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Jim Eanes
and the Shenandoah Boys
Born:  December 6, 1923
Died:  November 21, 1995
WBTM Danville, VA

In one source, we saw his name as James Robert Eanes while another said his name was Homer Robert Eanes. He was a native of Danville, Virginia. His father was known as "Uncle Bob" Eanes in the Mountain Valley tobacco belt of Virginia. He was the third of seven children, having four brothers and two sisters.

When he was very young, six months as a matter of fact, he had an accident. It seems he fell from his high chair and into the fireplace. That fall injured his left hand so badly they thought he wouldn't be able to use it again. But sometimes determination wins out. That accident and the resulting scars on his hand were the butt of kids jokes in their teasing. But it only seemed to give Jim more resolve through the tears. He wanted to be as good as his dad playing the banjo.

He got his first guitar when he was nine years old and in a couple of years, he was playing at square dances and social events, sometimes even getting paid for his performances.

When he was fourteen, he had an operation to remove the scar tissue on his hand. It didn't slow him though as he was beginning to sing and discovered he had a 'style'.

When 1951 came, Jim formed his band, the Shenandoah Valley Boys and also got a recording contract with the Blue Ridge Recording Company for six records. His first hit with them was the war classic, "Missing In Action". Next, he signed with Capitol Records and had a hit with "Baby Blue Eyes", a song that showed he could not only sing, but write a good tune, too.

He continued to make personal appearances on country shows with artists such as Carl Smith, Don Reno, Benny Martin, Bill Monroe and others. Troy Martin, who was part of the Driftwood Publishing Company at one time, got Jim a contract with the Decca record label in January of 1952. It was about that time, he recorded a tune called "Rose Garden Waltz", which was written by Ruth Keener with Dickie Morris assisting on the arrangement. Ruth was a polio victim that lived in Montgomery, Alabama. Jim liked to lend a hand to songwriters who were trying to get their songs placed. But that wasn't all that happened to Jim that year. It seems that Ruby "Dickie" Morris became Mrs. Eanes in July of 1952. On January 18 of 1955, they had a son, James Robert Eanes.

He appeared on numerous radio stations in his career, over 50 of them. Some of them included:

  • WMVA, Martinsville, Virginia
  • WBDJ, Roanoke, Virginia
  • WBTM, Danville, Virginia
  • WBOB, Galax, Virginia
  • WNOX, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • WSM, Nashville, Tennessee
  • WJWS, South Hill
  • WPAQ, Mt. Airy, North Carolina
  • WHEE, Martinsville, Virginia

In 1957, he was at WHEE, where he was making his home. On Friday and Saturday nights he worked the dance for the local VFW hall. He formed a fan club on January 18, 1955.

By the late 1950s, he was recording on the Starday record label. By 1957, he had made 56 recordings, with his latest back then being "Don't Go Looking For Trouble" b/w "It's A Shame". Other tunes he had recorded included, "YOur Old Stand-by" b/w "Don't Stop Now"; "Walk Slowly" b/w "No Need To Be So Lonely"; "Christmas Doll" b/w "It Won't Seem Like Christmas"; "Blue Sunday" b/w "Don't Make Me Ashamed"; "Tow Hearts Are Better Than One" b/w "Settle Down". In 1959, he released "Road That's Walked By Fools" b/w "Orchids Of Love".

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup No. 52; October 1957; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.
  • Cowboy Songs No. 62; July 1959; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.

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Recordings
 
Capitol
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  40174 A You Better Wake Up
  40174 B Baby Blue Eyes
  40245 A I Don't Care What Happens To Me
  40245 B After Tonight
 
D
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1232 A Crazy Dreams
  1232 B Your Troubles Are Mine
 
Decca
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  28140 A I Cried Again
  28140 B Between The Lines
  28387 A Tomorrow May Be Different
  28387 B A Prisoner Of War
  28522 A Kiss Me! Kiss Me!
  28522 B Little Brown Hand
  28609 A Gloomy Tomorrow
  28609 B When The One That You Love, Loves You
  28825 A I'd Love To Be Your Darling
  28825 B The Beginning Of The End
  28938 A Take This Broken Heart
  28938 A Take This Broken Heart
  28938 B Rose Garden Waltz
  28938 B Rose Garden Waltz
  29112 A Wiggle Worm Wiggle
  29112 B In A Little Spanish Restaurant
  29201 A Just Suppose
  29201 B Shopworn Heart
  29446 A Possum Hollow
  29446 B The Things I Love About You
  29536 A There's No Place Like Home
  29841 A Don't Go Lookin' For Trouble
  29841 B It's A Shame
 
Starday
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  297 A Don't Stop Now
  297 B Your Old Standby
  312 A No Need To Be So Lonely
  312 B Walk Slowly
  407 A Don't Make Me Ashamed
  407 B Blue Sunday
  414 A Christmas Doll
  414 B It Won't Seem Like Christmas
  426 A Orchids Of Love
  426 B Road Walked By Fools
  456 A Log Cabin In The Lane
  456 B Budded Roses
  482 A Celebration
  482 B Road Of No Return
  504 A Gotta Know
  504 B There'll Come A Time
  535 A Borderline
  535 B Mark Of Cain
  554 A You Made Me What I Am
  554 B Mary Was A Little Lamb


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