"Narvel The Marvel"
Returns to Mabank, Texas
Saturday, February 17, 2001
By Fan Club Member, Essie Shell
Narvel Felts once again gave an
in Mabank. The show was sponsored by the Mabank-Cedar Creek Lake Lions Club at the Mabank
Elementary School auditorium. This was the second time he has performed for
the Lions Club and I believe the sixth time he has performed in Mabank. Narvel and
his manager, Harold Boner, arrived at their motel in Gun Barrel City shortly after
midnight on Friday. There was a bass tournament starting at Cedar Creek Lake and the motel
was full of fishermen registering early for 5the tournament. I understand they were a
pretty rowdy bunch and sleeping was difficult that night, but by Saturday evening Narvel
had a rush of adrenaline and gave an extraordinary performance.
Emcee, Joe Walenta opened the show at 7:30 with a country song, backed by Off The Record
band. Kenny Samms sang three songs, Karaoke style, and then the band entertained us with
their fine music. Narvel took the stage at 8:30 to a standing ovation. He was very
handsome in his black satin shirt, black jeans and red sport coat!
Narvel opened the show with Back In The USA, followed by his top hit Drift Away. He
dedicated the next song to his son Bub, who at age 31 was killed in an automobile accident
in 1995, and to Leigh Ann Samford of Mabank, who died in 1999 at age 34. Keyboard player,
Aris Cook, started the introduction to Sonny Man, the song Narvel wrote July 3,1997 as he
was driving home alone
from Wheatland, Missouri where he had played an Independence Day celebration the night
before. "Sonny Man" was one of the pet names Narvel called Bub. As always, the
audience was spellbound and teary eyed through the entire song and everyone gave him a
standing ovation afterwards.
Narvel has always appreciated his fans and he never fails to recognize them. Members
attending were JoAnn and Kenneth Samford of Mabank, Lynn and David Goza of Mabank, Mynard
Smith of Meridian, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City area), Ina Lee Chaffin of Seagoville/Dallas
(aunt to band member and vocalist, Jodi Chaffin), Kim Wagerman, who had flown down from
Nineveh, Indiana (near Indianapolis), myself from Kemp (only 7 miles from Mabank) and club
member Connie Samford of Gun Barrel City with her husband Kenny. He then recognized a
group from Corsicana, Texas who have opened a theater there and he thanked everyone in the
audience who had come to see him perform.
He sang several of his top hits and
Rockabilly hits: My Babe, Blue Darlin', Great Balls of Fire, My Prayer, Everlasting Love,
Somebody Hold Me (Until She Passes By) and Lonely Teardrops. There were two medleys,
"Fraulein" (followed with Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Before the Next Teardrop
and I'm Thinking Tonight of my True Love) and "Blueberry Hill" (following with I
Don't Hurt Anymore). All these songs were top hits with the Mabank crowd too. The
auditorium came alive when he sang the song that was Number 1 in Europe last year, Pink
& Black Days. Many in the audience were rocking and rolling in their seats. The last
song, 1975 Record of the Year: Reconsider Me, followed with Until We Meet Again earned him
another standing ovation and he sang I'm Headin Home for an encore.
As always, Narvel promised to stay as long as anyone was in the autograph line. He said
"anyone who wants to meet me, I want to meet them." He had also told us that at
age 24 he became a Father, age 42 a Grandfather and age 62 a Great-grandfather. He said if
he lived another 20 years there was no telling what would happen. You know, I look forward
to that next 20 year mark........he will probably still be giving concerts and hitting
those high notes with ease.
"Off The Record" band always does a great job backing Narvel when he is in
Mabank and tonight was no exception. Band members are Aris Cook (keyboard & vocals),
Lex White (lead guitar & vocals), Tommy Blanton (bass guitar & vocals), Joy Parish
(rhythm guitar & vocals), Ricky Gonzales (drums) and Jodi Chaffin (vocals).