Mel and Tim

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Mel & Tim
Origin United States
Genres Soul
Years active 1969–1970s
Labels Bamboo, Stax
Past members Mel Hardin
Tim McPherson
"Backfield in Motion" redirects here. For the American football rule, see motion (American football).

Mel and Tim were an American soul music duo active in the 1960s and early 1970s, and best known for the hit, "Backfield in Motion" (1969). They are also well known for: "Hope, Life's Goal" and "Starting All Over Again" (1972).


Melvin McArthur Hardin and Hubert Timothy McPherson were cousins from Holly Springs, Mississippi, who traveled to Chicago where they were discovered by Gene Chandler. Hardin's mother and McPherson's aunt, Yolanda Hardin, along with cousins Walita, Catha, Donny and Darris Maxwell helped the duo with their writing and publicity. Yolanda, a former singer, signed them to a recording contract with her Bamboo Records record label, and they recorded their own song, "Backfield in Motion". It was immediately successful, reaching #3 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart and #10 in the pop equivalent in 1969. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] Their follow-up song was "Good Guys Only Win in the Movies", which was also the name of their first album.

Hardin and McPherson subsequently moved to the Stax label, where they recorded a second Top 5 R&B hit with the ballad "Starting All Over Again". Released in the U.S. in June 1972, the record climbed to #19 on the Hot 100 and stayed on that chart for 20 weeks.[2] It was their second million seller, taking five months to shift that number of gramophone records.[1] This was also the title track of their second album in 1972, recorded in Muscle Shoals and produced by Phillip Mitchell. They performed at the Wattstax charity concert that year, but later recordings could not repeat their earlier successes.

Tim McPherson died in 1986.[3]

"Starting All Over Again" was covered by Hall and Oates in 1990 for their album Change of Season.


Chart singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions
US Pop[4] US
1969 "Backfield In Motion" 10 3
1970 "Good Guys Only Win In The Movies" 45 17
1972 "Starting All Over Again" 19 4
1973 "I May Not Be What You Want" 113 33
1974 "That's The Way I Want To Live My Life" - 79
"Forever And A Day" - 88


  1. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 264 & 316. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1990). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Seventies (8 July 1972 through 18 November 1972). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-076-8. 
  3. ^ Tim McPherson at Discogs
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 465. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B Singles: 1942-1995. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 299. ISBN 0-89820-115-2. 

External links[edit]