1964 – Jim Reeves dies

Gentleman Jim Reeves was a popular American recording artist, starting in the 1950s and continuing to regularly chart until the 1980s, two decades after his death. Reeves was one of the foremost musicians playing and writing music in what became known as “the Nashville Sound”, a fusion of country and pop elements of its era, although he also wrote and played straighter country works and even gospel songs.

Reeves died in 1964 at the age of 40, in a plane crash caused by a violent thunderstorm hitting the small plane he was in. His death cast a long shadow over the Nashville Sound, and the subsequent direction of the evolution of country music was changed by his absence – had he remained alive, the Nashville sound and the Bakersfield sounds might well have divergard less, and country as a whole would have become more mainstream years sooner.

Referenced in:

We’ll Remember You — Houston Wells
Jimmy Reeves — Jerry Jerry and the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra
A Tribute to Jim Reeves — Larry Cunningham and the Mighty Avons