A REUNION? COMING SOON!


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

A REUNION IS "IN THE WORKS"!
The band is planning to re-unite in South Africa in 2018 for a few dates in the Johannesburg area... Where? When? To be arranged soon, so please watch this space for details!

We are pleased to announce our booking agent: Please contact Rael Birns at Rael@raelbirns.co.za or 082 452-1100

 

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 professional Graphic Designer and Illustrator by day, is a songwriter and sings solo around Boston, USA...
   So, please watch this space and your local media for news of future shows!

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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Erev Shel Shoshanim

02:25
Mel, Mel & Julian
Dov & Hadar

Story

This beautiful love song from Israel is sung here entirely in Hebrew... it was one of the few "foreign" songs frequently requested and sung by Mel & Mel even before Julian joined the band. The title translates as "Night of Roses"... according to Wikipedia, its melody is often used as in Jewish weddings, as a replacement for Here Comes the Bride. It is well known not only within Israeli and Jewish music circles, but known throughout the Middle East. The song has also been translated into Armenian, in which language its title is "Yarus (O, Rose!)".

The music is by Yosef Hadar and the lyrics are by Moshe Dor. The song was first recorded in 1957 by singer Yafa Yarkoni, and a year later by the duo HaDuda'im (from whose version this version was adapted). Their version became a smash hit in Israel. The Dudaim toured the world extensively in the '60s, and "Erev shel Shoshanim" became one of their international signature songs. During the '60s and '70s the song was recorded by various international singers, including Harry BelafonteNana MouskouriDaliah Lavi and Miriam Makeba.

Lyrics

Erev shel shoshanim, neitsei nah el habustan 
Mor b'samim ul'vonah, 1'ragleich miftan.

Chorus:
Lailah yoreid l'at, v'ruach shoshan noshvah 
Havah elchash lach shir balat, zemer shel ahavah.

Shachar, homah yonah, rosheich malei t'lalim 
Pich el haboker shoshanah, ekt'fenu li.

(My translation below, poetic license invoked.)

The evening smells of roses

As we walk to the grove so sweet

Where myrrh, and spices and frankincense grow

To  make a carpet for your feet.

Nightfall falls oh so slow

A breeze of roses gently blowing

Let me whisper a song of love to you 

In this arbor your face is glowing.


A dove coos soft at dawn

Your hair sparkles with drops of dew

Your lips are like roses in the morn

I will pick the reddest one for you.