on this day

January 1, 2007 – Del Reeves died of emphysema.

The youngest of 11 children, Reeves learned guitar by borrowing his brothers’ instruments while they were serving in World War II. He was performing on radio by the time he was 12 years old and later attended Appalachian State College. While serving in the Air Force, Reeves was stationed in Sacramento, where he performed on “The Chester Smith Show” from 1958-1961. He moved to Nashville in 1961 to begin recording for Decca, and he had his first chart single the same year with “Be Quiet Mind.”and later attended Appalachian State College
He and his wife also became a professional songwriting team, contributing material to Carl Smith, Rose Maddox, Roy Drusky, and Sheb Wooley. Short stints at Reprise and Columbia preceded Reeves’ signing with United Artists, where he landed his first #1 hit “Girl on a Billboard” in 1965.

January 1, 2007 - Del Reeves died of emphysema.

“The Belles of Southern Bell” made the Top Five and “Women Do Funny Things to Me” reached the Top Ten in early 1966. Reeves also joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1966, where he continued to perform until his final years.
Three more songs, “Looking at the World Through a Windshield,” “Be Glad,” and his signature tune, “Good Time Charlie’s” all made the Top Five over 1968-1969, and he cut a series of duets with Bobby Goldsboro and Penny DeHaven over the next several years. He also returned to the screen, hosting ” The Del Reeves’ Country Carnival” on television and appearing in several feature films during the late ’60s including a starring role in “Cottonpickin’ Chickenpickers” and a supporting role in Burt Reynolds’ first big movie “Sam Whiskey”. His last big Top Ten hit came with 1971’s “The Philadelphia Fillies,” but he continued to record for United Artists through the ’70s, cutting some more duets with Billie Jo Spears in 1976.
In 1979, Reeves left his musical career to pursue a career as a music executive and played a big role in the signing of Billy Ray Cyrus. He continued to record in the 1980s on a reduced scale for smaller labels.
His last Opry performance was in August 2002.


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