With his smooth, warm baritone voice, Jim Reeves emerged as one of the distinctive and successful singers in country music. Jim Reeves songs did not only achieve commercial success in the United States but as well as in Britain, South Africa, Scandinavia, and much more – giving the genre a worldwide market.
From 1955 through 1969, he was regularly on the country and pop charts, despite his untimely death in 1964. Indeed, it could be said that Reeves was one country artist who was more popular in death than in life.
So, without further ado, we’re giving you some of the greatest hits of Jim Reeves. Keep on scrolling below to find out!
1. Mexican Joe
Reeves debuted on the country charts with “Mexican Joe,” hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart – where it remained atop for six incredible weeks. It became his first major national success and would, later on, pave the way to superstardom.
The rollicking number tells the story of an outlaw and drifter who engages in a lifestyle of gambling, partying, drinking, and women.
2. He’ll Have to Go
This heartbreaking ballad went on to become a hit on both country and pop charts. Not only did it rank No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, but it also peaked at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100.
“He’ll Have to Go” tells the story of a man talking to his lover by telephone, only to realize that she’s with another man. It was inspired by a telephone conversation that was shared between the husband-and-wife songwriting team, Joe and Audrey Allison, where they had trouble making themselves understood.
3. Am I Losing You
The song finds Reeves grieving for losing the woman he loves. You will feel the pain and regret in his mellow baritone voice as he asks, “Is your love really true? Is there somebody new? Tell me what to do. Am I losing you?”
Reeves recorded the tear-jerking ballad twice, and both versions were a hit on the country charts.
4. Billy Bayou
This somewhat comic track tells the story of a larger-than-life character having adventures in America in the 1800s. It went on to become another country No. 1 hit for Reeves, holding that position for five remarkable weeks.
Since then, the song has been covered by various artists – such as Burl Ives and Charley Pride.
5. Four Walls
When Reeves noticed the song at record producer Chet Atkins’ office, he knew right then and there that he had to record it. While Atkins found the song more suitable for a female artist, Reeves persisted until the recording was made possible.
With Atkins on the guitar, “Four Walls” went to No. 1 on the country chart.
6. Welcome to My World
While this popular country classic was recorded by several artists, the most notable version was released by Reeves, who tailored the song in his favored style of Nashville Sound. The song ranked No. 2 on both Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and Billboard Hot 100 – making it one of his last major hits in the United States before his death.
7. Have You Ever Been Lonely?
Reeves first recorded the song in 1961. Two decades later, record producer Owen Bradley lifted Reeves’ solo performance, along with Patsy Cline’s version, off their original stereo tapes.
The amazing thing then happened! Bradley synchronized these two tracks as a duet by Reeves and Cline – who had never recorded together during their lifetimes. Sadly, the two artists died in separate plane crashes.
8. I Love You Because
While the versions of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash were more popular in North America, Reeves’ deep baritone took this ballad to an international audience. “I Love You Because” peaked at No. 5 in the United Kingdom and was his most successful single in Norway.
9. Blue Side of Lonesome
While Reeves recorded this song on his 1962 album, The Country Side of Jim Reeves, it made a buzz when it was posthumously released – reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, where it stayed atop for the entire week.
10. I Guess I’m Crazy
This poignant ballad – which best illustrated the reality of how love can sometimes make you do all the silliest things in the world – was the first out of his six posthumous No. 1 hits on the country chart. It also topped the Canadian charts, making it the first song ever to top the newly created RPM Country charts in Canada.
His Legacy Lives On Through These Jim Reeves Songs
It’s truly unfortunate how Jim Reeves died in 1964 when his plane crashed near Nashville, Tennessee, after encountering a violent storm. Still, his legacy lived on through his music and the many successful posthumous releases of reworked tracks, as well as unearthed demos.
Here are some more of his greatest hits.
Truly, Jim Reeves songs are the best ones in the genre.