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Review: October 10, 2009

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L. V. Bryant

 

NARVEL FELTS - OCTOBER 10, 2009

TOP-DOLLAR CASINO PERFORMANCE
 


Narvel on stage


Narvel - Out in the cold autographing

(Click photo for larger view)

Over seven hundred of us braved the dropping temperatures and the setting sun in the River View Amphitheatre of the Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Missouri, for Narvel's outdoor concert. Double Edge opened the show promptly at 5:00 P.M. with Narvel onstage about 20 minutes later. He explained that there were no stage lights, so the show had to be over before the sun set.

Deejay Michael Steele of WOLF 95.9 airing from Jonesboro, Arkansas, introduced Narvel who opened with  "Funny How Time Slips Away", and two other Top Ten's, "Drift Away" and "Somebody Hold Me", "Pink and Black Days" took us back to the late '50s followed by a 1974 Top Ten "When Your Good Love Was Mine", and the B Side of that record, "Fraulein" which Narvel told us was written by Lawton Williams and was a Hot Disc Top 10 European hit last year.

Narvel wrote "Loretta" in 1962 and sang it for his future bride Loretta for the first time when he took her to meet his parents. It's still just as lovely today. He was proud of the fact that his daughter Stacia and her friend Danny were in the audience as well as his nephew Billy Joe and wife Sissie.

Narvel tore into "Great Balls of Fire" after reminding us of his first recording session at Sun Records, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, on January 23rd, 1957, with Jack Clement, Roy Orbison, Harold Jenkins soon to be Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis in attendance. Fan Club member Ruth Bryant was acknowledged by Narvel while onstage. Her late husband Deejay William Bryant played Narvel's songs on Dyersburg's WDSG Radio Station for many years.

We were treated to "Kiss-A-Me Baby", one of Narvel's early Rockabilly hits, then to the 1975 Billboard and CashBox Single of the Year "Reconsider Me". Sun Records recording "My Babe" was next followed by the 1979 Top Ten "Everlasting Love". Narvel sang a soulful "Danny Boy" in his son Bub's memory and received one of several standing ovations. "Danny Boy" was the last song Narvel sang and Bub played drums on in Dyersburg, Tennessee, in August of 1995, just a few short weeks before Bub's fatal car accident on September 14, 1995."Lonely Teardrops" was requested and done by Narvel with Double Edge doing a great job backing him.

Huey P. Long handled Narvel's CDs and picture sales. Narvel mentioned that he and Huey met on the first day of school of the ninth grade in Bernie, Missouri, and have been friends ever since. "My Prayer" closed the show just as the sun dropped below the horizon. Unfortunately, due to the dropping temperatures, a lot of people were simply too cold and left during the show which was sad and maddening because casino management had an empty indoor concert hall that could have been used for Narvel's show. Did they flip a coin and decide that even though the temperature was below 50 and dropping that over seven hundred friends, family and fans who had traveled hundreds of miles weren't important enough to be comfortable for the show?

In spite of that, Narvel donned his coat, hat and gloves and never got in a hurry during his two and a half hour autograph line. The last 20 of us were rewarded when a couple ahead of us told Narvel of their favorite song "To Love Somebody", which he had not done as part of the show. So he simply sang it for them a cappella. What a treat for us! We all clapped and yelled. A-ha, there was justice for enduring the weather.

Faye Huffman

Baton Rouge, LA

 


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