Daily Express (UK) 21 June 1974

Melanie: Melanie: happy happy

Mum's the word for Melanie

by Judith Simons

IN THE tinsel world of show-business there's something endearingly human about American singer-composer Melanie.

When I called at her London hotel she wasn't ready to meet me because she was feeding her nine month old daughter Leilah.

She told me "I have no discipline. I don't work to a schedule. If I did I'd probably have written more songs."

"Just now I'm giving myself a lesson in organisation by trying to produce fine meals with all the courses ready when they should be."

"But I'm still bad at getting my dishes to the table in the right order."

Melanie, in London for a sell-out concert at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Sunday has the dark hair and lively black eyes of her Italian mother…and the wide, high cheek bone of her Ukrainian father.

Her husband-who is also her record producer-Peter Schekeryk is also if Ukrainian parentage. A chance meeting with him-she went into his office by mistake-led directly to her success.

"Peter was the person I was destined to meet," she said, "I wasn't ambitious. I had no sense of direction."

But in 1970, under Peter's guidance he ideas had crystallised into world hits like "Candles In The Rain," "Look What They've Done To My Song Ma," and "Brand New Key."

Some of her songs about childhood are drawn from her own experiences.

"I remember a lot of things other people would forget because I had an uncle who was studying child psychology and he practised on me! Details which other children would have forgotten remained in my mind because he gave them so much attention."

"Altogether I had nice colourful childhood. The only part of my life I did not like was early adolescence. We moved to the suburbs of New York. All the other people seemed to have been there for ever!"

"I was a stranger and I took the attitude for hostility. I wasted a lot of time putting on attitudes to protect myself."

"Now I am 27 and it seems a magical age. I travel around so much I can't think of any one place which feels like home. But I'm perfectly happy to live this way with my husband. And now I have a child I am a more confident and balanced person."

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