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James Travis Reeves (August 20, 1923–July 31, 1964) singer-songwriter popular in the 1950s and 1960s who also gained a wide international following for his pioneering smooth Nashville sound. "Four Walls" not only took top position on the country charts, but went to number eleven on the popular charts. Known as Gentleman Jim, his songs continued to chart for years following his death at age 40 in a private airplane crash.
For his earliest RCA recordings, Reeves was still singing with the loud style of his first recordings, considered standard for country and western performers at that time. He decreased his volume, using a lower pitch and singing with lips nearly touching the microphone, although there were protests at RCA. During 1957, with the endorsement of his producer Chet Atkins, he used this style for his version of a demonstration song of lost love intended for a female singer. "Four Walls" not only scored No. 1 on the country music charts, but scored No. 11 on the popular music charts. Reeves had helped begin a new style of country music, using violins and lusher background arrangements soon known as the Nashville sound.
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