'Melanie's the name'
By FRANK JUDGE
News TV-Radio Critic
Born Melanie Safka 25 years ago in Astoria
Queens, New York City, Melanie changed her name when she married Peter
Wither way she figures she wasn't blessed with the kind of name you're
supposed to need to succeed in show business.
So if you ask her what her name is she says its Melanie. Melanie what?
"Just Melanie. The name's Melanie" she insists.
By any name, she's one of the biggest attractions in pop music
These days, and you can catch her act
tonight when she appears in an NMC special "Good Vibrations from
London." Channel 4 is carrying it from 8:30 to 10:30.
FILMED AT A NINE-HOUR rock concert in Crystal Palace Park just outside
London before an audience of 20,000, the program also features English rock
star Joe Cocker, the Beach Boys, Richie Havens and Sha Na Na.
If you're a Lawrence Welk fan, this special is not for you. But if you're a
pop music lover, it's highly recommended.
For me, Melanie is enough of an invitation, Lady Melanie she's known by to
millions of people who have bought her records. She has recorded six hit
albums, almost exclusively consisting of her own songs.
ASK HER to define her music and she does it in negatives.
"It's not hard rock," she says. "It's not folk. And it just
ain't classical no how."
What it is, is Melanie.
Soon she will be on her way around the world on behalf of UNICEF.
It all began with a concert she did last September from the rostrum of the
General Assembly at the United Nations staff party. Invited to perform, she
made such a telling impression that Melanie was named the official
spokeswoman for UNICEF.
"I WOULD REALLY LIKE VERY MUCH TO DO A Christmas concert for
UNICEF somewhere," she says. "I'll probably cry my way around the
worldl on this tour, meeting all those kids. I can't wait to get
Musically, the girl who grew up in Red Bank, N.J., got started many records
ago, the best of which probably was the million-seller "Look What
They've Done to My Song, Ma?"
Just imagine what she could have done with a full name!
thousand fans sat through three hours of London drizzle for this session of
oldies, folk music and hard rock. John Moffit (last season's "Good
Vibrations from Central Park") taped the concert at London's Crystal
Stereo buffs can tune in
WNEW-FM's simulcast for a four-channel effect. (60 min.)
Songs and Performers
People," "Some Day I'll Be a Farmer," "Ring the Living
Bell" ............... ..............................................................
"Rama Lama Ding Dong," "Whole Lotta Shakin'," "Teen
Angel," "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" .................................
Sha Na Na
"Minstrel from Gault," "From the Prison," "Freedom"
.. Richie Havens
"California Girls," "Wild Honey," "Rhonda" ................
"Cry Me a River," "Black and Blues," "Feeling All
Right"..... Joe Cocker
Melanie, composer-guitarist-singer performs some of her songs in
"Good Vibrations '72 From London," the mod musical taped at
London's Crystal Palace Bowl. Tuesday, July 18 (9:30 to 10:30 p.m.) on NBC.