Melba Moore, the singer and actress, is interviewed by DiscoMusic.com member, Dayna Newman.
The following is an interview with singer and actress Melba Moore kindly conducted and provided by DiscoMusic.com member, Dayna Newman. This is a phone intreview and will not be VERBATIM but almost...
Hi Melba, Thank you so much for allowing me to do this interview. I hate stuffy interviews so I'm going to make it fun and informal. I have some of my own questions and some great members of DiscoMusic.com have submitted some as well.
Thank you Dayna, That's fine with me.
Standing Right Here
Ok here we go, were you afraid that doing disco would compromise your Broadway career especially after winning a Tony award?
Not At all. If anything it helped it even Ethel Merman did a Disco album.
Broadway always tried to be hip. Basically it was a white bread kind of avenue but they brought in people like Stephanie Mills etc to hip it up to make it enjoyable for a more diverse audience. Basically hard core disco fans were theater fans as well so There was no threat at all.
That's very true, I never really thought about it that way, very good thinking!
You were the first African American woman ever to replace a white woman on Broadway, Diane Keaton you replaced. That's quite an achievement!
Yes, Diane Keaton went straight from Hair to Play It Again Sam. "Woody Allen" Broadway actually started from the Jewish community.
I didn't realize that. Do you think being called a Disco diva is in anyway restrictive or too boxed seeing that you have been successful in every other aspect of show business you were involved with?
NO, it's an honor and I know that Disco isn't all I can do so it's not restrictive.
You have been there at the beginning of disco all the way till the end were you coerced into doing disco or was it something you felt passionately about?
Disco is still around it's just called something else. You see artists like Martha Wash, Cheryl Lynn and know the music is still alive.
"You Aint Never Lied~!!" "Both of us laugh"
It was about the songs, the material, they were wonderful songs plus you have the remixes the different versions. All my disco songs are well constructed and stand up today, I don't look back and think that's silly or that isn't good so no, I wasn't coerced.
That's the truth; those songs will never be anything but fabulous.
Melba, you have worked with a lot of great producers, out of all of them which did you really click with and like working with the best?
Jean McFadden, John Whitehead and Paul Lawrence.
Bernie Lopez, the publisher of DiscoMusic.com wanted me to ask how you met Paul Lawrence.
Freddie Jackson brought Paul to me, he was the best for me like a vocal coach, and he would work with you until you got it right.
The public doesn't know the process it's not like any other business. No one ever thinks about what its like for the artist.
Are you in contact with any of the old Hush production members?
Not at all! And won't be unless it's in a court of law. Charles Huggins and Ann Thomas are white collar criminals "you can quote me on that."
What about Clifton Davis?
Same thing as Hush, He has damaged me and never tried to set it right!
I have never gotten any closure. I just continue to rebuild my life despite all the obstacles and keep jumping over the holes that are still there.
Sorry to hear that, but you are a survivor and it sounds to me like you have your priorities straight and in line. I know you have a very spiritual side and that's wonderful.
The Church is a part of me and in everything I do.
What was it like working and recording Time To Come Home with Beyonce; Who I think is very talented, but doesn't have your vocal range or polished sound.
She can crank things out. She's ridiculously talented, has a great work ethic and she's so beautiful and tall she makes everyone else look short and ugly. And Cuba Gooding Jr. was cracking me up when he was acting like he had no rhythm while dancing, Neither of them had any negativity only positive.
Girl he's so cute!
Yes he is gorgeous.
One of the DiscoMusic.com members called Remicks would love to know about Van McCoy and if you liked working with him.
Van McCoy was very easy to work with, I had to bring his awareness to the fact that he wrote Lean On Me because he was so Disco oriented and had done some wonderful songs that weren't Disco such as ballads.
Do you think today's music is too massed produced and isn't given that personal touch?
There is still a lot of great music out there, but CEO's of music companies don't have backgrounds in music they have backgrounds in business. So they push music whether its good or not. It's all about who has the money to put behind something be it good or not! Plus we have taken music out of schools. We didn't give this to our kids.
I know that's right... Other artists "your peers" have thrown their hats back into the ring so to speak, and while not being very well received by the younger listeners they were well done solid releases I think you sound just as fresh on "My Heart Belongs To You" as you did in the 1970s so any plans for some new R & B or dance material?
Yes, I'm going to go to school to learn how to finance because I can do the rest.
Ok., I'm excited as I know everyone else at DiscoMusic.com will be too. So in other words Miss Melba Moore is gonna be Comin Atcha~!
Yes. .something like that "joyful laughter."
Thank you so much Melba you are a delight We will be looking for new projects from you while at the same time enjoying the ones that you have already given us.
My pleasure, thank you Dayna.
Records by Melba Moore
- You Stepped Into My Life (12")
- Pick Me Up I'll Dance (British 12")
- Standing Right Here b/w Living Free (British 7")
- Standing Right Here (Promo 7")
- I Can't Believe It (It's Over) (12")
- Love's Comin' At Ya (12")
- Mind Up Tonight (Promo 12")
- Good Love Makes Everything Alright (Promo 12")
- Standing Right Here (12")
- This Is It (LP)
- This Is It (7")
- Mind Up Tonight (Belgian 7")
- Pick Me Up, I'll Dance (12")
- You Stepped Into My Life (12")
- Burn (LP)
- Melba (LP)
- Look What You're Doing To the Man (LP)
Listen to You Stepped Into My Life:
Listen to the album version of Pick Me Up, I'll Dance:
Listen to the John Luongo 12 inch extended remix of Pick Me Up, I'll Dance:
Listen to the instrumental version of Pick Me Up, I'll Dance:
Listen to Love's Comin' At Ya:
Listen to Mind Up Tonight:
Melba you are the epitome of class and elegance..
What a great talent and person you are.
This beautiful woman sang songs that had passion. From YOU STEPPED INTO MY LIFE, to the inspirational THIS IS IT, to PICK ME UP I"LL DANCE. She always had a record that got air time in the late seventies and early eighties.
Watching her live was a thrill, her smile would radiate across race and ethnic barriers bringing joy and delite to her followers. It was a honor to be on stage with her. GOD BLESS!
Wonderful interview, and I sure hope more are planned as I've always wondered what many of my favorite disco artists and producers from the past are doing now.
I was a bit surprised that Melba had such strong feelings about a couple of people she's worked with in the past, but I think it was wise not to ask her to elaborate.
I would have liked to have known what she was feeling when she did "Underlove", that song has a bumpin' beat... and why on EARTH was it left off her "Best of" CD?