Distant Drums (A Jim Reeves Cover) By Gehan Gunasekera
Oh OK, I know it’s Christmas, but thought I’d just change the topic for a minute and upload one of my favourite Jim Reeves songs, which I hope you’ll like!! Wayne, Shobana and all
you Jim Reeves fans, I hope you’ll enjoy my cover of this delightful song!
“Distant Drums” is a song which provided US singer Jim Reeves with his only UK No. 1 hit – albeit posthumously in the United Kingdom in 1966, some two years after his death in a plane crash on 31 July 1964. The song remained
in the UK Singles Chart for 25 weeks. The single also topped the US country chart for four weeks, becoming his most successful posthumous single.
It was an unexpected achievement for a song that Reeves had recorded for its composer, Cindy Walker, under the impression it was for her private use only and had earlier been dismissed by both the RCA record company and
Chet Atkins (a noted guitarist and record producer who worked with Reeves) as unsuitable for wider public release.
This may have explained the lower than usual sound quality heard on the original recording of the song. However, following Reeves’ death, the track was overdubbed with an orchestral backing and released to the public
as the version that later climbed up the music charts in both the United States and the UK.
Perhaps because of the timing of the song’s release (during the summer of 1966), “Distant Drums” attracted attention to the continuation of hostilities in the Vietnam War and an increased public awareness (both in the United Kingdom and the United States) of the difficult conditions faced by U.S. armed personnel fighting in that conflict. This is due to the lyrics implying the wishes of a soldier who wants to marry his beloved
(called “Mary” in the song) before he answers the call of battle in some far away land; the “distant drums” which make up the song’s title.
Hope you enjoy hearing this rather melancholy song, sung with much love!
Vocals: Gehan Gunasekera
Musical Arrangements: RB Studios