Gentleman Jim..!

Even now, nearly fifty years after his death, from different households throughout the world flows out the rich, powerful voice of Jim Reeves. A strong baritone, he sang country, pop and gospel and even beat the Beatles in record sales for many years during the fifties and early sixties.

But strangely, in the fullness of his voice there is a deep sadness that comes through and his love songs reflect an ache that seems to come from the very depths of his soul. As you listen to him singing “Losing Your Love” and feel his sorrow in “Give me One More Kiss” or his pain in “When I lost you,” as we listen to Gentleman Jim, crying out, “If You Love Me Don’t Leave Me” there is a responsive ache in our own hearts. “Am I Losing You?” shouts Jim in desperation and then takes his guitar, strums a few lines and retreats to “Just Call Me Lonesome”.

Jim Reeves sang from his heart. A heart that ached for love.

But one song where his voice rises from the very depths of despair and where the agony that is within him looks and finds someone to hold onto is when he sings, “Precious Lord Take My Hand.”

In that song Jim seems to have found a solace and quiet assurance.

The song was written by Thomas A. Dorsey in 1932.

One day in that year Dorsey left his pregnant wife Nettie at home in Chicago and drove his Model A Ford to St Louis to sing at a gathering. All went well and the crowd responded enthusiastically to his songs.

At the end of Dorsey’s performance, he received a telegram with the tragic news that his wife had died in childbirth. Within hours the baby boy also died.

Filled with grief Dorsey was devastated.

A few days after Nettie’s death, Dorsey sat down at the piano and began to play. He felt suddenly a sense of God’s peace and closeness and wrote the words of a new song.

‘Precious Lord, take my hand,

Lead me on, let me stand;

I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;

Through the storm, through the night,

Lead me on to the light;

Take my hand, precious Lord,

Lead me home.’

Years later Gentleman Jim made the same song famous when he sang it with hope and optimism, belief and confidence.

I wonder what dark period you are passing through in your life? Is there a feeling of despair? A sense of hopelessness?

Is there a problem too big for you to handle alone?

Or is it a grief too great to bear?

Can you hear Jim’s voice? Sing along with him and let your voice be strong and vibrant. Feel the all powerful strength of a living God as His comfort flows into you. Let Him take hold of your hand..!

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6 thoughts on “Gentleman Jim..!”

  1. Thank you so much for the info about Dorsey and your article today. We sang it as a response to Benediction pronounced by our pastor, years ago. I used to sing it when I lost the cross on my way home from work.

  2. Well Bob, I listen to Jim Reeves and sing the song of Dorsey. I was not aware of the events that led them to sing it. God is always ready with a ray of hope for our lives.

  3. Yes life becomes enduring if you don’t ask Jesus to lead you. No man is spared of trials or tribulations. Hence let’s all sing em take my hand O Lord!

  4. Really informative about Dorsey. The best musicians are not those who play and instrument or several instruments. The best musicians are those who sing cause they sing from their heart. Something no instrument can do.

  5. I grew up listening to Jim Reeves and still love his songs Truly he sang from his soul and Yes there was an echo of pain in most of his renditions ‘Precious Lord Take my hand’ is indeed a beautiful hymn Thank you Bob for taking me down memory lane today God bless you!

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