Felts exhibit open at Malden Historical Museum

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Music legend Narvel Felts is pictured in front of a display of his memorabelia including a gold record and a jacket he has often performed in. The Felts exhibit should be on display throughout the month of June. (Photo provided by the Malden Historical Museum)

MALDEN, Mo. -- The kind hearted and soft spoken man many know around town, comes out of his shell when he steps onto a stage and picks up his guitar.

Narvel Felts is a local who grew up in Powe, Mo. and has lived in Malden since April 30, 1962 when he and his wife Loretta were married. He is also an international singing sensation who has toured all over the world, but always comes home to Malden where he and his wife make their home and their two children, Stacia Felts Stone and the late Narvel "Bub" Felts Jr., grew up.

While performing at this year's Malden in May, Felts told the audience that during the 1970s, he was encouraged to move to Nashville, but at the time he was traveling four nights a week, and he and his wife decided not to uproot their family and take them away from their familiar surroundings.

Known for his soaring tenor and high falsetto, Felts enjoyed his greatest success during the 1970s, most famously 1975's "Reconsider Me" which was named Record of the Year.

Felts was discovered during a talent show at Bernie High School. He had been encouraged to participate in the show by some of his classmates, and a talent agent was attending the performance.

Felts, who later became known to fans as "Narvel the Marvel," continued to enjoy success.

Not only was Felts honored by his hometown of Malden dedicating their new bandstand in his honor, but the Malden Historical Museum is also showing their appreciation for the local legend by putting on display some of his memorabilia. Through loan from the singer, the museum has filled display shelves and walls with many of his souvenirs.

The exhibit, which includes a gold record, commercial head shots and stage clothing, is on display and will continue throughout the month of June.

The Malden Historical Museum is home to displays that not only reflect the history of Malden, but also treasures such as the Dennis Collection of Egyptian Antiquities that includes items dating back thousands of years. A room of the museum is dedicated to the swamp drainage project called The Little River Drainage District. Photos of the boats and men who worked the project as well as a model of one of the dredge boats is on display. Other areas of the museum focus on the strong military history of the town and include uniforms, photographs, and models.

The Malden Historical Museum also hosts clothing and furniture from a by-gone era and gives the visitor a look into the Bootheel and America's past.

Those wishing to look up some family history can do so by reading historical documentation of the city and the school.

Normal visiting hours are 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Group tours may be arranged by appointment.

The museum is located at 201 North Beckwith and can be reached by calling (573) 276-5008.

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