Friday, April 1, 2011
Mel McDaniel, Grand Ole Opry Star & Singer Behind Hits "Louisiana Saturday Night" & "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" Passes Away
A native of Checotah, Okla., Mel moved to Nashville and landed jobs as a demo singer and songwriter before signing to Capitol Records in 1976.
The singer fell into an unmarked orchestra pit during a 1996 performance in Louisiana, and the fall was devastating. Mr. McDaniel nearly died, and the ensuing years brought several surgeries and ceaseless pain. After that, Mr. McDaniel severely curtailed his live performances, though he remained a crowd-pleaser at the Opry into the new century.
Despite his frail condition, he was able to participate in the Opry's 85th anniversary celebration last fall.
There are unconfirmed reports that he finished a album that will be released posthumously called The Last Ride.