Tuesday, January 2, 2007
– Country star Del Reeves, who had a string of hits mainly in the 1960's, died on New Year's Day in Nashville after an extended illness.
Reeves, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, had one number 1 hit, "Girl on the Billboard," in March 1965, which stayed there for two weeks.
He was born Franklin Delano Reeves, named for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, July 14, 1933 in Sparta, N.C. He sang on area radio at 12. He attended Appalachian State College in Boone, N.C. and served four years in the air force. While based in California, he made his first recordings for Capitol Records in 1957-58.
His first charting single was "Be Quiet Mind," which made the top 10 of the Billboard charts in late 1961. He soon followed with hits "He Stands Real Tall" and "The Only Girl I Can't Forget."
Reeves joined the Opry in 1966. He was known for his impressions of other country singers.
Other hits included "Looking at the World Through a Windshield," "Good Time Charlie's" and "Be Glad" in 1968-69.
While Reeves charted a total of 55 times, he only enjoyed one more top 10 hit, "The Philadelphia Fillies" in 1971.
Reeves also appeared in eight movies, including "Sam Whiskey" in 1968. He hosted the Del Reeves Country Carnival TV series from 1970-73.
After his heyday, Reeves continued recording for small labels including Koala and Playback. In 1989, Reeves and his wife Ellen agreed to promote Billy Ray Cyrus. That eventually led to a lawsuit following Cyrus' success with "Achy Breaky Heart." The suit was settled out of court.