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Raised in Berine, missouri where he attended Bernie High School, Felts was discovered during a talent show at the school. He had been encouraged to participate in the show by some of his classmates, and it just so happened that a talent agent was attending the performance at the time.
Felts recorded his first single “Kiss-a Me Baby” at the age of 18, and his career skyrocketed with the help of Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash . Narvel Felts enjoyed modest pop success in 1960 with a remake of the Drifters “Honey Love” which earned a low position on the Billboard Hot 100. He went on to release such songs as “Lonely Teardrops” and “Pink And Black Days”, but it wasn’t until the 1970s when he began enjoying success on a national level as a country singer.
His first major hit came in 1973, with a cover of Dobie Gray’s ” Drift Away”. Felts’ version — No. 8 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in September 1973 — was mid-tempo country compared to Gray’s blues version. The follow-up single, “All in the Name of Love,” just missed hitting the top 10 in December 1973.
Felts continued to enjoy modest success during the next year and a half, when he signed with ABC-Dot Records in 1975. That year, he enjoyed his biggest hit: a cover of Johnny Adams .’ soul classic “Reconsider Me”, which showcased his falsetto and high tenor. The song reached No. 2 that August, and was 1975’s second-biggest country hit of the year.
Felts, who became known to fans as “Narvel the Marvel,” continued to enjoy success throughout the 1970s. Included in his streak of hits was a remake of ” Lonley Teardrops”, which became his last top 10 hit in the summer of 1976; and a cover of Willie Nelson;s Funny How Time Slips Away”. He also had a No. 14 country hit with ” Everlasting Love ” in 1979.
Narvel Felts’ pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame