On April 2, 2007 Bear Family Records has released the 4 CD/1DVD boxed set of 'NASHVIILLE STARS on European Tour'.
The boxed set consists of 1 DVD with a short film clip of the arrival of the group at Amsterdam Airport, where in the lounge, Jim Reeves sang a short version of "I Love You Because" for invited fans and the press, and an extended version of the second show of Oslo Njardhallen concert. The extended footage is an instrumental at the beginning of the show. The DVD is in black and white and in the NTSC format and region free. It can be played on many DVD players where PAL or SECAM is the broadcast standard.
The 4 CD albums contain audio recordings made during the tour. The concert at Stockholm, Sweden could not fit on 1 CD as it is almost 2 hours long, and has been put on Volumes 1 and 2. The original monoral audio tapes on which the show had been recorded by Swedish Radio, have been used for the project, the appear to be unedited, and the sound quality is very, very good,
Volume 3 starts of with the stereo audio tracks from the RCA album LSP-9992 NASHVILE STARS ON TOUR. The recordings are a mixture from the concerts in Berlin and Hamburg. Then followed by recordings from a German television show, the original video tapes have been lost or erased since the late 60's. Fortunately a Dutch fan recorded the show, when Dutch television broadcasted the show in three parts in 1965. Bear used a reel tape copy I made from that recording in 1974. At the end of the album is a Jim Reeves interview by Kitty Prins, made in Jim's hotel room in Brussels, Belgium.
Volume 4 contains recordings in German by RCA artists; a few of them took no part of the tour in 1964. There's a chapter in the accompanying book which tells why these recordings are part of the 1964 tour history.
The accompanying hardcover book of 110 pages has been written by Roediger Bloemke. It contains 187 pictures;Jim Reeves is featured in 83 of them. Although the book features all the artists, Jim Reeves takes prominence both in text and pictures, just as he did at the tour; he was the headliner of it. Jim Reeves was the reason the tour had been organised, TELDEC had big plans with Jim, recording sessions in German, etc.
There are many interesting pictures, many never seen before, such as the pictures taken at the Lufthansa's VIP lounge at the John F. Kennedy airport in New York.
Newspaper articles from Denmark, Norway, Germany and The Netherlands have been reproduced in the book which has been written in both German and English. These articles have not been translated into English, nor chapters decribing shows in Germany, Austria, and The Netherlands which are in German and Dutch respectively. In one of those chapters, Richard Weize, record producer and owner of the Bear Family label, describes his visit to the Hanover show and meeting the artists backstage. Pictures of Richard and the artists, except Jim Reeves, have been reproduced in the book. Richard is believed to be the only record producer who is still producing and releasing Jim Reeves albums, who can claims he has been to a Jim Reeves concert. These articles will be translated and will be printed in one or more issues of the Jim Reeves fan club magazine.
I'm happy to read the names of quite a few fan club members in the credits of this release; Frank C. Anderson, Bert Bossink, Jean de Prijcker, Ron McBride, Eimbert van den Oetelaar, Oscar Rexhausen, Harold Skogen and Bjorn Tore Stolen. They have supplied Bear Family Records with memories or pictures from one the concerts, or pictures from their collection.
It has been almost 10 years since a biography on Jim Reeves was published. I'm glad to be able to read again a book with has quite a few pages of text about, and many pictures of Jim Reeves. No doubt this album will give fans of the artists who participated in the tour, and especially Jim Reeves fans, many hours of listening and reading pleasure!
The price for the box will be approx. 128 Euro plus approx. 22,50 Euro for shipping to West European countries. The album will be stocked by many specialist record shops at this and the other side of the big pond, and also can be ordered through the mail order department of Bear Family. They have an excellent reputation for being very reliable and customer friendly. BEAR FAMILY RECORDS GmbH, Grenzweg 1, 27729 Holste-Oldendorf, Germany