MEL GREEN IS A SINGER/SONGWRITER He didn't start out that way though... He grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and emigrated to the USA in 1970... On his way, he sang at the Cecil Sharpe House in London. In New York City he played at Gerde's Folk City and The Gaslight in Greenwich Village, New York City and at resorts in the Poconos.
He settled in Boston in '72 and soon became a regular at Club Passim (formerly Club 47). After, Bob & RaeAnn Donlin spotted him at the weekly Ceilidh at the famous folk club in Cambridge, he was offered an opening gig for Rosalie Sorrels, when she and her backup band appeared there for a 4-night run.
Since then he has been active on the Greater Boston folk scene, establishing himself as an enthusiastic singer-songwriter.
In ’04 he appeared at The Loaded Dog Folk Club in Sydney, Australia … which means he has played on four continents!
Visiting South Africa again in 2018, he played with many of the local great musicians at a fundraiser for The Barleycorn in Cape Town and later at a headlining gig at TJs Music Club in Johannesburg he was more than up to the task of performing a terrific solo set to the delight of an entirely new audience.
Mel's fine singing has been complimented by such luminaries as Phil Everly, Geula Gill and others who know “it” when they see and hear it.
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, and he became a favourite at the Minstrel Folk Club in Pretoria.
Before emigrating in 1970 to the USA, he often featured at The Troubadour in Johannesburg and at The Minstrel in Pretoria, headlined at the Durban Folk Festival and also at The Johannesburg Folk Festivals.
"You have to hear Little Mel, his voice is like Glen Campbell and John Denver, combined!"
– a fan at The Troubadour on the late 60s
"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
“MEL, JULIAN & ME”
An autobiography about the life and times of MEL, MEL & JULIAN
Available at Amazon.com in Paperback or Kindle eBook
Read the review by Roger Deitz
(of SingOut! Magazine) in the BLOG section!
In 1964, after meeting at art school... Mel Green and Mel Miller formed Mel & Mel, and soon 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 swiftly 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 were innovative producing 3 sold-out LP recordings.
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.
Notably, they volunteered to perform on board the aircraft carrier, Franklin D. Roosevelt when it docked in Cape Town playing before a multi-racial audience who were returning from the Vietnam war, during the Apartheid era.
After the band broke up, Mel went solo. He acted and sang in "What is Love" in ’68/69, a literary review, which got positive critiques in the press, even though he was hired as the 'tween-scene interlocuter and to sing a few thematically appropriate songs! The show ran successfully for 2 seasons in Johannesburg, at a theater, then at a supper-club. After a brief break PACT sponsored a 3rd season—a tour all over the Transvaal for 3 weeks.
“I was there… Mel's instinctive ensemble skill brought class to the stage. And then his solo set… beautiful, thoughtful songs, sensitive guitar playing, clean, crisp vocal delivery… he has it in abundance (as he always did.) It was a melodious set!”
– Des Lindberg, 2018
“Loved them & to listen to Mel, Mel & Julian at the Coral Lounge in the Grand Hotel in Cape Town, before I had the pleasure of knowing and working with these wonderful musicians, and characters." – Paul Zamek, Nashville
“Thanks for singing for us and making us welcome... You have a great voice."
– Phil Everly, at The Troubadour, Johannesburg, 1966
“A terrific musical sense, an evocative sound, and a classic folk voice!”
– Nick Noble, WICN-FM, Worcester, MA
"Mel's album is something of a gem, with songs that reverberate long after the CD has finished spinning. We gave it 5 stars!"
– Maverick Digital Music Magazine, UK
“Lots of hard work and effort has gone into this CD! Mel has a unique neoclassical-folk-baroque style. Variety in instrumentation and 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
“His solo CD “I’m Taking My Time”. was worth the wait! Mel’s voice leads us through original, melodic, meaningful and expertly crafted songs. His deft guitar provides the perfect platform for his haunting leads, harmonies and vocal virtuosity. Talk about breaking the mould. They don’t make them like this anymore!”
– Ron Newman, Johannesburg, South Africa
"We were lucky to hear Mel visiting from Boston, USA singing traditional and contemporary songs with his clever, melodic arrangements and his delicate guitar accompaniment ... we would love to have him back again."
– The Cornstalk Review : Mel's Loaded Dog Folk Club appearance, Sydney, Australia '04
“Mel’s voice is like fine, painted china. Life experiences illuminate his lyricism, as he sprinkles his narrative with humor and humility."
– Angela Masciale, King Hooper Cafe, Marblehead, Massachusetts