Two of Greenville’s most treasured holiday events will be a little less musical following the death of James Narramore on Saturday. He was 88.
Narramore, a longtime resident of Park Street in Greenville, was known as “The Texas Whistler,” as he regaled those who rode the horse-drawn wagons during each year’s Park Street Christmas events and serenaded the audience awaiting the Park Street Independence Day Parade and the programs at Kavanaugh United Methodist Church with tunes ranging from Christmas carols to patriotic classics.
His support of both programs and the Park Street Historical Association in general led to Narramore being named as Grand Marshal for the 2021 July 4 parade.
Narramore was also a celebrated local photographer and the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum recently began collaborating with Narramore to catalog thousands of photos he took over his nearly 70-year career.
Narramore, who graduated from East Texas State Teachers College (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) in 1954, worked as a photojournalist at the Greenville Evening Banner early in his career and later opened his own photography studio.
In Dec. 24, 2022, story that appeared in the Herald-Banner, Narramore talked of his days with the Greenville Evening Banner, which was one of Greenville’s two daily papers. The other was the Greenville Morning Herald, and the papers later merged into one.
“When I was there, there was some stiff competition between the two local papers, so we were always rushing out to beat each other to stories and getting photos,” Narramore said. “I actually took the first color photo to appear on the front page. It was of a red apple on a teacher’s desk for a back-to-school edition.”
In 1961, James and his wife, Grace, opened Photography by Narramore. He later rose to the rank of president of the Texas Professional Photography Association.
Visitation will be Tuesday evening at Lynch Funeral Home and the funeral Wednesday morning at Park Street Baptist Church.