On this date in 1916, legendary record producer and promoter Jim Beck was born in Marshall, Texas, living there until about age 12.
By adulthood, he was a DJ for KRLD in Dallas and occasional host for the Louisiana Hayride live country music program. Beck was the first to record country music’s Lefty Frizzell and he helped get Frizzell and Ray Price recording contracts.
As a producer based in Dallas, Beck recorded hits by Carl Smith and Marty Robbins. He regularly worked with up-and-coming musicians George Jones, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Jim Reeves, and Hank Thompson for labels such as Decca, King, Imperial and Columbia Records. During this time, Dallas was a rival to Nashville for the country music industry.
In subsequent years, Beck also worked with the Light Crust Doughboys, Sonny James, Fats Domino, and Buddy Holly.
Beck forgot to open a window in his studio while cleaning his recording machine with the toxic chemical carbon tetrachloride. He died a few weeks later on May 3, 1956.