I remember Mel McDaniel best for “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On,” and “Louisiana Saturday Night.” I would imagine those are the two that come to mind when most of us think of Mel. But he had many other hits, like “Stand Up,” “Anger and Tears,” and “Stand on It,” to name a few.
I saw Mel just two years ago at Dollywood, when Dolly opened her Porter Wagoner Exhibit. Mel was one of many entertainers on hand to see the new exhibit, and witness Dolly and members of Porter’s family planting roses in his honor.
Mel is now in a medically-induced coma at a Nashville hospital. He has had a history of health problems, many of which started when Mel fell into an orchestra pit during a concert in Louisiana back in 1996. On June 16, 2009, he had a heart attack.
Country Weekly had an article on line that said Mel’s wife, Peggy, contacted them on July 6 to request prayer for Mel from his fans, “as he battles for his life,” she said. The music pub reported that Peggy described her husband’s medical condition as “not good” at that time.
Mel was born in Checotah, Okla., on Sept. 6, 1942. That’s also Carrie Underwood’s home town. He’s a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and makes frequent appearances there. Mel’s bio tells us he showed an interest in music as a child, and took up the trumpet in the fourth grade. He started guitar lessons soon after, and in his teens he played in local bands. By the time he was in high school, he was working as a musician in Tulsa clubs. He recorded several singles for some local labels, and moved to Nashville in the late 1960s.
His primary goal in Music City was to succeed as a songwriter. He worked in a gas station to earn a living while he tried to gain the attention of music publishers and performers. When that didn’t work out for him, he moved to Alaska, where he became a favored country performer in Anchorage. He returned to Nashville in 1973 and played for nine months at the Holiday Inn. In 1976, Mel signed a contract with Capitol Records, and the rest as they say, is history.
Here’s “Real Good Feel Good Song,” which is actually one of my favorite songs by Mel.
I need to go. I hope you guys have a great Friday. We’re expecting a very rainy weekend here in Northeast Tennessee. But I’m still hoping I can find something fun to do. I’ll talk to you all soon!