Artist of The Month February 2017 – Melanie
Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk (born February 3, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter.
Known professionally as Melanie, she is best known for her hits “Brand New Key”, “Ruby Tuesday”, “What Have They Done to My Song, Ma”, and her song about performing at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”.
Initially signed to Columbia Records in the United States, Melanie released two singles on the label. Subsequently she signed with Buddah Records and first found chart success in Europe in 1969 with “Bobo’s Party” which reached Number 1 in France. Her debut album received positive reviews from Billboard which heralded her voice as “wise beyond her years. Her non-conformist approach to the selections on this LP make her a new talent to be reckoned with.”
Melanie: Hand Written and Signed Thank You Letter
Later in 1969, Melanie had a hit in the Netherlands with “Beautiful People”. She also performed at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the inspiration for her first hit song, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”, apparently arose from the Woodstock audience lighting candles during her set (although most of the “candles” were actually matches or lighters). The recording became a hit in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States in 1970. The B-side of the single featured Melanie’s spoken-word track “Candles in the Rain”. “Lay Down” became Melanie’s first Top Ten hit in America, peaking at Number 6 on the Billboard singles chart and achieving worldwide success. Later hits included “Peace Will Come (According To Plan)” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday”.
In 1970, Melanie was the only artist to ignore the court injunction banning the Powder Ridge Rock Festival, playing for the crowd on a homemade stage powered by Mister Softee trucks. Shortly following this performance, she played at the Strawberry Fields Festival held from August 7 to 9, 1970, at Mosport Park, Ontario. She also performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 where she was introduced by Keith Moon and received four standing ovations (she also appeared at the 2010 Isle of Wight festival). She was also the artist who sang to herald in the summer solstice at Glastonbury Fayre (later the Glastonbury Festival) in England in June 1971. She performed again at Glastonbury in 2011, the 40th anniversary of the original festival.
Melanie: “Brand New Key Souvenir Lyric Sheet”
She left Buddah Records when they insisted that she produce albums on demand. In 1971 she formed her own label, Neighborhood Records, with Peter Schekeryk, who was also her producer and, later, her husband. She had her biggest American hit on the Neighborhood label, the novelty-sounding 1972 number one “Brand New Key” (often referred to as “The Roller Skate Song”). “Brand New Key” sold over three million copies worldwide and was featured in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights.
To celebrate her birthday on February 3rd, Presley Collectibles are offering a 15% discount on all Melanie hand signed products during February 2017. Just use the discount code MELANIE15 at the checkout. Discount can not be applied to any other artist nor against shipping and handling.