The Public Records 6/28/19
Howdy once again Public Recordeers. Your weekly album has arrived once more; however, we’re going to chill it out for you a bit. Don’t worry, we’re still enjoying our Summer 2019 Rock Block, but this week’s one to stop and smell the flowers, one to enjoy a great Lancaster sunset. The heat is descending and it is time to take it easy.
Melanie is an folk pop rock release from one of the heavy hitters of the 60s folk revival movement. Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk was born in 1947 in Astoria, Queens, New York City. Her mother was a jazz singer and this led her to get an early start in music. In fact, she made her first public appearance at the age 4 singing for the radio program Live Like A Millionaire.
During high school she had a regular gig at The Inkwell cafe in New Jersey. At her parents’ insistence she attended the American Academy for Dramatic Arts in New York with this allowing her to continue honing her skills in the cafes of Greenwich Village. It was there she was discovered by and signed to Columbia Records. She didn’t find much initial success in the United States, but after signing to Buddah Records she was discovered and loved in Europe. With hits in France, West Germany, and The Netherlands, she was asked to do a solo performance at Woodstock.
Her performance at Woodstock was a smash and led to her first truly international chart topper – ‘Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)’ which gained her fans in Europe, The US, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. A bit of a badass, Melanie ignored a court ruling banning the Powder Ridge Rock Festival of 1970 and performed on a homemade stage powered by food trucks this led to The Strawberry Fields Festival shortly afterwards in Canada and from there Isle of Wight festival in England and all in about the span of 3 weeks in the summer of 1970.
The next summer, Melanie, sang the herald to the solstice at the first ever Glastonbury Fayre, which we now know as the Glastonbury Festival. Later that year, 1971, Melanie broke with Buddah Records after contractual disputes. It was then that she and her husband and producer, Peter Schekeryk, decided to start their own label – Neighborhood Records. It was on this label that Melanie released her most popular song, ‘Brand New Key’.
Our album, ‘As I See It’ (Neighborhood Records, 1974) is a down tempo and mostly acoustic soother with a great cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’ – perfect taking a trip down to An Sibin on those stifling summer nights when you just need to beat the heat. The room’s ambiance, Melanie’s powerfully calming voice, and a chilled glass Nobilissima Pinot Grigio will make you glad you did.