I spent my 68th birthday, November 11th quietly at home
with Loretta. Many thanks for your cards and calls! I wish you a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year.
(Hear samples of Narvel's
Christmas Music and find out how you can buy the CD)
October 14th I did what has been an annual concert in
the Riverview Amphitheater at the Casino Aztar, Caruthersville, MO for the past four
years. Some 1200 attended my show. They gave me a complete standing ovation after,
"Danny Boy". I'd told them this was the last song our son, Bub had played drums
with me on before losing him in a car accident eleven Septembers ago. Double Edge did a 30
minute opening set then a great job backing me. My manager, Harold Boner has fallen,
hurting his knee and was unable to attend and handle my CD sales. My buddy since high
school, Huey P. Long drove down from Kansas City, Kansas and sold them. The casino
surprised me with a new rule. I wasn't allowed to stand by Huey in the amphitheater as the
CDs were sold and that be my autograph line. Instead, I was taken immediately from the
stage to the boat for what they called a, "Meet & Greet". Many people did
get CDs and photos from Huey, then had to go to the main entrance and get a card in order
to get on the boat and find me. Despite this inconvenience, a two hour autograph line
formed on the boat. My sister, Ogareeda and a friend, Walter went through this and
couldn't find me. No one could tell them where I was. During my show, I'd called Steve
Sharp on stage with me to play drums on "Pink and Black Days". he had played on
my show with the Jordanaires last year. He had played with my friend, Charlie Rich in the
60's. He went on to become a Missouri Senator, now he's a Circuit Judge. Another standing
ovation had come at the end of my show.
October 20th I made the drive to Paragould, Arkansas.
Some German friends had written telling me they'd be at my concert that night at the
Collins Theatre. I'd written back asking them to meet me for supper. They didn't show so I
had supper alone. They didn't make the show either but I did the song I'd included in the
script for them. Some 500 attended this concert and gave me a great reception. Terry Wood
from the "Wolf Radio" did a great job singing then introducing me. Sugar Creek
did a find job backing me. The audience blessed me with a complete standing ovation after
my 1976 hit, "My Prayer" then another one at the end of my show. A long
autograph line awaited in the lobby. It included a friend from long ago, Diane Johnson and
her husband. They told me they'd lost their daughter when a drunk driver hit her three
months ago! My deepest understanding and sympathy goes out to them. Also in the line was
Lee Lampkins who after hearing me sing on Christmas night of 1955 at the Hiway Cafe near
Bernie, Missouri pointed his finger at me and said, "Son, don't you ever pick another
bowl of cotton cause you don't have to!" Also, a former Miss Arkansas was in the
autograph line. I'd had a good visit with my sister, Ogareeda prior to the show in the
October 28th I did a concert at the Corunna High School
auditorium at Owosso, Michigan. Huey had come down from Kansas City and made this 1423
mile round trip drive with me. The 27th we made out 14 hour drive up in the pouring rain.
Prior to the show I did an hour interview with Joe Suglia for his TV show in Paw Paw. Some
450 attended my concert, which was opened by "The Lawsons". "J. R.
Country" did a fine job backing me. The audience gave me a standing ovation after,
"My Prayer". I'd told them earlier in the show that my first time to Michigan
had been in the summer of 1957. I was 18 years old at the time. I'd come to nearby Flint
to appear at a record hop. When I got to town, my first Mercury Record, "Kiss-a-Me,
Baby" was #12 in Flint's top 40. The girls MOBBED me! On my way to the autograph line
a lady stopped me and said she had that 45 and started singing it to me. A long autograph
line waited, which included a long time fan club member, Kay Dillon. The circuit judge and
his wife plus a man came through the line with a poster he'd gotten when I was in Flint in
'57. It's very rare... all 1956 photos plus several of them, most not available anymore (I
don't even have them). I'd love to have a copy of that! I'd been introduced on stage by
Brad from the Castle Radio. He was wearing a sun records T-shirt. The following day Huey
and I made our near 14 hour drive back home on a sunny, windy day/night. This ended my
50th Anniversary Tour (in the music business), which had started February 2nd at the Surf
Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. It included my 32nd trip to Europe in July. Several dates
are already booked in 2007. They'll be on our show date page soon.
September 14th was 11 years since we'd lost our son,
Bub in a car accident. He'd played drums with me. He was 31. It was also the first
anniversary on the 17th of my wife Lorretta's mother, Lotty Stanfield's passing at the age
On the 23rd I played the Stoddard County Fair at
Dexter, MO. This was my first time to play this fair. The weather had been beautiful and
their all time attendance record had been broken the night of my show with more than 3,000
paying admission. This year, the day before, a continuos line of thunderstorms started
with tornadoes and very heavy rain. That night the fair had to be closed. Susan Anderson
Bell & the Nashville Band that had come to back her were unable to go on. By late
afternoon the night of my show the weather cleared. Though our area had from 8-18" of
rain, enough people came to my show to fill the outside bleachers and chairs around the
covered bandstand. The audience gave me a great reception. They'd come from as far away as
Cario, ILL and Fredricktown, MO, 50-100 miles away. Some were there who'd been in my class
at Bernie High School, some from my teenage home of Powe. Huey P. Long had made the 400
mile drive down from Kansas City and sold my CDs as a long autograph line gathered. Walt
Turner from KDEX had given me a great introduction. The Bill Barnett Band did a great job
September 23rd would have been my Mama, Lena Felts'
birthday. She's been gone since 1986.
August 25, 2006
August 5th my manager, Harold Boner and I made the 125
mile drive to Jackson, TN. I was there to do my show at Rock-a-Billy '06, which is staged
annually by the International Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame. A good crowd was in the Carl
Perkins Civic Center as I took the stage with excellent backing by the "Double Edge
Band". The crowd gave me a great reception including a standing ovation after
"Somebody Hold Me", another after I repeated the the ending again. Ed
Salamon was introduced. He came on stage and made a wonderful speech for the unveiling of
the life size portrait of me. ( Read Ed's speech plus the story of the unveiling here). What an honor this was to me! On stage before me
were: Joey Weltz, Sleepy LaBeef, The Tennessee Three and Jason D. Williams. Afterward,
when I went to my autograph line, I enjoyed hearing Hannes Strauss & his band from
Berlin, Germany on stage. A long autograph line awaited.
August 18th I drove to St. Louis, after this 200 mile
drive I caught my flight to Minneapolis, MN. Jerry and Bev Mackey met my flight and drove
me the more than 100 miles on to my motel. Saturday, the 19th, I did a matinee plus a
night show at the "Midwest Country Theatre" in Sandstone, MN. Both crowds were
very receptive to me. Complete standing ovations came after, "Somebody Hold Me",
"The End", then again at the closing of each show. More partial standing
ovations than I could keep count of happened in both shows. Leroy Glazier and the
"Midwest Country Band" with Michelle Johnson did a great job backing me. As it
was the 29th Anniversary of Elvis' death that week, I included, "It's Now or
Never". In memory of one of the greatest singers who ever lived, Gene Pitney, I
included his hit, "I'm Gonna Be Strong". I also included it to the memory of
others who had left us in 2006; Buck Owens, Billy Walker and just that week, Johnny
Duncan. Long autograph lines awaited at Huey P. Long's Record Rack.
Wade Olson came on stage and presented a plaque which
"In recognition of Narvel Felts, who in the year of 2006 celebrates 50 years in the
music business! Thank you for your contribution and impact on country music. From your
friends and fans at Midwest Country. You are the King of Country Soul! Presented this 19th
day of August, 2006 - Sandstone, Minnesota."
Joe Jenson, who puts together the "Midwest Country
Show", which airs on R.F.D. TV tells me he got some good footage this time and he'd
be programming me a lot this autumn and winter. It's on "Dish" at 8PM and
midnight Central on Saturdays also Monday afternoons at, I believe, 2PM and 4PM Tuesdays.
(Note: See more about the Rock-a-billy Fest here on Narvel's site)
July 24. 2006
July 1st I was in Leslie, Michigan for a show at the
"Wheel Inn Campground". There had been a Friday & Saturday Bluegrass
Festival. My show closed the festival with me doing a Narvel Show. I closed my show with,
My Prayer". The entire audience blessed me with a standing ovation. The fireworks
that followed could be seen from my autograph line at "Huey's Record Rack" Huey
P. Long and I had driven up from Malden, MO home the day and night before in Loretta's
white D3 Lincoln Town Car. J.R. Country did their always perfect job backing me. Sunday we
made our drive home, a 1,3028 mile round trip. I was home for my wife, Loretta's birthday
on Monday the 3rd.
July 6th I was up early to make my some 4 hour drive to
the St. Louie airport in my white 05 Dodge Grand Caravan. There I caught my flight to
Cleveland, changed planes and flew through the night, landing in London, England. The next
morning, Cary Brooks met my flight and drove me the some 5 hour drive north to Newark in
his Blue British Ford. When I arrived at my hotel I'd been up 24 hours. I went to bed for
a nap but two hours later a knock came on my door that I was to get up, get ready and be
at the showgrounds of the Americana International Festival in an hour to meet and greet
the American Ambassador to the United Kingdom, along with the festival promoters, Chris
and Bev Jackson, my British agent Willie Jeffery and his wife, Varick, the other artists
on the festival plus the press. After the US Secret Service checked the trunk of Willie's
car we found Ambassador Robert Tuttle to be quite friendly. I then made myself stay up
till near midnight, then got a good night's sleep.
Saturday, the 8th my show was on the rock n' roll stage
of the Americana Festival. The big crowd gave me a great reception and blessed me with an
encore at the end of my show. Graham Fenton had made the trop up from the Isle of Wright
with his family to catch my show. (Graham with his band, "Matchbox" had some
hits to make the top 10 around the world in the 1980's, except in the USA.) I got him up
to sing, "Shake, Rattle & Roll" with me. For my first encore song I did,
"Half Heaven, Half Heartache" with must my guitar in my memory of Gene Pitney.
(Gene had died on these shores April 5th. I'd been offered the opening spot on his UK tour
in 2003 but I was foolish enough to let a London Promoter and a Nashville Agent decide I
wouldn't do it!) After the show Varick's record rack was open at my autograph line.
Sunday, the 9th my show was on the country stage. I had
a good visit with Gail Davies backstage. (Gail Davies plus the Troggs were the other
artists on this Fest who'd had big hit records.) By the time I'd finished this show I'd
sung 33 songs during the 2 shows and my voice was feeling the effects. Gene Gambler and
the Shufflers had done a great job backing me. Varick's record rack again opened for my
autograph line. This time with some help from Willie.
Monday, the 10th Willie and Varick drove me back to
London in their silver Jaguar. I stayed in a hotel near Gatwick Airport.
Tuesday, the 11th, I was up early for my flights back
to St. Louis. I arrived home some 24 hours later. The last 4 hours driving from St. Louis
alone, keeping myself awake were the toughest. I still enjoy doing my shows, seeing my
fans and visiting with my friends but it's always good to get back home to Loretta and my
See photos sent by Sue Duggan
from the Americana Festival
April -May 2006
April 21st I made the 300 mile drive from my Missouri
home to West Point, KY. That afternoon I stopped in Paducah and visited with Ray Price for
a few minutes. He was doing a concert there that night.
The 22nd I did my annual concert at Music Ranch USA in
West Point. A big and enthusiastic crowd welcomed me to the stage. Fans were there all the
way from Minnesota, South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia, Indiana and of course,
Kentucky. One man who hadn't seem me since Germany in 1998 was there. He said he'd heard
"My Prayer" on the radio all the time there, back then. The crowd blessed me
with standing ovations after "Danny Boy", "I'm Headin' Home" and
"When Your Good Love Was Mind". The band, "Original Classics" did a
great job backing me. A long autograph line awaited in the lobby. Nancy Yelvington and Kim
Wagerman were so kind to handle my CD sales. Sunday, I made my drive back home.
The night of May 19th my manager, Harold Boner and I made the drive to Jackson, TN.
Pulling into our motel parking lot, to our surprise we saw Ace Cannon and his
manager, Carl Griffen. We had a short visit.
The next morning we were up early to meet a bus, which
took us to Huntingdon, TN. Carl Mann (who had a rock 'n' roll hit with the song,
"Mona Lisa" in 1959) rode the bus up with us and would be a part of the concert
we would do that afternoon on the Carroll County Hayride in the Dixie Carter Performing
Arts Center in Huntingdon. A full theater welcomed us. I would close the show.. on just
before me was Kelleye Cash (former Miss America 1988, great niece of Johnny and Tommy
Cash. Her dad was Roy Cash, Jr. who wrote the lyrics to, "I Still Miss
Someone"). The crowd was wonderful to me, blessing me with standing ovations after
"Crying" and "I'm Headin' Home". A long autograph line awaited me in
the lobby. This show had been filmed by he PBS TV station in that area. We were then back
on the bus and back to Jackson for a show at the V. F. W. Club that night. The
"Double Edge Band" did a great job backing me on both shows.
May 27th my 50th Anniversary Tour (in the music
business) came to southeast Missouri where it all started in 1956 when I was 17 years old.
This time, it was to the Eagles Club in Advance, Missouri. A full house blessed me with a
standing ovation when I walked to the stage. Tremendous applause, shouts and screams
during my show, another standing ovation at the end of my long show lasting until I walked
across the club to Harold's record rack and my long autograph line. The "Bill Barnett
Band" did a great job on my music but were so loud that with my hearing aids in, my
ear drums ached for 3 days. This is the 2nd time I've had this problem in the same year
and a half I've been wearing them.
Saturday, Apr. 8th I did two concerts with Wanda
Jackson at the Midwest Country Theatre in Sandstone, MN. The Matinee was completely sold
out! The night show was almost a sell out. The first audience blessed me with 5 standing
ovations, the night show blessed me with 2. Leroy Glazier and the Midwest Country Band
with Michelle Johnson did a great job backing both Wanda and me. Each audience was very
receptive to both of us and gave us long autograph lines at each show. The Midwest Country
Show on RFD (Dish) is shown across North America at 8PM Central each Saturday. I'll be on
the show Apr. 29th, May 27th and June 17th.
Something I failed to mention about my show at the Surf
Ballroom, Feb. 2nd. The third was our daughter Stacia's birthday and once again I was
gone. I sang "Happy Birthday" to her on my show. A fan from Minn., Benetta
Olson, phoned her on her cell phone from the front of the stage while I sang it and the
audience sang along.
Feb. 18th I was at the Sunshine Opry in Eustis, FL. The
Sunshine Opry Band did a fine job backing me. A good crowd blessed me with standing
ovations. The Calhouns were in the audience and joined me for my finale. June Eck, owner
of the Opry, is fighting a tough fight with cancer. Please remember her in your prayers.
Feb. 23rd I joined Don Williams for one night on his
farewell tour. I told the audience I was honored to be a part of it, that this was my 50th
anniversary tour but I hope it's not my farewell tour! The full convention center in Ft.
Smith, ARK was wonderful to me. They blessed me with standing ovations. The Rodney Lay
Trio did a great job backing me. Fan club members Faye Huffman (who with her husband,
Brooks survived "Katrina" on the 2nd floor of their New Orleans home with part
of the roof blown off, for a week before they were rescued from the flood) and Essie Shell
from Texas sold my CDs as I autographed. The line was so long, we were the last to leave
Feb. 2nd started by 50th anniversary tour (in the music
buisness). It was at the annual "50's In February" at the Surf Ballroom in Clear
Lake, Iowa. This event remembers the last show Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big
Bopper did in 1959. This year, the night I was on also featured Charlie Gracie, Jason D.
Williams and the Mezcal Brothers. A very receptive crowd of some 1000 stood in front of
the stage, they blessed me with 2 encores. When I left the stage the Mason City, Iowa TV
station interviewed me live on their 10PM news. A near 3 hour autograph line awaited. They
were from New York to Los Angeles, North Dakota to Louisiana and from England to Sweden.
Ed Brown and George Denhow hosts of "Yesterday's Memories" on WATD-FM, Scitvate,
Mass. were the M.C.'s of the show.
December 14th my brother-in-law, L. V. Bryant died.
He'd started dating my sister, Ogareeda when I was 9, she was 17 and he was 18. He
had just turned 76 at his death. They made their home in Konnett, MO. They married 4 years
after they started dating in 1952. He'd co-written my second release, "Cry, Baby,
Cry" with me. It was released in 1957.
October 4th I was headliner of an afternoon outdoor
concert at the Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Missouri. The amphitheater on the back of
the Mississippi River was filled with 1300 fans. Manatou opened the show. Blue Water from
Muscle Shoals, Alabama did an excellent job backing me. There was a problem with the sound
during the first 3 songs of my show (as Manatou didn't come to the sound check and my
settings were changed to accommodate them). I wound up getting 3 standing ovations near
the end of my show after "I'm Headin' Home", "Reconsider Me" and my
"Shake, Rattle and Roll Finale". For the finale I called my co-producer, Joe
Keene, his son, Kelly Keene, former Charlie Rich Drummer turned Senator and judge Steve
Sharp and Sheryl Crow's dad, Wendell on stage to join me.
Fans from Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and
Illinois were there as was my sister, Ogareeda, a cousin, 2 nephews and a niece. After my
hour and a half show I then stood in my autograph line 3 hours, where Harold Boner's
record rack broke my all time concession sales which had been set in Muskogee a week
October 18th I was booked for a concert in Pinckney,
Michigan. The promoter couldn't be found until it was too late to go. The Chief of police
(the police dept. was sponsoring the show), band leader Bob Wurst, Nashville agent, Brent
Taylor and I had to make the decision to cancel the show. Though tickets had been sold it
hadn't been properly advertised in the 2 weeks prior. Turns out that promoter Frank
Lauffer had been in the hospital. The concert has been re-scheduled to March 6, 2004. My
apologies to those of you who were inconvenienced.
September 19th I did a concert at the Striper Festival
in Kingston, Oklahoma. Hundreds were seated in front of the outside stage at one end of
the carnival midway. 60's rock 'n' roll band, The Imposters" did a good job of
backing me. The audience gave me a standing ovation at the end of my show. Fans from
Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Illinois came through my autograph line.
September 29th I opened the show for Loretta Lynn at
the Civic Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The advertisement gave us a pretty much equal
billing, 2200 attended. Rodney Lay, Vernon Sandusky * Wild West did a great job backing
me. The audience gave me 3 standing ovations during my show, after "Even Now", "My Prayer"
and "Reconsider Me". I went to the lobby to autograph at the end of my show
during intermission. My suitcase full of CDs was emptied in minutes. A long line of fans
chose to stand in my autograph line in the lobby almost all the way through Loretta's
show. Fans from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri attended.
Matt Lucas (who was in Jerry Mercer's Band with me in
1956, played drums with me 1960-'62, I played guitar with him in 1963 while he recorded,
"I'm Movin' On", which was in the pop charts) and his wife, Barbara from Florida
attended. Huey Long's record rack broke my all time concession sales that night.
September 16, 2003
Narvel's Brother-in-law Loses Battle with Cancer
August 29, 2003
Four months after the carjacking and murder of my wife
Loretta's sister, Althea, her brother (former Steele, Missouri police chief) Billy Joe
Stanfield has been diagnosed with multiple Myeloma, which is cancer of the bone marrow.
Please remember Billy Joe, his family and Loretta in your prayers.
July 8, 2003
"Narvel's song "Tally
Ho" started out #40 in the IndieWorld
Chart...last week the song was #19 and this week it is #11....very impressive...
"Stranger on the Shore" dropped from #1 last week to #10, then as of Friday, it
dropped to #23.
"Ballad of Narvel Felts" has hit the charts!"
Reported by Essie
July 8, 2003
In 1962 my wife, Loretta and I fell in love dancing to
"Stranger on the Shore", which was a #1 instrumental hit by Acker Bilk at the
For this reason I'd recorded a vocal version of this
great song for my 2002 CD, "Super Songs Narvelized". It was released as a single
to radio on the Hot Disc Compilation in January 2003.
On June 30th, while Loretta and I were having breakfast
at home, listening to Cousin Carl & Susan on KWKZ Cape Girardeau, Missouri, they
announced that my recording, "Stranger on the Shore" was #1 on the Indie World Chart. They played it. Loretta
and I danced to it again on our Kitchen floor while my version was playing on the radio.
It had been 41 years since we'd danced on the Top Hat Club dance floor in Kennett,
Missouri while Acker Bilk's record played on the juke box.
Narvel recaps his shows in the month of March 2003
SIster-in-law Murdered 2003
January & February,
My first concert of 2003 was at the
Florida Sunshine Opry in Eustis, Florida on Jan. 18th. The 29th I was on stage at the Surf
Ballroom in Clearlake, Iowa for the Legend Fest. This event has continued through the
years in remembrance of the final show Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper did
there on Feb. 2, 1959. Soon after midnight the small plane carrying them, crashed in a
near by snowy cornfield killing them and the pilot that Feb. 3rd.
My only other time to play this event
had been in 1994. That time my son, Bub had been playing drums with
me. A car accident would take his life in 1995. Everyone who plays the Surf autographs the
dressing room wall. Mine and Bub's are by the stage door and next to Bub's name, DJ Bob
Hake has written, "Gone But Not Forgotten".
As I walked on stage this time, I read
Bub's autograph. Rockin' Robin backed me as a full time Surf Ballroom stood in front of
the stage. This crowd of people from 30 states, 3 Canadian Provinces plus 5 other
countries gave me a tremendous reception. This included an encore at the end of
"Since I Don't Have You", which I did in memory of Bub. (I also dedicated it to
the memory of Paul Peek, who with fellow Blue Caps had played guitar with me on that show
in '94. We lost Paul in 2001.) Another encore came at the end of my show. I then went to
the autograph table where an autograph line some 2 1/2 hours long awaited. This lasted
through Johnny Preston's show, intermission, the shows of the Big Bopper, Jr. and Frankie
Ford. When I made it back to the to the dressing room, Danny & the Juniors were
getting ready to go on and close the show.
The 31st, Marvin Rainwater and I did a
concert together at the LCD Casino in Hayward, Wisconsin. February 1st I did a matinee and
a night show at the Midwest Country Theatre in Sandstone, Minnesota. All of the audiences
blessed me with standing ovations. This trip was a 2,217 mile drive. My buddy, Huey P.
Long had made the top with me from Kansas City on, leaving only 850 miles that I had to
Feb. 15th I did a Valentine show at the
Eagles in Advance, Missouri. A full house and a Standing Ovation welcomed me to the stage.
An Encore and some 2 hour autograph line awaited at the end of my show. Bill Barnett and
Larry Swift, who each had records make the Cash Box Country Top 100 in the 1980's were on
While in England this past October, the
promoter who had brought Slim Whitman and me over told me he wanted me back for a UK tour
in October, 2003. When I got back home, I was offered a May/June 2003 tour of the UK with
Gene Pitney by another promoter. I was asked not to accept the Gene Pitney by the October
tour promoter as he thought it would hurt his tour so I turned it down. In February he
cancelled the October tour so now I have neither! An unwise choice in my part when I felt
I should be loyal to the first promoter, though my heart had told me to go the other way.
Gene Pitney and his fan club president, Dave McGrath, have gone to bad for me trying to
get be on his October Australian Tour but the Australian promoter has already booked
Rainwater & Narvel Felts
LCO Casino, Hayward, Wisconsin Jan. 31, 2003