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
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
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
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.;