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Country Music 1

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L. V. Bryant


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This is only a small sample of Narvel's music. The commentaries of each song are quotes from Narvel taken from his CD booklet of his album "Drift Away", a must for any music collection!

Drift Away

"This song turned out to be the elusive big hit I had searched for through seventeen years! It was really a thrill when it became a hit and I would hear it five or so times on every long trip. I met the writer, Mentor WIlliams at the ASCAP Awards in Nashville during October of 1973. It forever changed my life."

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Before You Have To Go

"One of my personal favorites of all records I've recorded! I told Johnny Morris (Manager and Producer) that I'd sure love to do a great ballad. I got my wish in 'Before You Have To Go', a beautiful Jerry Foster/Bill Rice song. It was considered for the next single and indeed ended up being the flip side, also being included on my 'Drift Awawy' and 'Greatest Hits Vol. 1' albums."

When Your Good Love Was Mine

"Jerry Foster and Bill Rice wrote this especially for me. I loved it. Johnny Morris decided that it would be the next single release and title of the next album. It was recorded on Thursday, 8th November 1973, being the second song on the session. It would reach #10 in late March and early April 1974, remaining on the charts for fourteen weeks."

Lonely Teardrops

"I first remember hearing 'Lonely Teardrops' by Jackie Wilson in January and February of 1959 while on tour in Canada. I've always loved that record and Jackie's singing ever since. In 1974 my friend Louis Hobbs suggested to me that I should record this song. This was at the time Cinnamon (recording label) was folding so there wasn't an opportunity to cut the song. Another chance came when recording the 'Narvel The Marvel' album and Johnny had picked it as one of the songs I should do. I thought it would be a good change of pace album cut. I didn't think of it as a single as I thought it was too rock 'n roll for country radio. However, it became the most played album cut, according to the Gavin Report, so it was issued as a single becoming my second biggest record going to #4.

Funny How Time Slips Away

"I first heard this my Jimmy Elledge in late 1961 and started singing it on my personal appearances soon after that. For a long time I would open by first set with the first verse and close the last set with the last verse. In 1964 my trio with Tommy Allsup sitting in with us on guitar, backed the song's writer Willie Nelson on a show at the high School Auditorium at Osceola, Arkansas. I recorded it first for Hi in 1968 but this cut remains unissued. In 1975 we included it when we recorded the album 'Reconsider Me' at the Music Mill Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Released as a single that autumn it peaked at #6 and was the only top ten version of the song and remained on the charts longer than any other version.

My Prayer

"In 1959 I first heard 'My Prayer' by the Platters featuring the great voice of Tony Williams. I loved it! Listening to Tony sing inspired me to go beyond where I was and try to become a really good singer. I recorded it in Muscle Shoals and it was released as the follow-up to 'Lonely Teardrops', hitting the charts and peaking at #12. After 'Drift Away' I seemed to hear this one more often than any of the other hits between. The writers, Jimmy Kennedy and Georges Boulanger, received another award because of my hit record, as did I. I also had the honor of performing it on the top country television show at the time, 'Hee-Haw'. At the end of 1976 I was fortunate enough to be voted the #7 Country Artist of the Year."

Until The End Of Time

"Sharon (Vaughn) was a member of the Lea Jane Singers who had been the vocal group on my 'When Your Good Love Was Mine' album. The first time I heard this beaitiful Foster and Rice song was also the first time I met Sharon, a pretty petite brunnette with a pleasant personality and a great voice. We only recorded three songs together: 'Someone To Give My Love To' and the unissued 'Come Lean On Me' being the other two. 'Until The End Of Time' peaked at #37. Sharon went on to write 'Ya'll Come Back Saloon' and 'My Heros Have Always Been Cowboys'. Several years ago she and Bill Rice married. She's now Mary Sharon Rice and they're still writing hit songs together."

The End

"And to close, my version of the Earl Grant hit from 1958, which I have great memories of hearing when I was up in Canada in early 1959. I recorded my version in Musicle Shoals in 1975 and included it on the 'Narvel The Marvel' album. Having first been a song I had always enjoyed, it became one of my favorites of my own recordings."

Somebody Hold Me (Until She Passes By)

"'Somebody Hold Me' was chosen to follow 'Funny how Time Slips Away' as a single, and was released around the first of November 1975. I first sang it on a north-east U.S.A. and southeast Canda tour with Dolly Parton and Johnny Paycheck. The album, featuring the song 'Narvel The Marvel', had liner notes by Dolly herself. The single went to #6 in 1976, and is the one that usually gets the most response on my shows today."

One Run For The Roses

"With this song I was back recording in Nashville, on August 16th, 1978. When it came out it was a welcome change of pace for me. One nice memory I have is when Charlie Douglas played the song on his all-night show on WWL New Orleans. After he played the song, Bill Anderson phoned him to say, 'That's got to be the greatest country record I've ever heard!'. Quite a compliment from such a great songwriter. Unfortunately, it stalled in the 20's but remains a favorite at my shows."

Reconsider Me

"This turned out to be the most successful record of my career. During November 1974 Johnny Morris arranged for me to record a session in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I was very nervous about this having just found success in Nashville, plus Muscle Shoals was known for R&B hits that went pop, not for country music. The session was to be split - two by me and two by Bobby Lee Trammell. I had added a modulation in the middle of 'Reconsider Me', plus a lyric change in the last verse. We recorded it first with four musicians. I asked the piano player (Tim Henson) to do the roll for the intro, a sound like John R's radio show theme. My vocals were live with the four musicians before Johnny added guitar tracks, keyboards and backing vocals. Initially I had reservations about it, although my wife, Loretta loved it. I actually called Johnny asking him not to release it as I felt it was 'too funky for country radio and I'm afraid they won't play it!' He got his way and I'm glad he did! After negotiating a deal with Dot Records, 'Reconsider Me' became my first release on the label in March 1975, reaching #1 in 'Record World' and 'Cashbox', #2 in 'Billboard' remaining on their charts for twenty-one weeks. The October D.J. Convention Issue of 'Billboard' showed the disc was their #1 Record of the Year. At the end of 1975 it was also the #1 Record of the Year in 'Cashbox' and #1 in Canada's PPM Chart."

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