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Star Hall

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Fan club members Ina Lee (left) and Essie Shell (Right) with Narvel
Fan club members Ina Lee (left) and Essie Shell (Right) with Narvel

Narvel Felts at Star Hall

Corsicana, Texas

By fan club member, Essie Shell

September 15, 2001

  • 6 years and one day following the anniversary of Narvel "Bub" Felts, Jr’s fatal automobile accident....
  • 4 days following the terrorist attacks on the Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC....
  • What a somber occasion it was...... yet, life is for the living and it must go on....

Corsicana’s first Deer Hunters Ball was founded and produced by B. G. and Delia Williams, with Narvel Felts and Off The Record band entertaining us for the evening. Emcee, Joe Walenta, opened the program by leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and calling for a moment of silence for the victims and families of the terrorist attacks and hijackings of the past week. The band opened the show with a lively rendition of Under The Double Eagle and our host for the evening, B. G. Williams, sang Heartaches By The Number and Crying Time. Several door prizes were awarded, and before a short intermission, keyboard player, Aris Cook, sang America The Beautiful while everyone in the audience patriotically stood and softly sang with him.

Narvel took the stage to a standing ovation and sang Back In The USA, with some fine guitar pickin’ too. After the audience gave him a standing ovation to his 1975 hit song Funny How Time Slips Away, he was presented a gold key to the City on behalf of the Mayor and City Council of Corsicana and a jacket from American RV of Corsicana. The audience respectfully and with much emotion, stood at attention while Narvel sang a beautiful acappella version of The Star Spangled Banner, as a tribute to the victims of the past week’s events. This was the first time I had ever heard him sing our National Anthem and while I listened, it made me remember how precious our freedom is in this great country we live in.

Then Narvel took us from the cotton fields of southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas, to the stage, with his international hit song Pink & Black Days. He got another standing ovation with Crying, a song that he recorded 20 years ago and one that was introduced as a single in Europe this year, reaching #10 on the charts. More of his hits, Drift Away, Somebody Hold Me (Until She Passes By), Lonely Teardrops, Fraulein and a medley of Blueberry Hill, which included I Don’t Hurt Anymore, earned him two more standing ovations. Rockabilly songs, My Babe, Great Balls of Fire and I’m Heading Home rocked the audience. He sang High On A Mountain Of Love, a record he had cut in 1963 before the song became a classic, and My Prayer, a classic during his 70’s hit streak. He sang Even Now in memory of his son, Bub, and also dedicated it to my brother, Mynard Smith, in memory of his daughter Gayle, Joann & Kenneth Samford, in memory of daughter Leigh Ann and to Dotty B (Publisher/Editor of Coast To Coast Country), in memory of her mother.

Narvel ended the show with his 1975 single of the year, Reconsider Me, which included May The Good Lord Bless and Keep You. As always, he got another standing ovation.....and the audience got an encore of Blue Darlin’. He was ready to head for the autograph line when B. G. Williams told him he had to sing one more song. Narvel’s Grande Finale was a rockin’ version of Shake, Rattle & Roll.

True to form, Narvel promised to stay in the autograph line until everyone who wanted to meet him had done so. It was while I waited in the autograph line that I met Nova James, a lady from Dallas who was Narvel’s Fan Club president in the 80’s. I had some old vinyl records (LP’s) that I had purchased and the first one I asked him to autograph was a 33 1/3 RPM record titled Teen-Age Bop on Sun Record label and marketed by Charly Records of France. Narvel’s song Kiss-A-Me Baby was on it and a picture of him from his early years was on the cover. Narvel was listening so intently to mine and Nova’s conversation that he inadvertently autographed the record to her! So ladies and gentlemen, I have proof that Narvel indeed made one mistake in his life. Not to worry Narvel, everybody is entitled to one.

It’s now after 11:00 PM and nearing the end to one of the most tragic weeks in the history of our country. Thank you, Narvel and all the members of Off The Record (Jodi, Tommy, Lex, Aris, Joy, Mark & Herschel), for entertaining us and being with us as the week ended. Someone said: "We don’t live in America.......America lives in us." How true!

 


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