Melvin Smith

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Melvin Smith (* 1936 in Atlanta ) is an American R&B singer , songwriter and guitarist.

Melvin Smith, who only had a bigger hit with the song Looped , stood stylistically between the R&B singers Roy Brown and Louis Jordan . Smith grew up in Atlanta; early role models were Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris and Jimmy Witherspoon . As a teenager he won a talent competition and then sang in the Arstell Allen Sextet. He was discovered by RCA Victor talent scouts in early 1951 when he was just 15 years old. In January 1951 he had his first recording session with saxophonist and band leader Clyde W. "Blow Top" Lynn and his House Rockers, which produced his first single, Reliefin 'Blues . After finishing school he performed as Little Melvin and sang on Tommy Brown's Maroon Notes. Lynn came more shots like Rampaging Mama and Real True Gal , but had little success on the charts, as did the 1,952 recorded songs California Baby and Everybody's Got the Blues RCA believed still to be able to reach Smith breakthrough, and brought him to New York in March 1952, where a recording session with jazz musicians such as Tyree Glenn , Taft Jordan , Eddie Barefield and the pianist Howard Biggs was scheduled. Smith's most famous song, Looped , came about .

After further recordings with RCA ( Sarah Kelly (From Plumnelly) ), which remained unsuccessful, the contract with the label ended. Smith then moved to Philadelphia , where he performed with a quintet called The Nite Riders for the next ten years and signed a recording deal with Apollo Records. Later recordings were made for the small labels Sound / Teen, Swan, Cameo and Sue Records. Smith had particular success with his group in the late 1950s, when he had an engagement at the Wagon Wheel Club in Manhattan and went on successful tours to Canada and Boston .

Smith also worked with his own bands in the 1970s and early 80s; In the early 1990s he left the music business to take an administrative post.

Discographic notes

  • Melvin Smith at His Best ( Bear Family Records , compilation)
  • RCA Jump 'n' Jive, Vol. 4 (RCA Victor, compilation)

Web links / sources