Rolf Harris is an Australian entertainer whose career has encompassed work as a musician, singer-songwriter, comedian, actor and television personality. Harris is known for his musical compositions "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport", a Top 10 hit in Australia, the UK, the United States, "Jake the Peg", he used unusual instruments in his performances: he played the didgeridoo. During the 1960s and 1970s, Harris became a popular television personality in the UK presenting shows such as Rolf's Cartoon Club and Animal Hospital. In 2005, he painted an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, he lived in Bray, England, for more than six decades. Harris's career as a popular entertainer ended when he was convicted and imprisoned for sexual offences. In 2014, at the age of 84, he was sentenced to five years, nine months in prison on twelve counts of indecent assault on four teenage female victims during the 1970s and 1980s, he was released from prison in 2017 after serving nearly three years. Following his conviction, he was stripped of many of the honours he had been awarded during his career, including the AO and CBE.
Harris was born on 30 March 1930 in Bassendean, Western Australia, to Agnes Margaret and Cromwell Harris, who had both emigrated from Cardiff, Wales. He grew up in Western Australia, he was named after the pseudonym of an Australian writer whom his mother admired. After his fame, Harris was referred to as "the boy from Bassendean" within Australia; as a child he owned a dog called Buster Fleabags, about whom he wrote a book. Harris attended Bassendean State School and Perth Modern School in Subiaco gaining a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia and a Diploma of Education from Claremont Teachers' College. While he was just 16, still a student at Perth Modern School, his self-portrait in oils was one of the 80 works accepted to be hung in the Art Gallery of New South Wales as an entry in the 1947 Archibald Prize, he painted a portrait of the Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia, Sir James Mitchell, for the 1948 Archibald Prize. He won the 1949 Claude Hotchin prize for oil colours with his landscape "On a May Morning, Guildford".
As an adolescent and young adult Harris was a champion swimmer. In 1946, he was the Australian Junior 110 yards Backstroke Champion, he was the Western Australian state champion over a variety of distances and strokes during the period from 1948 to 1952. Harris moved to England in 1952 and became an art student at City and Guilds of London Art School in South London, at the age of 22. In 1953 he found work in television, at the BBC, performing a regular ten-minute cartoon drawing section in a one-hour children's show called Jigsaw, with a puppet called "Fuzz", made and operated on the show by magician Robert Harbin, he went on to illustrate Harbin's Paper Magic programme in 1956. In 1954, Harris was a regular on a BBC Television programme Whirligig, which featured a character called "Willoughby", who sprang to life on a drawing board, but was erased at the end of each episode. By this stage, Harris had drifted away from art school as a disillusioned student, he met his longtime hero, Australian impressionist painter Hayward Veal, who became his mentor, teaching him the rudiments of impressionism and showing him how it could help with his portrait painting.
At the time that he was working with Veal, Harris was entertaining with his piano accordion every Thursday night at a club called the Down Under, frequented by Australians and New Zealanders. At the Down Under venue Harris honed his entertainment skills over several years writing what became his theme song, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport". Although Harris chiefly appeared on the BBC, he was on the British ITV network, when commercial television started in 1955, he was the only entertainer to work with both the BBC and ITV, he performed on the BBC with his own creation, "Willoughby", a specially made board on which he drew Willoughby. The character would come to life to engage in a comedic dialogue with Harris as he drew cartoons of Willoughby's antics. On Associated Rediffusion's Small Time, Harris invented a character called "Oliver Polip the Octopus", which he drew on the back of his hand and animated. Harris illustrated the character's adventures with cartoons on huge sheets of card. On 1 March 1958, in London, Harris married Alwen Hughes, a Welsh sculptress and jeweller, while they were both art students.
At their wedding, they had a dog as bridesmaid. Harris returned to Perth, he subsequently produced and starred in five episodes of a half-hour weekly children's show, as well as his own weekly evening variety show. From 1959, he worked on TVW-7's first locally produced show and during this time he recorded "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" on a single microphone placed above him in the television studio; the song was sent to EMI in Sydney and was released shortly afterwards as a record, becoming both his first recording and his first number one single. The song was successful in the UK. Harris offered four local backing musicians 10 per cent of the royalties from the song, but they decided to take a recording fee of ₤7 each, because they did not think the song would be successful; the novelty song was titled "Kangalypso" and featured the distinctive sound of the "wo
Webster Hall is a nightclub and concert venue located at 125 East 11th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues, near Astor Place, in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1886, its current incarnation was opened by the Ballinger brothers in 1992, it serves as a nightclub, concert venue, corporate events space, recording studio, has a capacity of 2,500 people – including the club. It has been recognized as the first modern nightclub. On March 18, 2008, after a landmarks proposal was submitted by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated Webster Hall and its Annex a New York City landmark. According to Pollstar Magazine, as of August 1, 2016, Webster Hall is the #1 Club Venue in New York by ticket sales, #3 in the world. In 2017, the club was sold to a unit of Anschutz Entertainment Group, it closed on August 9, 2017 for a planned three-year period for structural improvements and will re-open as a concert facility.
Webster Hall was built in 1886 by architect Charles Rentz in the Queen Anne style and topped with an elaborate mansard roof. Six years in 1892, Rentz was hired to design an addition to the building, occupying the site of 125 East 11th Street and designed in the Renaissance Revival style using the same materials as the original building. Throughout the early twentieth century the building was plagued by fires, which occurred in 1902, 1911, 1930, 1938, 1949; the original mansard roof was lost in one of these fires. Webster Hall is one of New York City's most significant theater and event halls, having hosted social events of all types since the club's construction in 1886. Commissioned by Charles Goldstein – who operated the hall and lived in the Annex with his family until his death in 1898 – the building was a "hall for hire" from its inception; the first decade or so of Webster Hall's existence saw it host countless labor union rallies, meetings, dances, military functions, concerts and other events focused on the working-class and immigrant population of the surrounding Lower East Side neighborhood during its early years.
Although it hosted many high-society functions catering to the uppertens of the city, the hall earned a reputation as a gathering place for leftist, socialist and labor union activity early on. In 1912, Emma Goldman, the outspoken exponent of Anarchism, free love and birth control, led a march that brought the children of striking Lawrence, Massachusetts millworkers to the hall for a meal in order to dramatize the struggles of the working-class. In 1916, it was used as the strike headquarters for the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union. In the 1910s and 20s, Webster Hall became known for its masquerade balls and other soirees reflecting the hedonism of the city's Bohemians. Nicknamed the "Devil's Playhouse" by the socialist magazine The Masses, Webster Hall became known for the wilder and more risque events of the time; the coming of Prohibition did not restrict the availability of alcohol at these events. Local politicians and police were said to turn a blind eye to the activities; the repeal of Prohibition was the reason for one of Webster Hall's biggest celebrations, "The Return of John Barleycorn."
In 1938, reporting on a fire in the building, The New York Times wrote: "Webster Hall... began by seeing redcheeked debutantes introduced to society and ended – if ended it has – by seeing red-nosed bohemians thumbing defiance at society." In the 1950s, Webster Hall began featuring concerts from a diverse group of artists. Latin performers, such as Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez played at the club. So, did folk artists Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. From 1953-1968 RCA Records, recognizing the acoustical integrity of the Grand Ballroom, purchased the building and began operating Webster Hall as their East Coast recording venue, Webster Hall Studios. Carol Channing recorded Hello, Dolly! there, Venezuelan conductor Aldemaro Romero recorded his debut album Dinner in Caracas, Harold Prince recorded Fiddler on the Roof, artists such as Julie Andrews, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Perry Como, Sergio Franchi, Peter Nero, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Hugo Winterhalter all recorded in the studio.
On February 2, 1962 Bob Dylan was recorded playing harmonica on the title track of Harry Belafonte's Midnight Special album, marking Dylan's recording debut. The Music Theatre of Lincoln Center albums of Broadway shows recorded between 1964 and 1969 were all made at Webster Hall, but without a live audience, in 1966, the recording of Handel's Giulio Cesare starring Norman Treigle and Beverly Sills was recorded at the Hall for RCA. In 1970, Unity Gallega known as Casa Galicia of New York, purchased the site and remains the current owner of the property. Unity Gallega/Casa Galicia is a cultural organization representing people from Galicia, Spain in promoting and preserving their cultural ties. On May 1, 1980, The Ritz opened by Jerry Brandt in the Webster Hall building as a showcase venue for emerging rock acts. Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, The Pretenders, Sting, Aerosmith, U2, Book of Love, Cro-Mags, KISS, B. B. King, Guns N' Roses all performed routinely. Many believe The Ritz to be the first nigh
In popular music, a cover version, cover song, revival, or cover, is a new performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a recorded, commercially released song. Before the onset of rock'n' roll in the 1950s, songs were published and several records of a song might be brought out by singers of the day, each giving it their individual treatment. Cover versions could be released as an effort to revive the song's popularity among younger generations of listeners after the popularity of the original version has long since declined over the years. On occasion, a cover can become more popular than the original, such as Elvis Presley's version of Carl Perkins' original "Blue Suede Shoes", Santana's 1970 version of Peter Green's and Fleetwood Mac's 1968 "Black Magic Woman", Johnny Cash's version of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", Whitney Houston's versions of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" and of George Benson's "The Greatest Love of All", Glenn Medeiros's version of George Benson's "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" or Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower".
The Hendrix recording, released six months after Dylan's original, became a Top 10 single in the UK in 1968 and was ranked 48th in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Another famous example is the Beatles' cover of "Twist and Shout" by the Top Notes, their cover of the song, "Til There Was You", by Meredith Willson, among many others; the term "cover" goes back decades when cover version described a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the released version. The Chicago Tribune described the term in 1952: "trade jargon meaning to record a tune that looks like a potential hit on someone else's label". Examples of records covered include Paul Williams' 1949 hit tune "The Hucklebuck" and Hank Williams' 1952 song "Jambalaya". Both had numerous hit versions. Before the mid-20th century, the notion of an original version of a popular tune would have seemed odd – the production of musical entertainment was seen as a live event if it was reproduced at home via a copy of the sheet music, learned by heart or captured on a gramophone record.
In fact, one of the principal objects of publishing sheet music was to have a composition performed by as many artists as possible. In previous generations, some artists made successful careers of presenting revivals or reworkings of once-popular tunes out of doing contemporary cover versions of current hits. Musicians now play what they call "cover versions" of songs as a tribute to the original performer or group. Using familiar material is an important method of learning music styles; until the mid-1960s most albums, or long playing records, contained a large number of evergreens or standards to present a fuller range of the artist's abilities and style. Artists might perform interpretations of a favorite artist's hit tunes for the simple pleasure of playing a familiar song or collection of tunes. A cover band plays such "cover versions" exclusively. Today three broad types of entertainers depend on cover versions for their principal repertoire: Tribute acts or bands are performers who make a living by recreating the music of one particular artist or band.
Bands such as Björn Again, Led Zepagain, The Fab Four, Australian Pink Floyd Show, The Iron Maidens and Glory Days are dedicated to playing the music of ABBA, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and Bruce Springsteen respectively. Some tribute acts salute the Who, many other classic rock acts. Many tribute acts target artists who remain popular but no longer perform, allowing an audience to experience the "next best thing" to the original act; the formation of tribute acts is proportional to the enduring popularity of the original act. Many tribute bands attempt to recreate another band's music as faithfully as possible, but some such bands introduce a twist. Dread Zeppelin performs reggae versions of the Zeppelin catalog and Beatallica creates heavy metal fusions of songs by the Beatles and Metallica. There are situations in which a member of a tribute band will go on to greater success, sometimes with the original act they tribute. One notable example is Tim "Ripper" Owens who, once the lead singer of Judas Priest tribute band British Steel, went on to join Judas Priest himself.
Cover acts or bands are entertainers who perform a broad variety of crowd-pleasing cover songs for audiences who enjoy the familiarity of hit songs. Such bands draw from current Top 40 hits and/or those of previous decades to provide nostalgic entertainment in bars, on cruise ships and at such events as weddings, family celebrations and corporate functions. Since the advent of inexpensive computers, some cover bands use a computerized catalog of songs, so that the singer can have the lyrics to a song displayed on a computer screen; the use of a screen for lyrics as a memory aid can increase the number of songs a singer can perform. Revivalist artists or bands are performers who are inspired by an entire genre of music and dedicate themselves to curating and recreating the genre and introducing it to younger audiences who have not experienced that music first hand. Unlike tribute bands and cover bands who rely on audiences seeking a nostalgic experience, revivalist bands seek new young audiences for whom the music is fresh and has no nostalgic value.
For example, Sha Na Na
Jester Joseph Hairston was an American composer, arranger, choral conductor, actor. He was regarded as a leading expert on choral music, his notable compositions include "Amen," a gospel-tinged theme from the film Lilies of the Field and a 1963 hit for The Impressions, the Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child". Hairston was born in Belews Creek, a rural community on the border of Stokes, Forsyth and Guilford counties in North Carolina, his grandparents had been slaves. At an early age he and his family moved to Homestead, just outside Pittsburgh, where he graduated from high school in 1921. Hairston was still a small child. While growing up, Hairston heard his grandmother and her friends talking and singing about life on the plantations of the southern US, he listened with immense interest and made a promise to himself that he would preserve this history through music. Hairston in landscape architecture at Massachusetts Agricultural College in the 1920s. While studying landscape architecture, Hairston became involved in various church choirs and choral groups.
The accompanist of one, Anna Laura Kidder, became his benefactor. Mrs. Kidder offered him financial assistance to study music at Tufts University, from which he graduated in 1929, he was one of the first black students admitted to Tufts. He studied music at the Juilliard School. Hairston pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated in 1925, he worked as a choir conductor in the early stages of his career. His work with choirs on Broadway led to his singing and acting in plays, radio programs, television shows, he sang with the Hall Johnson Choir in Harlem for a time but was nearly fired from the all black choir because he had difficulty with the rural dialects that were used in some of the songs. He had to relearn the country speech of his parents and grandparents. Johnson had told him, "We're singing ain't and cain't and you're singing shahn't and cahn't and they don't mix in a spiritual." The Hall Johnson Choir performed in many Broadway shows including The Green Pastures. In 1936, they were asked to go to Hollywood to sing for the film The Green Pastures.
At that time, a Russian composer, Dimitri Tiomkin, heard Jester and invited him to collaborate with him. This led to a thirty-year collaboration during which time Jester arranged and collected music for the movies. In 1939, Hairston married Margaret Swanigan, he wrote and arranged spirituals for Hollywood films as well as for high school and college choirs around the country. Hairston wrote the song "Mary's Boy Child" in 1956, he arranged the song "Amen", which he dubbed for the Sidney Poitier film Lilies of the Field, arranged traditional Negro spirituals Most of Hairston's film work was in the field of composing and choral conducting. Hairston acted in over 20 films in small roles, some of which were uncredited. Among the films he appeared in were bit parts in some of the early Tarzan movies, St. Louis Blues, The Alamo, To Kill a Mockingbird, In the Heat of the Night, Lady Sings the Blues, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and Being John Malkovich. Hairston starred in John Wayne's The Alamo. In 1961, the US State Department appointed Jester Hairston as Goodwill Ambassador.
He traveled all over the world performing the folk music of the slaves. In the 1960s he held choral festivals with public high school choirs, introducing them to Negro Spiritual music, sometimes leading several hundred students in community performances, his banter about the history of the songs along with his engaging personality and sense of humor endeared him to many students. No matter where Hairston performed in the US, he checked the phone book for other Hairstons and was responsible for reuniting people on his family tree, both black and white, he composed more than 300 spirituals. All of his research and work has been documented for history, he was the recipient of many honorary doctorates, including a doctorate from The University of Massachusetts in 1972, another in music from Tufts in 1977. Hairston appeared on TV's The Andy Show, he had the role of Leroy as Henry Van Porter on the television program. He played the role of Wildcat on the show That's My Mama. In his senior years he appeared on the show Amen as Rolly Forbes.
His last television appearance was in 1993 on an episode of Family Matters. Hairston played the role of "King Moses" on radio for the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall show Bold Venture. In his years, Hairston served as a cultural ambassador for American music, traveling to numerous countries with choral groups that he had assembled. In 1985 he took the Jester Hairston Chorale, a multi-racial group, to sing in the People's Republic of China, at a time when foreign visitors were still quite rare in that country. Hairston died in Los Angeles of natural causes in 2000 at age 98. For his contribution to the television industry, Hairston has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6201 Hollywood Blvd, he is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, California. Fearn-Burns, Kathleen, ed.. Historical Dictionary of African-American Television; the Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-5335-3. Fullen, M. K.. Pathblazers: Eight People who Made a Difference. Open Hand Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9408-8036-8. Wiencek, Henry.
The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-3122-5393-6. Jester Hairston on IMDb Jester Hairston at the Internet Broadway Database African Amer
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company, on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is defined by the Official Charts Company as either a'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence; the rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.
The OCC website contains the Top 100 chart. Some media outlets only list the Top 75 of this list; the chart week runs from 00:01 Friday to midnight Thursday, with most UK physical and digital singles being released on Fridays. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday; the Top 40 chart is first issued on Friday afternoons by BBC Radio 1 as The Official Chart from 16:00 to 17:45, before the full Official Singles Chart Top 100 is posted on the Official Charts Company's website. A rival chart show, The Vodafone Big Top 40, is based on iTunes downloads and commercial radio airplay across the Global Radio network only, is broadcast on Sunday afternoons from 16:00 to 19:00 on 145 local commercial radio stations across the United Kingdom; the Big Top 40 is not regarded by the industry or wider media. There is a show called "Official KISS Top 40", counting down 40 most played songs on Kiss FM every Sunday 17:00 to 19:00; the UK Singles Chart began to be compiled in 1952.
According to the Official Charts Company's statistics, as of 1 July 2012, 1,200 singles have topped the UK Singles Chart. The precise number of chart-toppers is debatable due to the profusion of competing charts from the 1950s to the 1980s, but the usual list used is that endorsed by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and subsequently adopted by the Official Charts Company; the company regards a selected period of the New Musical Express chart and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts coexisted side by side. For example, the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; the first number one on the UK Singles Chart was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino for the week ending date 14 November 1952. As of the week ending date 18 April 2019, the UK Singles Chart has had 1352 different number-one hits; the current number-one single is "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi.
Before the compilation of sales of records, the music market measured a song's popularity by sales of sheet music. The idea of compiling a chart based on sales originated in the United States, where the music-trade paper Billboard compiled the first chart incorporating sales figures on 20 July 1940. Record charts in the UK began in 1952, when Percy Dickins of the New Musical Express gathered a pool of 52 stores willing to report sales figures. For the first British chart Dickins telephoned 20 shops, asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs; these results were aggregated into a Top 12 chart published in NME on 14 November 1952, with Al Martino's "Here in My Heart" awarded the number-one position. The chart became a successful feature of the periodical. Record Mirror compiled its own Top 10 chart for 22 January 1955; the NME chart was based on a telephone poll. Both charts expanded in size, with Mirror's becoming a Top 20 in October 1955 and NME's becoming a Top 30 in April 1956. Another rival publication, Melody Maker, began compiling its own chart.
It was the first chart to include Northern Ireland in its sample. Record Mirror began running a Top 5 album chart in July 1956. In March 1960, Record Retailer had a Top 50 singles chart. Although NME had the largest circulation of charts in the 1960s and was followed, in March 1962 Record Mirror stopped compiling its own chart and published Record Retailer's instead. Retailer began independent auditing in January 1963, has been used by the UK Singles Chart as the source for number-ones since the week ending 12 March 1960; the choice of Record Retailer as the source has been criticised. With available lists of which record shops were sampled to compile the charts some shops were subjected to "hyping" but, with Record Retailer being less followed than some charts, it was subject to less hyping. Additionally, Retailer was set up by independent record shops and had no funding or affiliation with record companies. However, it had a smaller sample size than some ri
James Travis Reeves was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound. Known as "Gentleman Jim", his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died in the crash of his private airplane, he is a member of both Texas Country Music Halls of Fame. Some of Reeves's records are the most valuable in the world, selling for hundreds of pounds at a time, they are among the most collectable of all UK LP's. A recent sale at an auction house saw an RCA Camden issue of "God Be With Us" sold for over £1,500. Reeves was born at home in a small rural community near Carthage, he was the youngest of eight children born to Thomas Middleton Reeves. He was known as Travis during his childhood years. Winning an athletic scholarship to the University of Texas, he enrolled to study speech and drama but quit after only six weeks to work in the shipyards in Houston. Soon he resumed baseball, playing in the semi-professional leagues before contracting with the St. Louis Cardinals "farm" team during 1944 as a right-handed pitcher.
He played for the minor leagues for three years before severing his sciatic nerve while pitching, which ended his athletic career. Reeves' initial efforts to pursue a baseball career were sporadic due to his uncertainty as to whether he would be drafted into the military as World War II enveloped the United States. On 9 March 1943 he reported to the Army Induction Center in Tyler for his preliminary physical examination. However, he failed the exam, on 4 August 1943 an official letter declared his 4-F draft status. Reeves began to work as a radio announcer, sang live between songs. During the late 1940s, he was contracted with a couple of small Texas-based recording companies, but without success. Influenced by such Western swing-music artists as Jimmie Rodgers and Moon Mullican, as well as popular singers Bing Crosby, Eddy Arnold and Frank Sinatra, it was not long before he was a member of Moon Mullican's band, made some early Mullican-style recordings like "Each Beat of my Heart" and "My Heart's Like a Welcome Mat" from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.
He obtained a job as an announcer for KWKH-AM in Shreveport, Louisiana the home of the popular radio program Louisiana Hayride. According to former Hayride master of ceremonies Frank Page, who had introduced Elvis Presley on the program in 1954, singer Sleepy LaBeef was late for a performance, Reeves was asked to substitute. Jim Reeves was a country music singer who had success early on in his career with hits such as "I Love You", "Mexican Joe", "Bimbo" which reached Number 1 on the U. S. Country Charts in 1954. In addition to those early hits, Reeves recorded many other songs for Fabor Records and Abbott Records. In 1954, Abbott Records released a 45 single with "Bimbo" on side-A which hit #1 and featured Little Joe Hunt of the Arkansas Walk of Fame. Jim Reeves and Little Joe Hunt met at the Louisiana Hayride, Louisiana's equivalent to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. After performing at the Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana and Hunt traveled & performed together for several years in the dance halls and clubs of east Texas and rural Arkansas.
Reeves became the headliner with Hunt as the backup performer. Due to his growing popularity, Reeves went on to release his first album in November 1955, Jim Reeves Sings, which proved to be one of Abbott Records' couple album releases. Reeves' star was on the rise because he had been signed to a 10-year recording contract with RCA Victor by Steve Sholes. Sholes went on to produce some of Reeves' first recordings at RCA Victor. Sholes signed another performer from the Louisiana Hayride Elvis Presley. Most of the talented performers of the 1950s such as Reeves, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Ed Brown & Maxine Brown, The Wilburn Brothers and Little Joe Hunt got their start at the Louisiana Hayride. In addition to the Hayride, Jim Reeves joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1955. Reeves made his first appearance on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee in 1955, he was such a hit with the fans that he was invited to act as fill-in host from May thru July 1958 on the popular program, Ozark Jubilee. From his earliest recordings with RCA Victor, Reeves relied on the loud, east Texas style, considered standard for country and western performers of that time.
However, he developed a new style of singing over the course of his career. He said, "One of these days..... I'm gonna sing like I want to sing!" So, he decreased his volume and used the lower registers of his singing voice with his lips nearly touching the microphone. Amid protests from RCA but with the endorsement of his producer Chet Atkins, Reeves used this new style in a 1957 recording, a demo song of lost love, intended for a female voice, it was titled "Four Walls" which not only scored Number 1 on the country music charts but scored Number 11 on the popular music charts as well. Jim Reeves was instrumental in creating a new style of country music which used violins and lusher background arrangements which soon became known as the Nashville Sound; this new sound was able to cross genres which made Reeves more popular as a recording artist. Reeves became known as a crooner because of his rich baritone voice; because of his vocal style, he was considere