When I was a very young boy, I remembered having a crush on this music singing star. She was big in the entertainment industry and she had the most beautiful face structure. That woman was “Melba Moore.” For those of you who are not “young” enough to know her, she debuted in the hit musical “Hair” and she had a string of hits including “You stepped into my life” and “Lean on me.” Melba’s life would make for a great movie, for she has “truly” endured the “ups and the downs” of the industry. At one point she was one of the biggest stars you could ever imagine. On the flip side of that coin she was at one point on welfare. I have had the honor to play for her on “several” different occasions. We have talked on the phone and I have even done promos for her. Considering ALL that she has been through, you can sense the “positive light” in her whenever you talk to her. She went through some really tough times, but she still looks great and she can “still” hold those high notes for a “long” period of time. If you don’t mind, I would like to share an experience I had with her in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We were opening up at a major venue for the great classic group, “The Spinners” and we didn’t have much time to plan rehearsals, so we literally learned the arrangements of Melba’s songs right in her hotel room on the day of the program. Melba was “really cool” with that, and we even laughed and joked through most of it. When it came time for sound check, we had a chance to hang with the Spinners and their band. The Spinners are a great bunch of guys, and we all had dinner together. The band for the Spinners seemed to have a little bit of an edge, though. We were only a 3 piece unit backing up Melba, while the band for the Spinners featured at least 3 keyboardists and about 10 musicians total. They seemed to relish the fact that they were playing for the “headlining” act and even had the swerve to say to us “Now you guys make sure you do a good job and go out there and warm it up for us.” “Warm it up?” That statement lit a “serious fire” under us, so we huddled together with Melba for a “very uplifting” chat. We were fired up, and even though we only had 3 musicians and Melba onstage we “literally wrecked” the place. Melba could sense how great her band was and she sang like I have never heard her sing before. We were “killing it” onstage. The band for the Spinners was sitting right in front of us and as I was “kicking ass” onstage I made sure I made “strong eye contact” with them. When we finished, we got a “well deserved standing ovation” and for some reason I sensed “worry” in the eyes of the Spinners band. Well, it was “rightfully so” because they couldn’t come close to matching our show. We “warmed it up REAL well” for them, and I am sure they will never forget that.. “ever.” A LOT of people said that we “stole the show.” Melba loved what we did and every time I talk to her we always reminisce about that great day. As a little kid I never dreamed that one day I would actually “perform” onstage for my childhood crush. While time makes a big difference in us all, it was great to see how Melba Moore has recovered so well from the industry demons. I hope that one day you get the chance to see her in concert. I thank you for allowing me to share one of my music moments with you and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Take care and enjoy it to the fullest.
Melba Moore and Brett Jolly in concert