Blue Skies - sung by Jim Reeves
Video adaptation by 'tonferns'
Jim Reeves was very popular in India during the 1950’s and 1960’s. His songs were frequently played on Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Emissora de Goa (a radio station in Goa up to 18 December 1961) and All-India-Radio Bombay. His records were pressed by HMV in Dum-Dum, West Bengal, India. They were available in Bombay and all other major cities in India.
Today in the west some people are surprised when I mention Jim's name, while others (born and brought up in North America) have never even heard of him. The first song by Jim Reeves that I heard when I was a kid was ‘He’ll have to go’. Ever since then I’ve remained hooked on to his songs. Jim Reeves was very popular in India and Ceylon for his sentimental songs since in the 1950 and is a popular choice in many Goan homes. His songs were aired daily on request programs of Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and on Emissora de Goa’s (now All India Radio Panjim) Sunday afternoon listener’s choice programme.
In Bombay (now Mumbai), during my teens in the mid-sixties, I used to save on bus-fare by walking home from college. But on the way I used to spend it by listening to Jim Reeves 'Snowflake' on the juke-box, over a cup of coffee, at Cafe Mondegar in Colaba, near Regal Cinema.
In the 1960's and 1970's, many people in the Indian Sub-continent owned gadgets what were known as 'Radiograms' that played LP Record, 78's and 45's in addition to receiving radio programs on Short Wave and Medium Wave Radio. Walk into any Goan home in Bombay, from Colaba to Bandra, Byculla to Dhobitalo, or Mahim to Worli, you would invariably hear Jim Reeves playing in their home. Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Engelbert Humperdinck or Billy Vaughn and Bill Black Combo were also popular in many record collections.
During the time when I lived and worked in Dubai in late 1960's and 1970's, Jim Reeves' records, being an RCA label, were then not available in the Trucial States of Oman (now U.A.E.), but since the LP's were pressed in Dum Dum, India, folks who travelled to India on their annual vacation, often purchased them there.
Yeah...but most of all, and all this being said and written about the great Gentleman Jim, I'll never change anything that holds the memory of him. Oh yeah! (now, if you like Jim, try to sing those lyrics based on his song: 'I'm gonna change everything. Ageless tune, everlasting song!)
Click on the following link and give it a listen. Turn up the volume and enjoy the lyrics and the rhythm.
Among many songs by Jim Reeves in my collection, ‘Blue Skies’ still remains a favourite. Click on 'play' to listen. I hope you will enjoy it too. It was composed by Irving Berlin in 1926.
Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song
Nothin' but bluebirds all day long.
I never saw the sun shinin' so bright
Never saw things goin' so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, oh my how they fly.
Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin' but blue skies from now on.
Jim Reeves was born in Galloway, Texas, on 20 August 1923. He died in a plane crash during a violent thunderstorm on 31 July 1964. He was well-known for his warm, velvety, baritone voice and often referred to respectfully as ‘Gentleman Jim’. Among his various other numerous hits and touching songs were ‘Adios Amigo’, ‘Welcome to My World' and ‘Am I losing you’. His Christmas album still remains as the best of all time.
During the 1960's, if one walked into a Goan family home that had a 'radiogram' it would undoubtedly have been a Jim Reeves 12 inch vinyl record spinning on the 6-LP stackable record changer.
In the 1970's compact cassettes arrived on the scene followed by CD's in 1980's. Some of his recorded tracks were released by his widow, Mary Reeves, after his death with additional instrumental back-up.
Incidentally, MARY REEVES was born on 20 Jan.1929 and died on 11 Nov.1999.
Today, walk into any Goan home at Christmas time, and it will be Jim Reeves' Christmas album, in all probability, a CD.
Forty-fours years after his death, his songs still continue to sell on CD's. The inscription on the pedestal of his life-size statue at his memorial in Carthage, Texas, reads as follows:
"If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain."