Mel McDaniel

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Mel McDaniel
Mel McDaniel 2006.jpg
McDaniel in 2006. (Photo by Sisterphotography)
Background information
Birth nameMelvin Huston McDaniel
Born(1942-09-06)September 6, 1942
Checotah, Oklahoma
OriginOkmulgee, Oklahoma
DiedMarch 31, 2011(2011-03-31) (aged 68)
Nashville, Tennessee
GenresCountry
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
Years active1975–1996
2005–2011
LabelsCapitol
Associated actsChuck Berry
 
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Mel McDaniel
Mel McDaniel 2006.jpg
McDaniel in 2006. (Photo by Sisterphotography)
Background information
Birth nameMelvin Huston McDaniel
Born(1942-09-06)September 6, 1942
Checotah, Oklahoma
OriginOkmulgee, Oklahoma
DiedMarch 31, 2011(2011-03-31) (aged 68)
Nashville, Tennessee
GenresCountry
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
Years active1975–1996
2005–2011
LabelsCapitol
Associated actsChuck Berry

Melvin Huston "Mel" McDaniel (September 6, 1942 – March 31, 2011[1]) was an American country music artist. His chart-making years were mainly the 1980s with his hits from that era including "Louisiana Saturday Night", "Big Ole Brew", "Stand Up", the Number One "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On", "I Call It Love", "Stand on It", and a remake of Chuck Berry's "Let It Roll (Let It Rock)".

McDaniel's type of country music has been referred to as "the quintessential happy song" in comparison to other country artists who discuss broken hearts and lost loves. When asked why most of his songs are mostly positive, McDaniel told the Anchorage Daily News that "there's enough things in the world to keep you bummed out" and that his fans don't want to "hear me singing something that's gonna bum 'em out some more."[2]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Melvin Huston "Mel" McDaniel was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, a small town in McIntosh County, Oklahoma. McDaniel, the son of a truck driving father, grew up in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He was inspired to play music after seeing Elvis Presley on television. His first interest in music was when he learned the trumpet in the fourth grade, but he soon learned the guitar. At age 14, he taught himself the guitar chords to "Frankie and Johnny" and performed at a high-school talent contest. He made his professional debut at age fifteen performing in a talent contest at Okmulgee High School. While in high school, he played in several local bands, and after graduation, began working as a musician in Tulsa clubs. While in Tulsa, he recorded several singles for local label (J.J. Cale and wrote and produced his first single, “Lazy Me”. But he decided to leave Oklahoma.

Career[edit]

After marrying his high school sweetheart, McDaniel began performing in Tulsa. From there, he had an unsuccessful trip to Nashville, followed by quite a bit of success in Anchorage, Alaska performing in the oil fields. After two years there, he returned to Nashville and landed a job as a demo singer and songwriter with Combine Music. With the help of music publisher Bob Beckham, Mel signed to Capitol Records in 1976 and released his first single, “Have a Dream on Me”.

His career finally took off with “Louisiana Saturday Night” in 1981, and in early 1985 he scored his only No. 1 hit with "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On". Other Top 10 hits include "Right in the Palm of Your Hand" (later covered by Alan Jackson in 1999), "Take Me to the Country", "Big Ole Brew", "I Call It Love", and "Real Good Feel Good Song".

McDaniel was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since January 11, 1986 and made frequent appearances on the show.

McDaniel was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006, along with induction classmate Leon Russell.[3]

Later years and death[edit]

On November 14, 1996, he had a near-fatal fall into an orchestra pit while he was performing at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. This ended his touring career and he underwent several surgeries thereafter. McDaniel never recovered from his injuries. On June 16, 2009, McDaniel suffered a heart attack, putting him in a medically induced coma in a Nashville area hospital according to The Tennessean. Mel's wife, Peggy, requested the prayers of the singer's fans, saying his situation was "not good." [4] McDaniel had since recovered from his heart attack. On February 19, 2011, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died at home on the evening of March 31, 2011 as a result of the disease.[5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US Country
1977Gentle to Your Senses
  • Release date: October 1977
  • Label: Capitol Records
45
1978Mello
  • Release date: July 17, 1978
  • Label: Capitol Records
1980I'm Countryfied
  • Release date: November 10, 1980
  • Label: Capitol Records
24
1982Take Me to the Country
  • Release date: April 5, 1982
  • Label: Capitol Records
43
1983Naturally Country
  • Release date: April 8, 1983
  • Label: Capitol Records
63
1984Mel McDaniel with Oklahoma Wind
  • Release date: February 17, 1984
  • Label: Capitol Records
64
1985Let It Roll
  • Release date: February 22, 1985
  • Label: Capitol Records
4
Stand Up
  • Release date: September 13, 1985
  • Label: Capitol Records
25
1986Just Can't Sit Down Music
  • Release date: September 19, 1986
  • Label: Capitol Records
1988Now You're Talkin'
  • Release date: January 13, 1988
  • Label: Capitol Records
51
1989Rock-a-billy Boy
  • Release date: January 11, 1989
  • Label: Capitol Records
1991Country Pride
  • Release date: May 13, 1991
  • Label: DPI Records
2006Reloaded
  • Release date: April 25, 2006
  • Label: Stand UP / Aspirion Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US Country
1987Greatest Hits
  • Release date: June 19, 1987
  • Label: Capitol Records
43
1993Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On
  • Release date: July 7, 1993
  • Label: Branson Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

YearTitleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryCAN Country
1975"Lazy Me"Singles only
1976"Have a Dream on Me"51
"I Thank God She Isn't Mine"70
1977"All the Sweet"39
"Gentle to Your Senses"18Gentle to Your Senses
"Soul of a Honky Tonk Woman"27
"God Made Love"1112
1978"The Farm"80Mello
"Bordertown Woman"2656
1979"Love Lies"3338Singles only
"Play Her Back to Yesterday"2423
"Lovin' Starts Where Friendship Ends"2739
1980"Hello Daddy, Good Morning Darling"39I'm Countryfied
"Countryfied"23
1981"Louisiana Saturday Night"721
"Right in the Palm of Your Hand"1017
"Preaching Up a Storm"1937Take Me to the Country
1982"Take Me to the Country"1022
"Big Ole Brew"44
"I Wish I Was in Nashville"20
1983"Old Man River (I've Come to Talk Again)"2231Naturally Country
"Hot Time in Old Town Tonight"39
"I Call It Love"929Mel McDaniel with Oklahoma Wind
1984"Where'd That Woman Go"49
"Most of All I Remember You"59
"All Around the Water Tank"64
"Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On"11Let It Roll
1985"Let It Roll (Let It Rock)"66
"Stand Up"53Stand Up
1986"Shoe String"2218
"Doctor's Orders"5347
"Stand on It"125Just Can't Sit Down Music
1987"Oh What a Night"56
"Anger & Tears"4932Greatest Hits
"Love Is Everywhere"6057
"Now You're Talkin'"6442Now You're Talkin'
1988"Ride This Train"58
"Real Good Feel Good Song"94
"Henrietta"62*
1989"Walk That Way"54*Rock-a-Billy Boy
"Blue Suede Blues"7068
"You Can't Play the Blues
(In an Air-Conditioned Room)"
8057
2006"Horseshoes & Hand Grenades"Reloaded

Music videos[edit]

YearVideoDirector
1985"Let It Roll (Let It Rock)"George Bloom III
"Stand Up"
1988"Real Good Feel Good Song"Kenneth Brown
"Henrietta"George Bloom III
"Goodbye Johnny"
1990"Turtles and Rabbits"
1991"My Ex-Life"Carolyn Betts

References[edit]

External links[edit]