Sunday, November 21, 2004

Terry Melcher R.I.P.

Terry Melcher died yesterday at age 62 after a fight with melanoma. Melcher was a songwriter and a record producer. He was also the son of Doris Day.

Melcher started singing on his own in the early Sixties. Eventually he formed the a partnership with songwriter and future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. The two formed the group The Rip Chords,who had a major hit with "Hey Little Cobra." The two also recorded as Bruce and Terry. They had two very minor hits with the songs "Custom Machine" and "Summer Means Fun."

In the mid-Sixties Melcher became a record producer for Columbia Records. Melcher produced the first two albums of The Byrds, inluding their hits "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man." He would later produce Ballad of Easy Rider, (Untitled), and Byrdmaniax for the band. Melcher was also the original producer of Paul Revere and the Raiders at Columbia. Melcher produced the band's singles and albums well from 1964 to 1967.

As a songwriter, Melcher co-wrote songs with Bobby Darin ("My Mom") and Mark Lindsay of the Raiders ("Just Like Me" and "Ups and Downs"). He also wrote "Him or Me (What's Gonna Be)" for the Raiders and "Kokomo" for the Beach Boys. Melcher also performed on The Beach Boys album Pet Sounds. Melcher made a bit of a comeback in 1974 with a solo album. He was executive producer on his mother's series, The Doris Day Show and helped run her charities.

I have always been a huge fan of both The Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders. In fact, I would have to say that Paul Revere and the Raiders are one of my favourite bands of all time. As the man who produced the Raiders' early albums and wrote some of their songs, Melcher had a small role in givng shape to my childhood. I have to say, then, that I am saddened by his passing. It is a shame that he had to pass away fairly young.

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