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

Grand Ole Opry member Mel McDaniel, 68, lost his battle with cancer yesterday (March 31, 2011). Best-known for such classic hits as “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On,” “Take Me to the Country,” “Stand Up” and “Louisiana Saturday Night,” Mel, a native of Checotah, Okla., was inducted into the Opry in 1986 and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

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.

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