“Tall Tales And Short Tempers” by Jim Reeves - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1961Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

I don’t know what got into Jim in 1961 but both of his LPs from this year took an amazing turn for the better; sweetly sung love songs were eschewed for darker tales of death and tragedy. “Tall Tales and Short Tempers” was the first to arrive in February. Our first victim dies in “The Blizzard” which opens the set. Although he’s looking forward to his “biscuits in the pan”, our man can’t bear to abandon his lame hoss, and struggles to get them both home to the warmth of the barn. They both perish as “he was just a 100 yards from Mary Ann”. Damn! There have been many fine versions of the traditional “The Streets Of Laredo”, but none finer than Jim’s proud and manly reading: “Beat the drum slowly, and play the pipe lowly, play the death march as you carry me along, take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me, for I'm a young cowboy and know I've done wrong” On “Rodger Young” Jim immortalizes a young private who died in battle less than 18 years ago. A feature of Jim’s two LPs of ’61 was his direct spoken-word approach, occasionally on show on this LP. With guitar playing, he introduces the song thus: “On July 31st 1943 a bloody round in the battle for the Solomon Islands was being fought in the tangled jungle of the island of New Georgia. This is the story of one of the young men who fought and died there. This song is respectfully dedicated to those heroic infantrymen who, like Rodger Young have sacrificed their lives, that their nation might remain forever free”. Jim’s at his career-best on the first half of this set (for me) but he doesn’t maintain this edge in the second half, with the likes of “Danny Boy” being a bit too sugary in comparison to the first. The overall effect of the album still merits the pass marks – and that’s quite an achievement for a Jim Reeves record heard through the ears of a punker.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:24] 6.4.png Jim Reeves - The Blizzard (Harlan Howard) Country
A2 [03:08] 9.8.png Jim Reeves - The Streets Of Laredo (Traditional) Country
A3 [03:16] 5.3.png Jim Reeves - That Silverhaired Daddy Of Mine (Gene Autry, Jimmy Long) Country
A4 [03:21] 6.5.png Jim Reeves - Rodger Young (Frank Loesser) Country
A5 [03:20] 6.0.png Jim Reeves - The Fool’s Paradise (Johnny Bond) Country
B1 [02:25] 6.6.png Jim Reeves - It’s Nothin’ To Me (Pat Patterson) Country
B2 [02:45] 4.7.png Jim Reeves - The Mighty Everglades (Karl Davis) Country
B3 [02:11] 3.8.png Jim Reeves - Danny Boy (Traditional, Frederick Weatherly) Country
B4 [02:26] 4.2.png Jim Reeves - The Letter Edged In Black (Roy Carter) Country
B5 [02:52] 4.2.png Jim Reeves - The Tie That Binds (Traditional) Country
B6 [02:20] 4.2.png Jim Reeves - The Wreck Of The Old Number Nine (Carson J. Robinson) Country
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