JOE BIELINSKI'S 17TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW AND DANCE
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, OCTOBER 19TH, 2008
June Huffman, my sister-in-law, called me in mid
July. My all-time favorite country singer, Narvel Felts, was coming to her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas,
on October 19th, which she found out listening to DJ
Joe Bielinski's Sunday morning Country Legends Show
92.1 radio station. He played Narvel's "Somebody Hold
Me," so she called and asked, "Did you just play a
Narvel Felts' song?" "Yes," he replied. "Well, play
another one," she requested. Joe told her of Narvel's
upcoming appearance in Fort Worth, and she quickly got
tickets for four of us: our friend O'Lee Cantrell from
Fort Worth, my sister, Judy Standige, from Muldrow,
Oklahoma, as well as June and me.
Over 80 artists performed in eight and a half
hours, the first 70 usually singing one song each.
There were so many talented performers in this group.
Justin Trevino had an exceptional voice. Robyn Young,
son of the late great Faron Young, took us down memory
lane sounding just like his dad doing Faron's "Hello
Walls" and "Four in the Morning."
Top artists included Johnny Seay, Leona Williams, a
warm and gracious singer, Ralph Mooney playing steel
guitar, Leon Rausch also known as "the voice" of Bob
Wills & His Texas Playboys who just celebrated his 81st
birthday and sounded as pure as ever, Tony Booth, and
David Ball who did a great job with "Thinking Problem."
For the first six hours, the dance floor was
crowded for almost every song. There's lots of Texas
Two-Stepping going on in Fort Worth. But for the
highlight of the show, for me, the last two hours went
much too quickly.
Narvel Felts in black pants, a shiny charcoal
shirt, and royal blue jacket, stopped the dancing on
the dance floor where there was Standing Room Only
doing four of his Top 10 records leading off with the
1975 Billboard and Cashbox Song of the Year "Reconsider
Me", following up with "Drift Away", his 1973 song
making him an "overnight sensation" after 17 years in
the music business. "Somebody Hold Me" and "Lonely
Teardrops" quickly followed. Narvel mentioned onstage
that if any of us are, by chance, in Austria Saturday
night, October 25th, that he'd be there headlining a
Rockabilly Show. He had to hurry home to catch a plane.
Leroy Van Dyke dressed in black with a rich gold
jacket aced his million selling (or did he say three
million?) record singles: "Walk On By" and
"Auctioneer". The audience sang along with his
distinctive voice. After he would sing, "Just walk on
by," the audience would chime in with the next line,
"wait on the corner."
Jim Ed Brown, another class act, resplendent in
black with a rich red jacket, began with "Looking Back
To See" and did a beautiful job singing "The Three
Bells", the story of "little Jimmy Brown" with
background singers, a mother and daughter duo, The Brattons, who he called his "Bom Bom Girls," referring
to the chorus in "The Three Bells". He concluded with
"Pop A Top Again".
The show closed with one of my all-time favorites,
Freddie Hart, who looked like the star he is with a
charcoal western suit complete with red boots, whose
voice is as pure and crystal-clear as ever singing "I
Just Took A Trip To Heaven", "The Key's In The
Mailbox", and closing the show with "Easy Loving", the
Country Music Association Song of the Year two years in
a row, 1971 and 1972. It was a privilege and honor to
see him, hear him sing, and talk to him.
The band consisted of Gary Carpenter on steel
guitar; Junior Knight, guitar; Jim Loessberg, drums;
Reggie Reuffer, fiddle; and Ronnie Shultz on bass, and
did a fine job backing all the performers for this
eight and a half hour show. Leroy Van Dyke proudly
introduced his son who joined the band playing guitar
during his performance and who also backed up Narvel
Felts as well on guitar.
In my opinion, a fine Country Legends Tour could
easily consist of Leroy Van Dyke, Narvel Felts, Jim Ed
Brown, Freddie Hart, David Ball, Robyn Young singing
his dad's songs, and I would add Ferlin Husky. All of
these performers are still top-notch singers sounding
great, looking like the pros they are, and worth the
trip to see them.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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