There is a growing trail of people across two continents whose souls and minds have been seduced, rent asunder, raised to the uttermost heights of elation and dropped to the depths of an abyss of dejection by the 21-year-old voice, songs and performances of a New York girl composer called Melanie.
It began less than a year ago when Melanie wandered into a New York music publisher's office and it grew in the wake of a coast to coast promotional tour, among the cynics and hardened inhabitants of the record business, and has now overflowed into Great Britain.
Born in New York, Melanie's musical instincts were inherited from a jazz-singing mother and flowered whilst at school.
Whereas most children excel in mathematics or English, Melanie's sole interest was music. This caused her to be regarded as rather an outsider especially as her mode of dress was a little different to the rest of her class. This enforced isolation had the effect of making Melanie more determined to be different and her dress and behaviour became more and more individual.
After leaving school she went to an American college of dramatic art. She stayed for two years, not really enjoying it, because she had no real ambitions in the theatrical world, but she learned much as regards the way she puts over her songs in such a way that the people who heard them would understand what they were all about, and would be able to share to such a degree in the emotion of the song.
At the end of her two year course at the college, she left and joined a summer theatre where she performed in several children's plays. She left the summer theatre after two months and then began six months of aimless wandering, not really knowing exactly what she wanted to do, and having no person to guide her.
After six months of wandering round New York playing her guitar in bars, she finally managed to get an audition for a New York Play. By mistake she went into the wrong office and found herself in a music publisher's where she met producer Peter Schekeryk who, seeing her guitar, asked her to sing.
The stunned Mr. Schekeryk persuaded her to become associated with his company, and with her subsequent union with Buddah Records this most extraordinary musical snowball began to roll.
The key to Melanie's success is her extraordinary ability to communicate through her songs.
At this stage in her career she has difficulty in expressing her opinions and subjects, which isn't surprising as she is only 21, but if you talk to her long enough and let her sing, you can find out a tremendous amount about what she thinks and what she feels, and the strangest thing of all is that the feelings and emotions in her songs are those of someone of much greater age and experience.
She will sit there, an attractive girl with very dark eyes and long black hair and she will sing her songs straight at you - and she has the ability to make thirty people in a room feel as individuals that she is singing to them and them alone and she communicates the emotion of her songs to a tremendous degree and probably more so than any other singer in the world today.
It is this rare ability that has got her this far and has made people like Bill Graham, who controls Filmore West auditorium in San Francisco, offer her a concert when she has had no real success with records.
She is a quiet, happy person who thinks ill of nobody and has fortunately gathered no bitterness although she's been travelling a very hard road in a very hard business.
Her professional age six months ago was that of a child, but if a child can achieve the success that she has so far, then one can only guess what a year of experience will show..
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