Ex-Navy Football Player Pays Tribute to Bay Dale Drive


By Cheryl Costello

A Memphis artist has written a song featuring familiar geography along the Annapolis waterfront.

Former Navy football player Chris Nurthen wrote bay valley about a special neighborhood that became a haven for him to get away from the rigors of Naval Academy life.

We spoke with Nurthen about the local memories that inspired the song.

Bay Dale, won’t you let me inNurthen sings as his music video plays footage of the Bay Dale Drive exit sign on Route 50, recognizable to anyone who’s ever sat in Bay Bridge traffic.

When Nurthen returned each semester to the US Naval Academy, he stayed with his aunt and uncle in the Bay Dale community. They served as the patron family and their home off Bay Dale Drive was where he called home.

The 2015 USNA graduate, who was a defensive lineman on the football team, sings, There’s one thing I’m looking forward to going back to school, it’s taking me back to my bones.

“It was like my sanctuary before returning to the academy,” Nurthen says. “It was a major cornerstone of the really good quality family time we had growing up.”

Nurthen often pulled out his guitar while spending time with his family in Bay Dale. He started performing in high school and continued to write songs for the five years he was deployed on Navy warships.

He says the song goes straight to the heart of what seekers are feeling: Back to uniforms, alarm clocks…

“We kind of grew quickly at the academy. And it wasn’t like your typical college experience, so we were going back to work… No regrets being there. It’s just difficult.

Nurthen came up with his recently released song while sitting in his aunt and uncle’s living room right after his aunt passed away.

“We had returned for his funeral a week or two later and I wrote this song with our family together. At the end [of the music video] we have footage of us being in the kitchen that day, singing the song as a family.

Now living in Memphis, Nurthen focuses on his music and runs a mobile catering business with his wife Keri called SweetNur’s – a play on his last name. To spread his music in the community, he performs house shows at gatherings where they cook meals.

“What I hope is that even if we can’t become a national band, I hope there’s enough evidence that I can write a good song and I can be in the room with people who want to write with me,” Nurthen said of her musical. ambitions.

The songwriter is still on active duty in the Naval Reserve.

You can watch Nurthen’s entire music video for “Bay Dale” here: youtube.com/watch?v=IBLwvPEvq9k


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