Jim Reeves - widely known as "Gentleman Jim" - was one of the most successful and important country artists of the 1950s and early '60s, his rich, velvet voice bringing a unique sound and style, which was in the vanguard of the "new Nashville" sound, as the music headed away from honky-tonk fiddles and steel guitars as introduced strings and backing choruses, helping to move the genre towards the pop mainstream. Despite his tragic death in a 'plane crash in 1964, he was nevertheless able to rack up nearly 50 hits during his lifetime and became one of the most influential personalities in country music in the post-war era. This great-value 80-track 3-CD set comprises the A & B sides of all his singles from his recording debut for the Macy's label in 1949 through to 1962, and includes his recordings for the Abbott and RCA labels during those years, plus a duet performance with Ginny Wright released on the Fabor label. It naturally features all his 37 pop and country hits from the era, including the No. 1s "Mexican Joe", "Bimbo", "Billy Bayou", "Four Walls" and the international smash hit "He'll Have To Go", which provided his UK chart breakthrough in 1960. Covering, as it does, the first 15 years or so of his career, it charts the development of his style and sound during an era when country music was becoming more consciously commercial, and experienced the impact of the rock 'n' roll explosion in the mid-'50s, following it through into the early years of a decade when he very much flew the flag for country music as the British Invasion brought about more musical changes. It's a fine showcase for one of the genre's most enduring stars.