Mel Street

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Mel Street
Mel Street.png
Street in 1975
Background information
Birth nameKing Malachi Street
Born(1935-10-21)October 21, 1935
OriginGrundy, Virginia
DiedOctober 21, 1978(1978-10-21) (aged 43)
Years active1972–1978
LabelsMetromedia, GRT, Polydor, Mercury

King Malachi Street (October 21, 1935 – October 21, 1978), commonly known as Mel Street, was an American country music singer.


Street was born in Rowe, Virginia to a coal mining family.[1] Publications cite his year of birth as 1933, although his family maintains that he was born in 1935.[2] He began performing on western Virginia and West Virginia radio shows at the age of sixteen. Street subsequently worked as a radio tower electrician in Ohio and as a nightclub performer in the Niagara Falls area. He moved back to West Virginia in 1963 to open up an auto body shop.[3]

From 1968 to 1972, Street hosted his own show on a Bluefield, West Virginia television station.[4] He recorded his first single, "Borrowed Angel," in 1970 for a small regional record label. A larger label, Royal American Records, picked it up in 1972, and it became a top-10 Billboard hit. He recorded the biggest hit of his career, "Lovin' on Back Streets", in 1972.

Mel's last television appearance was on national television in 1977. He performed his 1976 hit "I Met A Friend Of Yours Today" on one of Nashville's favorite TV shows "That Good Ole Nashville Music".

Street continued to flourish throughout the mid-1970s, recording several hits such as "You Make Me Feel More Like a Man," "Forbidden Angel," "I Met a Friend of Yours Today," "If I Had a Cheatin' Heart," and "Smokey Mountain Memories". He signed with Mercury Records in 1978, but suffering from clinical depression and alcoholism, he committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 21, 1978, his 43rd birthday. He had a record debut on the country charts on October 21 as well, called "Just Hangin' On",[5] and later charted four posthumous songs. Street's idol George Jones sang at his funeral.



Year Album US Country Label
1972 Borrowed Angel 14 Metromedia Country
1973 The Town Where You Live /
Walk Softly On the Bridges
1974 Two Way Street 37 GRT
1975 Smokey Mountain Memories 16
1976 Mel Street's Greatest Hits 26
Country Colors
1977 Mel Street 45 Polydor
1978 Country Soul 47
Mel Street Mercury
1980 Many Moods of Mel 61 Sunbird


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1972 "Borrowed Angel" 7 9 Borrowed Angel
"Lovin' On Back Streets" 5 8
1973 "Walk Softly On the Bridges" 11 6 The Town Where You Live /
Walk Softly On the Bridges
"The Town Where You Live" 38 58
"Lovin' On Borrowed Time" 11 7 Two Way Street
1974 "You Make Me Feel More Like a Man" 15
"Forbidden Angel" 16 47 Smokey Mountain Memories
1975 "Smokey Mountain Memories" 13 43
"Even If I Have to Steal" 17 17
"(This Ain't Just Another) Lust Affair" 23
1976 "The Devil in Your Kisses (And the Angel in Your Eyes)" 32 Mel Street's Greatest Hits
"I Met a Friend of Your's Today" 10 Country Colors
"Looking Out My Window Through the Pain" 24
1977 "Rodeo Bum" 56
"Barbara Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" 19 Mel Street (1977)
"Close Enough for Lonesome" 15
1978 "If I Had a Cheating Heart" 9 Country Soul
"Shady Rest" 24
"Just Hangin' On" 68 Mel Street (1978)
1979 "The One Thing My Lady Never Puts Into Words" 17 Many Moods of Mel
1980 "Tonight Let's Sleep On It Baby" 30
"Who'll Turn Out the Lights" 36
1981 "Slip Away" (w/ Sandy Powell) 48


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Mel Street". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  2. ^ Schuler and Delp 2002, p. 23.
  3. ^ Schuler and Delp 2002, p. 46.
  4. ^ Schuler and Delp 2002, p. 51.
  5. ^ Schuler and Delp 2002, p. 243.


  • Huey, Steve. (2003). Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, & Stephen Erlewine. "Mel Street (King Malachi Street)." All Music Guide to Country, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003. ISBN 0-87930-760-9
  • Schuler, Dennis Sr. and Larry J. Delp. "Mel Street - A Country Legend", Charleston, WV: Mountain State Press, 2002. ISBN 0-941092-47-X

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