|Birth name||Melissa Prewitt|
|Genres||R&B soul, blues|
Etta Britt (Melissa Prewitt, born Lancaster, Kentucky) is a Nashville-based R&B, soul and blues vocalist. Successful and sought after in the role of supporting artist, in 2012, Britt was approached by songwriter Sandy Knox (Reba McEntire) and music industry executive, Katie Gillon, to be the first artist to sign with Wrinkled Records as a featured artist.
The Prewitt family (Arthor, Amanda and Melissa's seven siblings), moved from Lancaster, Kentucky to Louisville, Kentucky when Melissa was in the second grade, Melissa was raised in Louisville and attended Fern Creek High School. While away at sixth grade camp, Melissa won the talent competition, marking the point in her life when she knew she wanted to perform.
Pet-named Etta by her sister, who in return, is pet-named Myrna, the origin of these names is obscured or forgotten. Melissa started singing in the fourth grade, her sister, a cousin, and a friend sang in a gospel quartet and performed for local church-groups. As a young girl singing along with The Supremes, Melissa aspired to be more like Mary Wilson rather than Diana Ross because she loved singing harmonies.
Melissa (at the time credited as Melissa Dean), approached Dave Roland (of Dave & Sugar) for an audition with the band and replaced the departing Vicki Hackeman in January 1979. During Melissa's tenure with Dave & Sugar (1979 to 1984), the band toured with headline acts that included: Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, Gallagher and Conway Twitty. Melissa is credited on four Dave & Sugar albums including the Billboard Magazine Country Singles #1 hit, "Golden Tears". Additional trips to the Top 10, Country Singles chart, include: "My World Begins And Ends With You" #4, "Stay With Me" #6 and "Why Did You Have To Be So Good" #4. The group had continued success with eight additional Country Singles chart hits from 1980 through 1982.
In 1984, Melissa was residing in Nashville, Tennessee and married to studio guitarist Bob Britt, the couple soon had two daughters to support. No longer with the defunct Dave & Sugar trio, Melissa (Britt) took work waiting tables and cleaning houses while securing her real estate credentials, she also explored songwriting and singing as much as circumstances would permit. Bob Britt's reputation as a guitarist was growing, credited on Leon Russell's, Solid State (1984), he toured with The Dixie Chicks, John Fogerty and Wynonna Judd, ensuing credits include, Bob Dylan's, Grammy Award winning, Time Out Of Mind (1997).
According to AllMusic, the early credit for the Etta Britt stage name is on Paul Metsa's, Whistling Past the Graveyard (1993). At some point, Melissa's sister had called the studio, asking to speak with Etta, Bob wrote the name "Etta Britt" on a track-sheet and the name combination later became Melissa's stage-name.
Never giving up on her singing career, Britt had developed a soulful blues style as a soloist, slightly outside of the Nashville, country music, genre. Etta's talent had been noted by Sandy Knox while working on Knox', Pushin' 40, Never Married, No Kids (2000); in 2012, the two had a chance encounter at a writers-night event. Knox, a songwriter with Grammy Award nominated works, heard Etta's compositions during her stage performance earlier that evening and invited her to lunch. Britt had prepared for the lunch, which also included music industry veteran Katie Gillon, with the expectation of discussing a deal on a song, not a recording contract.
Britt's record deal, signed at age 53, and a well received freshman album, Out of the Shadows (2012), hitting the Living Blues Magazine’s chart at #20, attracted the attention of Marlo Thomas at the Huffington Post who writes: "This story is about a woman who sacrificed the spotlight to help her family survive, and has been given the chance to take center stage with her very own record deal more than 20 years later!" The NBC Today Show ran a feature story on August 25, 2012, covering highlights of the Huffington Post article, "Out Of The Shadows - Mom Signs Record Deal At 55", and includes video from an opening performance for Delbert McClinton at B.B. King's New York on July 27, 2012.
Out of the Shadows (2012 LP)
|1.||"Dog Wants In" (Etta Britt)||04:32|
|2.||"High" (Etta Britt)||04:05|
|3.||"The Chokin' Kind" (Etta Britt)||04:04|
|4.||"Leap of Faith" (Etta Britt feat: Delbert McClinton)||04:14|
|5.||"In the Tears" (Etta Britt)||05:31|
|6.||"I Believe" (Etta Britt)||03:28|
|7.||"Quiet House" (Etta Britt)||05:09|
|8.||"The Long Haul" (Etta Britt)||03:58|
|9.||"Make It Fast" (Etta Britt)||04:21|
|10.||"Fallin'" (Etta Britt)||03:41|
|11.||"The Bigger the Love (The Harder the Fall)" (Etta Britt)||03:56|
|12.||"She's Eighteen" (Etta Britt)||03:55|
- Etta Britt is also published under the names, Melissa Dean and Melissa Britt.
|1979||Stay with Me/Golden Tears||Dave Rowland & Sugar||Primary artist
(Billboard Magazine Country Albums #20)
|1980||New York Wine, Tennessee Shine||Dave Rowland & Sugar||Primary artist
(Billboard Magazine Country Albums #47)
|1981||Pleasure||Dave Rowland & Sugar||Primary artist
(Billboard Magazine Country Albums #31)
|1993||Whistling Past the Graveyard||Paul Metsa||Vocals, Vocals (Background)|
|1996||After Dark||Engelbert Humperdinck||Vocals (Background)|
|Another Man's Sky||Royal Wade Kimes||Vocals (Background)|
|Scattered||Big Kat Kaylor||Vocals (Background)|
|1997||Greatest Hits||Pam Tillis||Vocals (Background as M.Britt)|
|Live: If That Ain't Country||David Allan Coe||Vocals (Background as M.Britt)|
|Anthology||Dave Rowland & Sugar||Vocals (credited as Melissa Dean)|
|1999||American Street||George McCorkle(Marshall Tucker Band)||Vocals (Background)|
|Here's Your Christmas Album||Bill Engvall||Main Personnel, Vocals|
|2000||Blue Collar Comedy Tour Live||Blue Collar Comedy Tour||Vocals|
|Pushin' 40, Never Married, No Kids||Sandy Knox||Laughs, Vocals (Background as M.Britt)|
|2001||King Kong Serenade||Allen Shadow||Vocals|
|Rare + Well Done: The Greatest & Most Obscure Recordings||Al Kooper||Vocals see sample|
|2002||New Ground||Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise||Vocals (Background)|
|Red White and Blue Forever||Mark Farner||Vocals (Background)|
|2004||Days of Our Lives||James Otto||Vocals (Background)U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 61|
|I Give My Heart||John Berry||Vocals (Background)|
|Ridin With the Legend||Keith Bryant||Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)|
|2005||A Fifth of Good Whiskey Blues: A Collection of Contemporary Blues Songs, Vol. 5||Etta Britt||Primary Artist (Track #7 “Mama's Got Her Gun”)|
|2006||From the Heart||The Four Tops||Vocals (Background as M.Britt)|
|Long Stone's Throw||Dan Mahar||Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)|
|2007||Between God And Country||Andy Hersey||Vocals (Background)|
|Blame It on the Margaritas||Howard Livingston & Mile Marker 24||Vocals (Background)|
|Everybody's Brother||Billy Joe Shaver||Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)|
|Live It Slow||Keith Bryant||Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)|
|2008||2 Man Wrecking Crew||Cedric Burnside||Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)|
|Best of B.J. Thomas [Curb]||B.J. Thomas||Vocals (Background)|
|Cash Cabin Sessions||Vince Mira||Vocals (Background)|
|Love And Money||Chuck Cannon||Vocals (Background)|
|Shake Rag||Joel "Taz" DiGregorio||Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)|
|2009||Gale House Storybook||Spady||Vocals (Background)|
|Vince Mira||Vince Mira||Vocals (Background)|
|2010||Bout Damn Time||Kentucky Thunder||Group Member|
|Joy of the Journey||Jimmy Eugene||Vocals (Background)|
|Sweet Home Alabama: The Country Music Tribute To Lynyrd Skynyrd||Various artists||Vocals (Background)|
|2012||What the Hell Is Goin' On?||Paul Thorn||Vocals (Background)|
|Out of the Shadows||Etta Britt||Primary Artist|
|2013||Advice from a Father to a Son||Scott Ramminger||Vocals|
|The Living Room Sessions||B.J. Thomas||Primary Artist|
|The Way Life Goes||Tom Keifer||Vocals (Background)|
|1979||Dave & Sugar||Vocal Group of the Year||Nominated||Dave Rowland, Sue Powell, Etta Britt |
- Weiss, Lori (7 November 2012). "It Ain't Over: Out Of The Shadows - Mom Signs Record Deal At 55". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- C.M. WILCOX; Hallie Pritts (23 May 2012). "Five Questions with Etta Britt". California Country. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Etta Britt". Biography. Wrinkled Records. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Laura, Shine (6 September 2012). "ETTA BRITT IN-STUDIO". WFPK Radio Luisville. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- Brennan, Sandra. "Dave & Sugar Rowland". Artist Biography. AllMusic. Retrieved 12 October 2013. "In 1977, Frantz tired of touring and was replaced by Sue Powell; the following year, Hackeman was replaced by Melissa Dean, and Dave & Sugar had their first number one hit, "Tear Time.""
- "Dave & Sugar Rowland". Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved 13 October 2013. "1979 "Golden Tears" Billboard Country Singles 1"
- "Dave & Sugar". Biography. MusicCityAttractions.com. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Bob Britt". Credits. AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Etta Britt". Credits. AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Poster, Leslie (3 October 2012). "Press Pass:". Etta Britt. Falls Church News-Press Online. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- DiLorenzo, Kris (4 January 2013). "Etta Britt:". Out of the Shadows. Rock's Backpages. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Etta on Today Show". Video Link. Wrinkled Records. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- DiLorenzo, Kris (1 August 2012). "Delbert McClinton and Etta Britt, B.B. King’s Club in New York, July 27". Rock's Backpages. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- Moore, Darrell (10 January 2013). "B.J. THOMAS RE-‐IMAGINES HIS GREATEST HITS WITH SPECIAL GUESTS VINCE GILL, LYLE LOVETT, KEB’ MO’, ISAAC SLADE OF THE FRAY, RICHARD MARX, STEVE TYRELL AND MORE FOR THE RELEASE OF "THE LIVING ROOM SESSIONS" THIS SPRING". Press Release. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Etta Britt". Out of the Shadows. AllMusic. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- McGee, David (May 2012). "Beyond the Blue". Into The Light. TheBlugrassSpecial.com. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Melissa Dean". Credits. AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Melissa Britt". Credits. AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Dave & Sugar Rowland Stay with Me/Golden Tears". Awards. AllMusic. 1979. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Dave & Sugar Rowland New York Wine, Tennessee Shine". Awards. AllMusic. 1980. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Dave & Sugar Rowland Pleasure". Awards. AllMusic. 1981. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1979". CMT. 1979. Retrieved 12 October 2013.