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Narvel Felts Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD)

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1-CD with 24-page booklet, 28 tracks. Playing time approx. 77 mns. After two...more

Narvel Felts: Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD)

1-CD with 24-page booklet, 28 tracks. Playing time approx. 77 mns.

After two decades of middling success, Narvel Felts suddenly hit the big time as a country artist in 1973. For the rest of the decade he was one of the best-selling artists in country music with R&B flavored hits like Drift Away, Reconsider Me, Somebody Hold Me, Lonely Teardrops, My Prayer, Funny How Time Slips Away... and others. They're all here. Nobody better deserved their success than Narvel Felts, and 28 of his greatest hits are here in one package.

When his single I'm Just That Kind Of Fool entered the U.S. Country Charts in 1991, Narvel Felts achieved the distinction of having charted pop and country through five decades: the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. 'Cashbox' magazine gave him a colour cover to honour him as he joined an illustrious band that included George Jones and Conway Twitty. Narvel's greatest successes came in the seventies of course, but he had been working hard since 1956 to become an 'overnight sensation' in 1973. Born near Keiser, Arkansas on November llth, 1938, Albert Narvel Felts grew up in a farming background around Keiser and Shady Bend before moving to Powe, a small community near Bernie, Missouri where he attended the local high school. It was at this time that he entered a talent contest singing Blue Suede Shoes and Baby Let's Play House. His win led to a radio show on KDEX in Dexter, Missouri. A meeting with local bandleader, Jerry Mercer, found Narvel joining the Rhythm 'n' Blues Boys, performing local gigs in the bootheel of Missouri and the northern part of Arkansas, where he became the 'cat in the band' delivering the rockabilly and 'Elvisy' bits to the repertoire. When Mercer left the band at the tail end of 1956, Narvel took over, renaming the group 'The Rockets' and took them to Sun Records in Memphis. After several sessions and no releases, he led them to Mercury Records in Chicago where a contract was secured. All the Mercury recordings from 1957 and 1958 are included in the Bear Family album 'A Teen's Way' (BFX 15232). 

In the ensuing years, contracts with Pink (Hi), Starline, Roland Janes and Hi, again, brought a lot of southern success and a little national chart exposure. Narvel's recordings were always eclectic, some pop, some country, some rhythm 'n' blues, and some rock 'n' roll. 
By the time 1973 rolled round, Narvel had joined Cinnamon Records and after a minor success with a revival of Rockin' Little Angel, he hit paydirt 
with Drift Away, which gave him a #8 placing. Then the hits followed throughout the seventies, including the #1 Record of the Year in 'Cashbox' for the 1975 release Reconsider Me. 
These hits and others are all featured on this disc and here's Narvel with some memories ... 


'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, and singer, Dobie Gray at the ASCAP Awards in Nashville during October of 1973. It forever changed my life.' 

'One of my personal favorites of all the 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 Away' and 'Greatest Hits Vol. 1' albums.' 

'This was released as the follow-up single to 'Drift Away' at a time 1 was afraid that 1 might have had a one time thing and I wouldn't have a follow-up, as that has happened so often in this crazy business. It went to number 13 on the charts and figured in a couple of hit albums.' 

'In March 1973, as I left Hi Records, I went to Nashville with Lewis Willis and Joe Gibson to record this song. Cinnamon had signed Ray Smith and had re-recorded him on 'Rockin' Little Angel' but were not going to issue it as a single. Lewis suggested putting my vocal on the track. The recording came out around the first of April and it made the National Charts peaking at 71.' 

Article properties:Narvel Felts: Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD)

  • Interpret: Narvel Felts

  • Album titlle: Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD)

  • Genre Country

  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Price code AH
  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 4000127156907

  • weight in Kg 0.107
Felts, Narvel - Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD) CD 1
01Drift AwayNarvel Felts
02Before You Have To GoNarvel Felts
03All In The Name Of LoveNarvel Felts
04Rockin' Little AngelNarvel Felts
05When Your Good Love Was MineNarvel Felts
06FrauleinNarvel Felts
07Until The End Of Time (& SHARON VAUGHN)Narvel Felts
08She Loves Me Like A RockNarvel Felts
09I Want To StayNarvel Felts
10Wrap My Arms Around The WorldNarvel Felts
11Reconsider MeNarvel Felts
12Foggy Misty MorningNarvel Felts
13Funny How Time Slips AwayNarvel Felts
14Blue Suede ShoesNarvel Felts
15Somebody Hold Me (Until She Passes By)Narvel Felts
16AwayNarvel Felts
17Lonely TeardropsNarvel Felts
18Lonely Kind Of LoveNarvel Felts
19My PrayerNarvel Felts
20Garden Of EdenNarvel Felts
21The Feeling's RightNarvel Felts
22Moments To RememberNarvel Felts
23To Love SomebodyNarvel Felts
24Stirrin' Up Feelin'sNarvel Felts
25One Run For The RosesNarvel Felts
26Never AgainNarvel Felts
27Everlasting LoveNarvel Felts
28The EndNarvel Felts
NARVEL FELTS DID YOU TELL ME When I was thirteen years old we still lived in Arkansas and... more
"Narvel Felts"



When I was thirteen years old we still lived in Arkansas and I traded my BB gun for a beat up Gene Autry guitar that was held together with a Prince Albert tobacco can and some bailing wire. A year later, when I was fourteen, we had moved to Missouri and I picked cotton and ordered a new one from Sears & Roebuck for $15.98. Then in early 1956, I was seventeen at the time, I entered a high school talent contest at Bernie, Missouri. I sang Baby Let's Play House and when they wanted an encore there was a new song I had heard a few times by Carl Perkins, called Blue Suede Shoes. By chance there was a disk jockey in the audience that night from KDEX radio in Dexter, Missouri - his name was Weldon Grimsley, and the next day I was sitting at home listening to the radio, and they said "if Narvel Felts is listening please contact KDEX immediately". I ran outside and told my daddy what they had said on the radio. It was cold winter time and he had the water drained out of the radiator of his 1946 International truck. He put water in the truck and drove me eight miles up the gravel road to Bernie to the nearest phone, and I called KDEX an they said"bring your guitar and come on." I took J. W. Grubbs with me and they gave us a little Saturday afternoon radio show, live.

A little while after that, on March 24, 1956, I ran across Jerry Mercer one night at the Fourway Inn in Dudley, Missouri. He got me up to sing and invited me to come to Pop Schmitzer's, near Malden, the next night and sit in with him some more and this led to a regular job in Jerry Mercer's band along about the spring of 1956. We played a lot of the local clubs in south-east Missouri, north-east Arkansas and some in Illinois and played a package show that summer with Roy Orbison when  Ooby Dooby  was his current record and Go Go Go  the  B-side of it. Eddie Bond and The Stompers were also on the show and Eddie 's record on Mercury at the time was I Got A Woman and Rockin ' Daddy.

During 1956 from the spring until about mid December I worked with Jerry Mercer and I would play the slap bass when he was singing and he would play it when I was singing. We would trade and both of us played. I would play rhythm guitar when I sang and he would play rhythm guitar when he sang. During this period of time we did that show with Roy Orbison and Eddie Bond at Dexter, Missouri, and within a couple of weeks after that show I wound up with an audition with Sun Records. Calvin Richardson, who was my manager and a Dexter music store owner at the time, told me that Roy was going to help him get an appointment at Sun for me, so Leon Barnett and I drove down in my Chevrolet to Sun. It was very hot summer-time, probably August or early September, when we auditioned for Jack Clement. Jack told us to write some more songs, bring the whole band back. However, we did not wind up doing that until early 1957. In the meantime, in December of 1956, Jerry Mercer got married and decided to quit the music business. The band now became 'Narvel Felts and the Rockets'.

#On my Sun recordings Jack Clement was the producer. We went in with the band, the first time was in January 1957 when we did five songs, then we came back for an

other session i

n April. I had felt like there were three sessions but the Sun session book doesn't confirm that. They say that the following session was in early April of 1957 and it would probably have been the one that produced My Babe. I remember at the first session Roy Orbison was in the control room with Jack Clement. Conway Twitty was still Harold Jenkins and had a chair pulled up by my microphone in the studio, listening to me. I had met Jerry Lee Lewis at Taylor's cafe next door that morning, and Johnny Cash came in at the front office and watched us for a little while that day. I remember that at the session when I recorded My Babe, I said the line, "when she's hot, there ain't no coolin,'“ I remember Jack Clement and Roy Orbison had their heads popping around, looking at each other kind of in surprise when I said that, like it was a sort of shocking line at that time.

After I'd finished the last session at Sun, Jack Clement said  "well think we've got a record here. It may take about a year to get around to releasing it because we've got so many in front of you." At the session when Conway Twitty was also there, Roy Orbison called Conway and myself off in a corner, and said, "Boys, if I were you, I would look elsewhere for a label. That's what I'm going to do when my contract's up, because Sam's not interested in me, he's not interested in you, he's not even interested in Perkins. He's only interested in Cash and this new kid, Jerry Lee Lewis."

In early March of 1957, I was playing the Fox Theatre in St. Louis and Fred Varney, who had some connections with Mercury Records in Chicago, wanted to take us to Chicago to audition for Mercury. At that time I still was recording for Sun. We were at the Fox Theatre playing, I believe it was probably three shows a day, possibly more, with the movie 'Rock Pretty Baby'. We did not go to Chicago at that time, but a little later, after we had done the other session for Sun and Jack had said, it would be a year before they could release anything. I was doing another tour of theatres in Illinois and we were playing in Lichfield, Illinois, I believe two nights off in between, Fred Varney came by again. He had had a man named Cliff Mantle book those theatres and they were kind of partners in the business. Fred had a printing company in St. Louis. He offered again to take us to Chicago and this time we took him up on it.

He took us to 35 East Wacker Drive, just walked in the Mercury offices with us and the band, so the people were saying "what are you doin', bringing a band in here like this...? " Anyway, they finally decided to listen to us and so we brought the equipment up and sat in the office with no microphone, and Art Talmadge walked over and stood near me where he could hear my voice over the band. I was kind of singing in his ear. We did a couple of songs and he said send them on down to Universal Studios to record. We went down that afternoon and recorded until probably midnight after taking supper break, and wound up recording ten songs. Within a month my first record Kiss-A-Me Baby andFoolish Thoughts  was on the market. I believe it was the 10th ofJune, 1957.

The band that I recorded with at Mercury was still the same that was on my Sun sessions. Also a piano player named Chuck Stacy worked some of the songs on the Chicago session with us. The line-up was myself doing vocals and rhythm guitar, Leon Barnett on lead guitar, J. W. Grubbs on bass, Bob Taylor on drums and Jerry Tuttle playing steel guitar and saxophone; in fact later on that year we recorded an instrumental that featured Jerry on saxophone, called Rocket Ride. That record came out and really started getting some action, this was early '58. The story goes that Art Talmadge heard a radio station in Chicago play Rocket Ride on a slow speed and it sounded like a stroll record to him, and they had a hit at the time with the Diamonds’ The Stroll, and so he slowed it down, and it was re-issued very quickly as Rocket Ride Stroll. That was actually a re-recording and I believe it was Sil Austin and the Orchestra who recorded Rocket Ride Stroll and they issued it under my name. The original Rocket Ride was just us, the Rockets. We did that at RCA Studio B in Nashville in October of 1957, featuring Jerry Tuttle on saxophone...

Narvel Felts Did You Tell Me
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Customer evaluation for "Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD)"
23 Feb 2022

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If you are trying to decide which Narvel Felts to buy first (or next) it is this one. Why? Because "Drift Away: The Best of Narvel Felts 1973-1979" is the best greatest hits compilation available.. These are the hit records that were played daily on country music radio stations in the U.S. Maybe it was country radio where Narvel had his biggest hits, but to my ears he has a lot of rhythm 'n' blues and rock 'n' roll in his wonderful voice.

21 Apr 2020

Outstanding selection of real country music.

Excellent selection of country & rock & roll tracks by a singer with a unique voice.

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Felts, Narvel - Drift Away - Best 1973-1979 (CD) CD 1
01 Drift Away
02 Before You Have To Go
03 All In The Name Of Love
04 Rockin' Little Angel
05 When Your Good Love Was Mine
06 Fraulein
07 Until The End Of Time (& SHARON VAUGHN)
08 She Loves Me Like A Rock
09 I Want To Stay
10 Wrap My Arms Around The World
11 Reconsider Me
12 Foggy Misty Morning
13 Funny How Time Slips Away
14 Blue Suede Shoes
15 Somebody Hold Me (Until She Passes By)
16 Away
17 Lonely Teardrops
18 Lonely Kind Of Love
19 My Prayer
20 Garden Of Eden
21 The Feeling's Right
22 Moments To Remember
23 To Love Somebody
24 Stirrin' Up Feelin's
25 One Run For The Roses
26 Never Again
27 Everlasting Love
28 The End