THE AUSTRALIAN Saturday February 28 1976









MELANIE . . . "I now do it the way it happens."




MELANIE was wrapped up in boots, a Bedouin wedding dress and a Romanian blouse when she arrived in Melbourne yesterday for her first Australian concert tour. And where was the little girl voice that made her name and a fortune after Alexander Beetle and Brand New Pair of Roller Skates? She hates that image now. "Oh, no, not that again. I can't do that. I now do it the way it happens and comes across," she said.



Melbourne SUN-NEWS PICTORIAL 28th February 1976


MELANIE SAFKA, in town for promotion work before starting her Australian tour, has been taking time out to record a new single.

She worked from 7pm Tuesday until 2am yesterday on the record, at the TCS Studios in Richmond.

She was due back there after the National Music Awards last night.

The single is a new song she has written called "Remember Me Good".

Melanie will do her first show at Dallas Brooks Hall on March 6.

A fourth Melbourne I show is expected to be announced in a few days.




Australia, Melbourne Sunday Press 7th March 1976

Woodstock rain didn't snuff Melanie's light

WHEN Melanie turned 27 on February 3, 1974, she celebrated by giving a concert at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.

She performed for more than 2˝ hours and her fans responded with a wave of love and appreciation, showering her with gifts and, at the finish according her a standing ovation and clamouring for still more songs, It was a special night - Melanie returning to her home town  to perform on her birthday - yet the feeling in the concert hall was familiar.

 The atmosphere, one critic has called it "an anarchic level of intimacy," was not unlike that which has been generated over the past several years in cities across America, in Europe, Japan, behind the Iron Curtain, in fact wherever Melanie has journeyed on her way to becoming an artist of international acclaim.

 Melanie already has captured many of the industry's major honors, including three gold re- cords, a pair of ASCAP awards for her songwriting, and designations by both Billboard and Cash Box as No 1 female vocalist.

 In 1971. UNICEF paid her a unique tribute by asking her to serve as its official spokeswoman, an Honor Melanie responded to by embarking on a 10-nation tour which netted hundreds of thousands of dollars for the world children's organisation.

 Melanie Safka was born just across the river from Manhattan, in the suburb of Astoria, Long Island, on February 3, 1947.

 Her father. Fred, ran a chain of discount stores. Her mother.

 Polly, a former jazz singer, became Melanie's first musical influence.

"I started writing my own little songs," recalls Melanie, 'mostly imitations of what I'd hear my mother singing around the house. It wasn't until I was 13 or 14 that I began to write about things I found in myself. "

While still in high school, Melanie began singing in Greenwich Village coffee houses, passing the hat for nickels and dimes.

Later, she landed a one-night a week job performing at a Jersey Shore bar, where she earned what seemed to her a staggering amount - $20 an evening.


Melanie did Bob Dylan's "'Mr Tambourine Man", an A. A. Milne poem she had set to music, and even a rousing "Merry Christmas". It wasn't your typical first album.

Her follow-up LP, entitled simply "Melanie", shed more light on Melanie the person. . From the opening track, the defiant "Tuning My Guitar" to the closing tune, the plaintive "Take Me Home", it reflected a newfound maturity, even a disillusionment with her burgeoning career.

The LP also contained "Beautiful People", a song, which has become something of an anthem among Melanie fans the world over, and the only one she never fails to sing at a concert.

In the summer of 1969, Melanie was invited to perform at the Woodstock Festival. Upon getting to the backstage area, she learned that she was to follow Ravi Shankar, who had . just electrified the audience of several thousand with a virtuoso display of sitar mastery.

To make matters worse tt had began to rain heavily. Amid prolonged shouting for still another Shankar encore, Melanie - still relatively unknown - walked out on the stage.

While she sang and strummed her guitar, flames begun to flicker in the darkness. People were holding lit candles aloft as signs of solidarity.

When Melanie completed her set, she exited to the roar of a standing ovation.

The following spring, "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain," her celebration in song of this event was released.

It became a Top 5 single and "Candles in the Rain; " the album which contained it, matched its success, going on to become an RIAA certified gold record

SEM traces the rise to stardom of America's "girl-next-door" singer, Melanie, who will perform at Hobart's City Hall on Wednesday night.


Fresh from graduation. ("They gave me a Senior Award for Best Posture. I guess no one else wanted it! "), Melanie decided-to embark on an acting career.

She enrolled in the American Academy in Manhattan and began the tedious show business shuffle known as "making the rounds". One day, quite by accident, she happened into the office of a music publishing company.

Her songs so impressed Peter Schekeryk, who was employed there, that he guided her to a recording contract. Her first album, "Born To Be" was released soon afterwards.

"Born To Be" immediately established Melanie as a: unique talent with seemingly unlimited potential.

Critics and discerning record buyers alike were drawn to her haunting, fragile voice which she deployed on maternal of striking originality. The record was a curious blend of many elements, among them wistfulness, humor, naiveté, warmth, irony and exuberance.


Australia, Melbourne SUN 12th March 1976



to a


TWO valuable necklaces have apparently been stolen from visiting singer Melanie Safka during her recent visit to Melbourne.


Melanie pictured above wearing one of them, said last night by phone from Launceston that they were gifts from her husband Peter.

         "I didn't really want to Make a story out of it--just want them back," she said.

The necklaces, worth thousands of dollars, were last seen when Melanie arrived in Melbourne



on Feb. 28.

Mr Zev Isaac, who is promoting the tour, said a substantial reward was offered for their return.

One necklace is of heechee shell and turquoise. It is an antique Indian necklace. The other is also an old Indian necklace made from silver and turquoise. It has a turquoise figure of a man hanging front it.




Australia, Melbourne Listener 13th March 1976

"Remember Me Good" - could  there  be a more apt title for Melanie's comeback? Here she is at Channel 9 putting down a track for American  release. The B side hasn't been decided yet.




The 'Ruby Tuesday' girl is glowing again.


Melanie Safka, the girl who 'stole' the hit from The Rolling Stones in I970, is a bubbling re-entry into the pop scene.

Melanie bas quietened down during the past two years since the birth of her two daughters. Leilah and Jeordie.

"Well, it was a creative process which took a lot of my energy - so I had to hive up something." Melanie says.

Melanie and her husband - manager Peter Schekeryk are in Melbourne for her four concerts at the Dallas Brooks Hall.

Originally, only two concerts were planned then three and the fourth was announced during this interview with Melanie at 3XY last week

She was ecstatic, to say the least.

"It's surprising really, because I haven't got a hit record on the charts. and that's usually when there's the demand for more concerts. " said Melanie.

"When I was pregnant with my first child. 1 stopped working because I've always believed that if you're gonna do something properly you've gotta do it right. " This is the first time Melanie has left the children while she has been on tour.

They arc being looked alter by a nanny back home in the States.

'Melanie has no plans for more children "But I said that after the first one, so who knows." she says.

But she has big plans for her career and her latest LP. "Sunset And Other Beginnings" has just been released.

White in Melbourne she recorded a single in the Channel Nine recording studio.

Now 29, the lady by who made popular "Alexander Beetle," "Lay I Down" and "Brand New Key" often thinks of giving it up.

"Maybe I've been pregnant too long" Melanie says as a smile spreads across her plump but beautiful face.

 "But at this, I've had a really strong urge to step out of the whole scene"

Melanie's final two concerts are at Dallas Brooks Hall on Friday and Saturday March 12. 13.




Australia, Melbourne SUN 19th March 1976




MELANIE SAFKA . . . "I had to make a
comeback this year or I would never have made it again. "


Melanie's back
and how!

SHE looked lost on stage, despite the angry glare of a hot pink spotlight focused on her face.


Her guitar hid most of her body as she sat plumply at centre-stage. Her face was covered by reams of long black hair with a slightly ludicrous grey streak on her forehead.

 Yet Melanie Safka was compelling listening at her third Melbourne concert, and the audience at the Dallas Brooks Hall loved every breathy catch, every powerful plea of her strangely lyrical voice.

 After the encores, after her final bows, the fans rushed backstage to touch her, talk to her, seek her advice.

 Melanie loved them for it, and stayed to bask in their adoring gazes.

 Later, at her hotel, Melanie, still excited after the show, reached for her guitar and sang some more.

" As long as  people want to hear me, Ill keep singing - anywhere and any time; ' she said.

 Melbourne certainly wants her. Melanie's two scheduled concerts have been increased to five, and they've been a sell-out every time.

Yet, three years ago, the girl who rocketed to the top of pop, disappeared, leaving a string of hits behind her such as "Lay. Down" "Brand New Key'' and "Ruby Tuesday", to keep her memory alive in the public's mind.

 Her reason for retiring was to have a baby then to have another one.

 When the baby, a girl, Leilah, arrived in 1973.

Melanie was inundated with telegrams, flowers, gifts. When the second child, another girl, Jeordie, was born in 1975, Melanie received two telegrams and one bunch of flowers.

 "That's how I knew my career was on the decline. No one was interested in me any more.

 "I knew I would have to make a comeback this year, or forget about my career altogether; ' Melanie said.

 "But I've changed. I take myself less seriously - maybe that's the result of having children. I used to get frantic if I put on a couple of pounds. Now I think to hell with it. " She says for the first time in her career, she understands what she is singing about.

She was concerned about people living in misery, concerned about the brotherhood of man "We're connected to one another whether we like it or not --concerned about peace in the world.

"I believe in ecstasy, believe some people have moments of divinity and I strive to keep above negativity because we can't escape from what's around us, even if we don't care about it:' She sipped her champagne, resplendent in yet  another peasant styled dress: "God forbid that I should stop caring about others. " Melanie often gives concerts for charity and she hasn't forgotten the years she slogged away in coffee shops in Greenwich Village earning a meagre living.

But oddly enough, singing was not the career Melanie wanted. She was determined to be an actress and studied drama at the U. S.

Academy of Dramatic Arts.

It was while she was on her way to audition in a play called "In Dark of the Moon", that she met Peter Schekeryk, the man who first believed Melanie had something in her haunting voice that was star material.

"I was lost, so I asked Peter for directions," . she said.

Peter was a music publisher and according to Melanie he signed up anybody who looked like a singer whether they were any good or not.

"He noticed my guitar and gave me a paper to sign - I thought he was mad. " "I got the part in the play, but it folded before it was performed because of lack of funds, so I went back to see Peter to find our what I'd signed on for. " It was the turning point of her life. Peter, whom she married eight years ago, arranged a recording session with a major record company and Melanie recorded "Beautiful People" which got instant airplay on New York's underground radio stations.

"The record didn't sell well, but it was played enough for me to make a name," Melanie said.

She made a name, but no firm image of Melanie followed -- even after her hits.

 I've never quite fitted into any Category y and I wouldn't let anyone press me into a certain image.

 Melanie's final Melbourne concert will be held on Saturday, March 27, at the Dallas Brooks Hall . .



 Back to Chronology
Back to Melanie