Regardless of which island or territory in the Caribbean you are from, though you might never have realised but there’s a constant that has bugged me for many years…How is it that the majority of Caribbean homes have a copy of Jim Reeves Christmas LP, cassette or DVD??!!
Growing up in Grenada back in the 70’s introduced me to this music legend of the Country and Western genre. Not only were we, my sisters and I compelled to listen to a steady and LOUD dose of Jim Reeves every Sunday to tunes like ‘He’ll Have to Go’ we had to stomach him at Christmas. Yes you know, as the sky is blue, that Jim Reeves would be the artist of choice for Christmas.
Known as Gentleman Jim, his songs continued to chart for years after his death in 1964 at age 40 in the crash of a private airplane. He is a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame.
No doubt the man’s music has a certain addictive nature to it but what I’d really like to know, as I’m sure you would too, is when and how did he become so popular in the Caribbean community? The man was from Texas, which is much more than a hop skip and a jump from the Caribbean and at the time of his early popularity West Indians weren’t that mobile, meaning the world was a much bigger place.
Nonetheless Gentleman Jim who was more popular than Elvis Presley at one stage in the 60’s, still has a strong influence on many of our Caribbean homes, particularly our parents, grandparents in their late 60’s and beyond.
Of course, if like my young wife you too can’t imagine Christmas without the ‘sweet’ silky sound of ole Jim Reeves then enjoy. She’s particularly fond of Silver Bells. Afterall Christmas is meant to be a time when you do what you like with whom you like and simply share and feel love…and who konws maybe some day I too may warm to Jim Reeves…I won’t bet on it if I were you!! Butif you were wondering what tkes my fancy around Christmas I’m happy to share…it’s parang music from either Grenada, Trinidad or Barbados. This music brings back fond memories, check this one out from Barbados ‘Christmas Wine Soca Parang 2011’ by Junior Bloodfire and have yourself a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!