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“MEL, JULIAN & ME”
A Memoir about Mel's life in music tells the fascinating story of Mel, Mel & Julian!
Mel Green is a Boston-based Singer/Songwriter who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He emigrated to the USA in 1970. On his way, he sang at the Cecil Sharpe House in London, at Gerde's Folk City, The Gaslight in Greenwich Village, New York.
He settled in Boston in '72. He opened for Rosalie Sorrels at Club Passim (formerly Club 47) when, Bob & RaeAnn Donlin spotted him at the weekly Ceilidh at the famous club in Cambridge.
Since then he has been active on the Greater Boston folk scene, establishing himself as an enthusiastic singer-songwriter.
He appeared at The Loaded Dog Folk Club in ’04 in Sydney, Australia … he has played on four continents! Visiting South Africa in 2018, he played with many local and great musicians at a fundraiser for The Barleycorn in Cape Town & also headlined at TJs Music Club in Johannesburg.
Mel's singing has been complimented by such luminaries as Phil Everly, Geula Gill and others.
He began singing at Art school when the Beatles and the 60s Folk Revival coincided. He was a regular at the Johannesburg Troubadour and at the Nite Beat in Hillbrow. He was a favourite at the Minstrel Club in Pretoria.
Before emigrating in 1970, he often featured at The Troubadour in Johannesburg and at The Minstrel in Pretoria, headlined at the Durban Folk Festival and was one of the top singers to perform at The Johannesburg Folk Festivals.
“I really like your voice"
– Phil Everly, at The Troubadour, Johannesburg, 1966
"That guy singing with the "Sensitive New Age Guys" who looks like a cross between Ben Franklin and Bill Clinton."
– Christine Lavin at Summerfest '05
"Great listening to you again. The voice hasn't changed in forty years. Just as great as I remembered it. Lovely melodies... Don't ever stop writing."
– Mel Miller, South Africa's Grandpa of Comedy and co-founder of Mel, Mel & Julian
In the mid-60s... Mel Green and Mel Miller formed Mel & Mel, who snagged a regular gig at The Troubadour.
Going professional in '65, they invited Julian Laxton to play lead guitar on their first LP. They formed Mel, Mel & Julian, and became one of South Africa's leading folk groups...
Mel Green was the essential harmony voice and fingerpicker. Mel Miller the strong lead tenor-baritone. Julian was the exceptional lead guitarist.
They recorded for CBS and produced 3 sold-out LPs during their career.
The band worked solidly for 4 years entertaining full houses at hotel residencies, and as headliners at concerts in Durban, Cape Town, East London and Johannesburg, and at Folk Festivals in Johannesburg.
They volunteered to perform on board the aircraft carrier, Franklin D. Roosevelt when it docked in Cape Town and they played before a multi-racial audience who were returning from the Vietnam war, during the prevalent Apartheid era.
After the band broke up, Mel went solo. He acted and sang in "What is Love" in ’68/69, a literary review, earning positive press, although he was hired as the interlocuter and singer of songs! The show ran successfully for 2 seasons in Johannesburg, and toured for a 3rd.
QUOTES FROM FAR & WIDE
“I was there… and you brought class to the stage with your instinctive ensemble skill. And then your solo set…. beautiful, thoughtful songs, sensitive guitar playing, clean, crisp vocal delivery… you have it in abundance (as you always did.) It was a MELODIOUS set!”
– Des Lindberg
“Mel’s voice is like fine, painted, beautiful china. Far-reaching life experiences in different parts of the world have illuminated his lyricism, as he sprinkles his words and narrative with humor and humility."
– Angela Masciale, King Hooper Cafe, Marblehead, Massachusetts
“A terrific musical sense, an evocative sound, and a classic folk voice!”
– Nick Noble, WICN-FM, Worcester, MA
"His album is something of a gem, with songs that reverberate long after the CD has finished spinning."
– Maverick Digital Music Magazine, UK
“A lot of hard work and effort has gone into this! A unique neoclassical/folk/baroque style... Much variety in the instrumentation. The people chosen to play really add to the overall sound. Mel's voice is clear and true... a beautiful end product! Nice work.”
– Mac McLanahan, Artistic Director, Rose Garden Coffeehouse, Mansfield, MA
“At last Mel Green has released his solo CD “I’m taking my time”. Well, the wait was worth it ! Mel’s voice leads our way through original, melodic, meaningful and expertly crafted songs. His expert guitar playing provides the perfect platform for his haunting leads and harmonies and vocal virtuosity. Talk about breaking the mould? They sure don’t make them like this anymore!”
– Ron Newman, Johannesburg, South Africa
"We were lucky to hear Mel Green, visiting from Boston, USA. Singing traditional and contemporary songs with clever, melodic arrangements and delicate guitar accompaniments ... we would love to hear him back again."
– The Cornstalk Review : Mel's Loaded Dog Folk Club appearance, Sydney, Australia