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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Little Beggarman

02:28
Mel, Mel & Julian
Traditional/Public Domain

Story

Like many traditional Irish songs, this one is rollicking and full of nonsensical fun, as only Irish songs seem to be... It gave Big Mel an outlet in song for his wonderful comedic sense and acting skill. 

Lyrics

Well, I am a little beggarman, a begging I have been
For three score or more in the little isle of green
All over the Liffey and down to Segue
I'm known by the name of auld Johnny Dhu 

Of all the trades a going, begging is the best
When a man gets tired he can sit down and rest
Singin' for his supper when there's nothing else to do
When I come around the corner with me old rigadoo 

I went to a barn, went down to Currabawn
Got down on the floor and I slept till the dawn
Holes in the roof and the rain seeping thru
Me toes froze together in me little beggar shoes 

Buy a pair of leggings and a collar and a tie
A nice old lady you will find by and by
Buy a pair of leggings and I'll color them blue
For a foxy old lady I'll make her too 

I met a little flaxen haired girl one day
Good morning little flaxen haired girl, I did say
Good morning little beggarman how do you do
With your bags and your rags and your auld rigadoo 

Who should I waken but the woman of the house
With her white spotted apron and her calico blouse
She began to frighten so I said boo
Sure, don't be afraid, it's only Johnny Dhu 

Over the road with me pack on me back
Over all the fields with me big heavy sack
Over the hills with the moon peeking through
Singing, skin a ma rink a doodle on me auld rigadoo 

I must be going to bed, it's getting late at night
The fire is all out, so out goes the light
Now you've heard the story of the auld rigadoo
So good night and God be with you, this is auld Johnny Dhu