Greenville Life Spring 2020 - Page 30

Gary Felmet plays guitar and sings at a Blandelles’ concert. “I was raised in Randolph,” he said. “We moved to Leonard when I was 12. I went to junior high and high school here. Played every sport.” Randolph Elementary was the site of Felmet’s first musical performance. “When I was in the first grade, 1956, we had to sing or so some kind of performance for our class,” he said. “I pantomimed you ain’t nothing but a hound dog by Elvis Presley when I was 6. I knew the words.” Another time he was asked to join a country and western band on stage at an auditorium in Randolph. “I’m oogling the guitars and all the musicians and the stuff that they’re doing and they took a break, ‘So you got a request let us know,’” he said. “So I write down Hound Dog. Hand it to the guy. Go back and sit down. So he said we’ve got a request here for Hound Dog. So who made that request? I sheepishly raise my hand and he said, ‘So we don’t know that. Can you sing that?’ “I said I sure can. My mom and dad were like crawling under the chairs. I’m on stage and I walk up there. ‘You ain’t nothing but a …,’ I sang it like that and they just went crazy. My mom and daddy were so embarrassed. The crowd went nuts. The guys in the band were going crazy.” The band enjoyed young Gary’s impromptu performance so much they invited the young Felmet to sing with them at another show. His parents said no. However, his parents encouraged his participation in sports. He earned all-district honors and was the captain on the Leonard football, basketball and baseball teams. Though he weighed only about 125 pounds, Felmet played wide receiver and defensive back in football, guard in basketball and shortstop in baseball. Felmet entertained ideas of playing college baseball but his athletic career took another direction. “I kicked around a while, not knowing what to do and somebody said, ‘Why don’t you coach?’” After graduating from East Texas State in 1979, Felmet launched his coaching career that same year at Quinlan as the head freshman football and basketball coach. 30 Greenville Life SPRING 2020