deeply and completely researched as this one. I know I will need to read it a few more times just to try and take it all in.
A very real look into the life of Jim Reeves and an in depth view of what it was like to be a professional musician in the 50's and '60's.
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on 18 August 2014
Ok but to much information about record ing sessions and concert dates make it to long
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on 10 April 2016
It was enlightening to realise he was human and with his own self knowledge understood this , yet could not ride above the system he was enmeshed with.
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on 14 March 2012
(This is a review of the paperback book).

Eagerly awaited, Larry Jordan's life of Jim Reeves instantly reveals why it has taken over ten years to complete. A massive tome of 658 pages, it has been painstakingly researched with information stemmed from countless diaries, letters, consumer and trade clippings, personal memories and recollections, interviews and other reference sources in order to create the most complete portrait of this iconic artist ever.

With so much information available - and much revealed for the first time - it is inevitable that the darker side of Reeves' character would be uncovered alongside the popular image. The biggest revelation is that the singer had a long relationship with Hollywood pr Bea Terry, a woman who was not only a lover but also a mentor, convincing him to change his singing style from raw-edged hillbilly singer to smooth crooner. She also helped pick his songs and create his network radio show, secured him tv appearances and set him on his first foreign tour in 1954. But Ms. Terry was only one of the many women in Reeves' life: there were others throughout the USA and even one in Germany whom he met while touring. It becomes obvious that he had an open marriage as his wife Mary (who was to meticulously ensure that his music lived on long after the singer's tragic death) also enjoyed her own liaisons.

Away from these previously undisclosed aspects of Jim Reeves - told strictly in an unsensational, non-tabloid manner - the book recounts the singer's life in a chronological, almost day-by-day manner, beginning with a family history and early years where ambition flitted between baseball and music, until a leg injury put paid to the former. He enjoyed his earliest successes on Fabor Records, and a love-hate (depending upon whose reminiscences are to be believed) relationship with owner/producer Fabor Robinson, before moving on to RCA where a change of vocal style saw him develop into country-pop superstardom. The reader also gets to know the singer's technique in the recording studios, which reveals him as an extremely quick worker, rarely needing more than two or three takes on a song nor hardly needed any assistance from producer Chet Atkins.

Besides the breakdown of his Stateside touring, in which author Jordan provides a continuous array of dates and venues, there's also lengthy space devoted to the Irish, UK and European visits, alongside his phenomenally successful South African tour which led on to the filming of Reeves' only feature "Kimberly Jim". All are accompanied by anecdotes and reminiscences by those who had been involved with the singer, not always presenting Reeves in a favourable light but often countered by other opinions. Haunted by a premonition that he wouldn't live to grow old, the book concludes with newly revealed events leading up to his death on July 31, 1964 at the age of 40, piloting a small plane that he had learned to fly in order to conquer his fear of flying!

Larry Jordan further adds to the singer's history by providing information on people and places that were associated with the singer's life including the changing personnel of his band The Blue Boys; top country radio shows the Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry; stage costume designer Nudie; singer/songwriter Mitchell Torok; showbiz personality Dick Clark and paybacks from artists; the BMI and ASCAP music collection societies; the death of Patsy Cline; the Cuban Missile crisis; and the JFK assassination and the fact that the singer had recognised Lee Harvey Oswald at some of his performances. Plus, throughout, there's a mass of photographs, many from private sources and never previously published.

Jim Reeves is revealed as a man who was a perfectionist with a short temper, yet could be sympathetic, kind and tender; a man who liked to go out drinking and picking up women whenever he was off the road; took pills and suffered from ulcers. Those who want to nit-pick will find the occasional error, like the misspelling of some names, but such errors are hardly worth mentioning compared to the abundance of information the book contains. But the one item that is seriously lacking is an index, almost a necessity in such a lengthy biography and, hopefully, will appear if there's a second printing. In the meantime, it should be essential reading for all the Reeves fans alongside others looking for an insight into the life of one of the world's most popular singers.
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