A REUNION? We have been researching venues...


Occasionally we hear from old fans, who invariably ask:  Wouldn't a re-union of Mel, Mel & Julian be wonderful?

A REUNION?
The band was planning to re-unite in South Africa in 2018 for a few dates in the Johannesburg area... Due to complications that will not be happening as we had hoped,
although some research is still going on...

 

Mel, Mel & Julian from an interview in a Durban newspaper, drawn by Jock Leyden, who got it right!

 Mel Miller continues his stellar career as Grandfather of South African comedy at shows around South Africa.

   Julian Laxton continues to make his own great music, plus sessions, sound-tracks, commercials around South Africa.  
   Mel Green is a Graphic Designer, Painter, and Illustrator. He still makes music as a songwriter and performs regularly  around Boston, USA...
 
  Watch this space and your local media for news of future shows!
We are pleased to announce our South African Booking Agent:To inquire about future shows, please contact Rael Birns at Rael@raelbirns.co.za  or at 081 452-1100

Once upon a time in the 60s...

How Mel & Mel met: where they performed; when Julian joined the band; who they met along the way; their influences and the key people in their brief, but sweet career ... and what they're up to today. Enjoy!

Links in the M,M&J Chain...

Influences & Earworms...

Two young guys singing in an art school classroom at lunch hour to appreciative listeners, and the realization that they had something special.

Key people and places in their career:

The Troubadour Coffee/Steakhouse in Johannesburg, THE folk club where it was happening!

Gary Bryden, Brit folkie, who got Little Mel up on stage at the Troub in the first place.

Keith Blundell, who auditioned Mel & Mel and who without hesitation offered them a weekly gig at the Johannesburg Troubadour..

Des Lindberg who kept them on at the Troubadour as headliners, when they weren't playing full-time at their long hotel residencies.

Ben Segal, quiet folk fanatic and founder of SAFMA, the South African Folk Music Association, and 3rd Ear Music, who opened his vast collection of music and his hospitality to the guys. 

Johnny Kongos, friend and a hit-making rock & roller, who encouraged them & introduced them to...

John E. Sharpe, a wonderful bluesman, who was managed by...

Billy Forrest, South Africa's greatest C&W singer and mentor to many young musicians, who became their manager, friend and guiding light.

Brenda Newfield, a wonderful folksinger, who gave Mel  & Mel some of their first gigs, and who opened up her home & her record collection to them, thus helping them expand their repertoire. 

David Sapire, a photographer and a fan who also helped with their repertoire, and who most significantly... introduced Mel and Mel  to his brother Julian!

Mike Dorsey, entrepreneur & club owner on the Durban music scene, became a fan, a mentor and helped the band in many ways.

Their influences. They  listened to everything possible, at parties, record shops, friend's living rooms, records and reel-to-reel tapes... absorbing everything that appealed to their evolving musical tastes and their developing musical skills. 

See the BLOG PAGE which has a list of recording artists and songs which first caught their ear(s) and whose styles and genres were adapted to suit their style, carrying on the "the folk-process" down in South Africa.

 

Historic Reference

In 1994 Mel, Mel & Julian were acknowledged and included in the book, "History of Contemporary Music in South Africa"...taking their place as one of few notable folk groups to make an impression on the evolving contemporary music scene.

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Crazy Words (Washington at Valley Forge)

01:31
Mel, Mel & Julian
Ager, Yellen

Story

Mel, Mel & Julian found a Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band LP and brought it down to Durban with them mainly to listen to, what for them was a unique form of music... They wanted to include it in their repertoire, and a good friend of their's – Peter Clifford, who played in a Durban band called "The 004" came by one afternoon and showed them how it should be played in true ragtime style, using closed chords up the neck of their guitars. For Julian the solution was obvious, but to Mel Green it was a revelation and opened up a whole new way of playing. Audiences loved this song: Mel Miller would introduce it and pull his comb out of his back pocket, wrap a piece of foil from a cigarette package around it to make a kazoo-like instrument... and Mel Green would sing high falsetto harmony and play two harmonicas! 

Lyrics

 

Yellen/Alger (1926)

 

Washington at Valley Forge

Freezing cold but up spoke George

Said vo-do-de-o, vo-do-de-o, doe

 

Crazy words, crazy tune

All that George could croon and swoon

Was vo-do-de-o, vo-do-de-o, do

 

On his uku-lele, daily

He would strum, beedle-um-bum

Dancing, prancing

And then he'd holler, "Red hot mama!"

 

Crazy words, crazy tune

All that George could croon and swoon

Was vo-do-de-o, vo-do-de-o, do

Washington at Valley Forge

Freezing cold but up spoke George

Said vo-do-de-o,(vo-do-de-o, doe

 

Crazy words, crazy tune

All that George could croon and swoon

Was vo-do-de-o, vo-do-de-o, do

Crazy words, crazy tune

All that George could croon and swoon

Was vo-do-de-o, vo-do-de-o, do