Jim Beck

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James Albert Beck (August 11, 1916 – May 3, 1956) was an American country music talent agent, record promoter, recording studio owner, A&R engineer, record producer, and music publisher from Dallas, Texas. Born in Marshall, Texas, Beck is credited with discovering and, in 1950, being the first to record Lefty Frizzell. He is also credited for introducing Frizzell and Ray Price to Frank Jones (1926–2005) of Columbia Records, which led to their first major recording contracts. Marty Robbins recorded his first hit — "I'll Go on Alone" — at Beck's studio. Beck's studio also recorded a few hits by Carl Smith at his studio. Record labels and producers who recorded at Jim Beck Studios included Decca (via Paul Cohen), Bullet, King, Imperial, and Columbia Records.[1][2] Between 1954 and 1956, Frankie Miller recorded a series of singles for Columbia at Beck's studio.[3]

Jim Beck Studio[edit]

Beck built his second studio — the "Jim Beck Studio" — in 1950 at 1101 Ross Avenue in Dallas.[4][5] His first studio had been on Main Street in Dallas.[6][7][8][9][10][11] Norman Petty, who later built and ran his own recording studio, worked as a part-time recording engineer at the Jim Beck Studio.[10]

Jim Beck Studio recording artists and session musicians[edit]

Producers who used Jim Beck Studios[edit]


Note † signifies artists who recorded or worked studio sessions at Jim Beck Studio (Partial Listing)[12]


Jim Beck died on May 3, 1956, at Baylor Hospital, after collapsing at his recording studio from accidentally inhaling carbon tetrachloride fumes[13] while he and his assistant Jimmy Rollins were cleaning recording equipment.[5]


  1. ^ "Ray Price," by Don Cusic, The Western Way (magazine), Vol. 20, Issue 2, pg. 18 (Spring 2010) OCLC 49503705
  2. ^ Voices of the Country: Interviews With Classic Country Performers, Michael Streissguth, Routledge pg. 147 (2004) OCLC 53375146
  3. ^ Country Music: The Rough Guide, by Kurt Wolff & Orla Duane, Rough Guides, pg 131 (2000) OCLC 43718335
  4. ^ Country: The Music and The Musicians — From the Beginnings to the '90s, Country Music Foundation, pg. 118 (1994) OCLC 31483981
  5. ^ a b "The Professional Work of Jim Beck," Roots of Country Music — The Internet Encyclopedia of Original Country Music (publisher) (retrieved May 1, 2013)
  6. ^ "The Jim Beck Dallas Studio," The Journal of Country Music, Country Music Foundation, Vol. 11, Issue 1, pg. 1923 (1986) ISSN 0092-0517
  7. ^ "Jim Beck," by Martin Donell Kohout, from The Handbook of Texas Music, Second Edition edited by Laurie E. Jasinski, Texas State Historical Association (2012) OCLC 768792836
  8. ^ "For the Good Times: Country and Pop, 'The Same Thing'," by David Cantwell, Austin Chronicle, September 1, 2000
  9. ^ "Inkwell: Authors and Artists, Topic 329: Joe Nick Patoski: Willie Nelson, an Epic Life," The WELL, (various posts) (2008)
  10. ^ a b "ISA Norman Petty Interview," by Jim Liddane, Limerick, Ireland: International Songwriters Association
  11. ^ Liner notes to Merle Haggard's, Roots Volume I, by Norm Stephens
  12. ^ "ROOTS of Country Music". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Certificate of Death: James A. Beck, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, File #24027