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The Blue Boys

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The Blue Boys were Jim Reeves’ road band and at differing times had various personnel. Initially, Reeves called his band the Wagon Masters, but to avoid confusion in Nashville with Porter Wagoner, he renamed it in 1958, after his hit ‘Blue Boy’. The band initially comprised Billy Harlan (bass), Royce Morgan (guitar), Jimmy Day (steel guitar) and Pee Wee Kershaw (drums). Until shortly before the new name, Leo Jackson was Reeves’ lead guitarist but at the time of the formation, he was doing military service and Morgan was deputizing. About a year later, Reeves changed the band and after permutations that saw appearances from James Kirkland, Henri Strzelecki, Mel Rogers, Bobby Dyson and Roy Aldridge, he ended with a line-up that featured Leo Jackson (lead guitar), Dean Manuel (piano), Bud Logan (bass, vocals) and Jimmy Orr (drums). After Manuel died with Reeves in the plane crash on 31 July 1964, Bunky Keels played piano and the group continued to perform until disbanding in 1968. They recorded four albums for RCA - Victor Records in the late 60s and enjoyed hits with ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ (1967) and ‘I’m Not Ready Yet’ (1968), as The Blue Boys featuring Bud Logan. In 1973-74, Logan achieved further chart successes, duetting with Wilma Burgess on ‘Wake Me Into Love’ and ‘The Best Day Of The Rest Of My Life’ recorded on Mary Reeves’ Shannon label. Jackson and Keels both later worked as session musicians and Logan became a successful record producer.

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