Mel Carter | The Heart & Soul of Mel Carter

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Jazz-Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
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The Heart & Soul of Mel Carter

by Mel Carter

A musical expression of classic songs in the tradition of Sinatra, Eckstine, Fitzgerald, with jazz and blues flavoring.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heart and Soul
4:18 album only
2. It May Sound Silly
3:44 album only
3. Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone / Who’s Sorry Now
3:12 album only
4. Cry
3:23 album only
5. Tomorrow Night
4:39 album only
6. I Worry About You
2:58 album only
7. Where or When
2:44 album only
8. The Glory of Love / You’ll Never Know
6:24 album only
9. Too Soon to Know
3:11 album only
10. If It’s the Last Thing I Do
2:55 album only
11. I Don’t Care Who Knows (Baby I’m Yours)
3:43 album only
12. Heart and Soul (reprise)
3:47 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Let me take you on a personal musical journey and feel the joy I had of remembering special moments in my life connected with the songs I’ve chosen for this CD. I was a big fan of Hoagy Carmichael in my teens, seeing and hearing him do his songs in films. One of these was “Heart And Soul” which was the second most played song at parties, next to the number one being “Chopsticks.” The Cleftones had a doo wop hit with this song in the fifties. Here’s my take on it.

In 1957 I recorded an Ivory Joe Hunter song called “I Need You So” for Mercury Records. Among the other songs submitted to me was “It May Sound Silly.” This minor hit for Ivory Joe Hunter later became a mega-hit for the McGuire Sisters — and now this was my chance to keep the hit going.

When I first came to Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Gloria Lynne — what a singer! She did this album in the sixties with Hal Mooney’s orchestra, in which “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone” and “Who’s Sorry Now” were two cuts that totally blew me away. I decided to couple these two songs together, and well, just take a listen and see what you think.

Johnny Ray was the first male singer that I heard who had emotion in his singing. Prior to him, all the male singers I listened too had this deep, macho sound. One of his biggest songs, “Cry,” had this bridge that he just exploded on — it was perfect, made it his song. I approached it in a different way and I hope you like my tribute to Johnny and the song “Cry.”

I had the pleasure of working with the great Laverne Baker who scolded me for whistling in the dressing room. She had this huge hit, among many, “Tomorrow Night.” Well, in my research, I found a recording of Lonnie Johnson, the great blues singer, so I thought I would try my hand or voice (smile!) at doing a traditional blues song, Mel Carter style.

Remember what I said earlier about the male singers with the macho sound? Two of the best ever were Billy Eckstine and Arthur Prysock. Both of these guys had hit recordings that I loved and one, I just had to do, was Arthur Prysock’s “I Worry About You.” The strings on that Old Town record were just too much for vinyl.

I don’t know what Rodgers and Hart must have thought when they heard the Belmonts’ version of “Where Or When” — or how pumped up they must have been when they heard Betty Roche’s version with Jack McDuff on the organ. Now I’m putting my version out there in the universe — so, listen up Richard and Lorenz!

In the fifties, there were these fabulous R&B groups that I loved. I won’t mention all the ones I liked — only those connected with the songs I’ve decided to do on this CD. The Five Keys did a recording of “The Glory of Love” and this song is a must for all of those who are in love. I put it together with “You’ll Never Know” — a song I heard Alice Faye sing in the film “Hello, Frisco, Hello.” This is for lovers only.

Sonny Til and the Orioles were the most fluid R&B group I ever heard, and this man’s voice was like cream being poured over fresh berries. Of all the hits they had, the one that stood out for me was “It’s Too Soon to Know” and this song is one of my all-time favorites. Ready — Set — Go!
Dinah Washington! Just saying her name was music to me and the clique of friends l ran around with as a teenager. She was the diva of all divas who could go from blues to jazz to ballads and be most effective in all of them. I chose “If It’s the Last Thing I Do” — the most memorable song for me by her — and I hope you feel the same way.

I’m lucky that as a teen I got to go to stage shows. They would have the regular movies playing at the theatres during the week, and on the weekends there would be live performances by popular artists of the day. I was at every one of those shows and saw lots of performers. Buddy Johnson and his sister Ella Johnson was one of the acts I saw. Ella was the first blues singer that sang so you understood all the words. “Baby, I’m Yours” was one of her songs that stayed with me through the years.

I hope you enjoyed this musical journey as much as I have enjoyed recording these special songs for you. I give you, “The Heart and Soul of Mel Carter.”

Thanks for listening... MC


Heart and Soul / Reprise
It May Sound Silly
Piano/arr. - Randy Randolph
Bass - James Leary
Drums - Dean Koba
Guitar - Grant Geissman
Trumpet - Charlie Peterson
Trombone - Duane Benjamin
Alto Sax - Tim Messina

Too Soon to Know
If It’s the Last Thing I Do
Baby I’m Yours
Piano/arr. - Randy Randolph
Bass - James Leary
Drums - Quinton Denard
Guitar - Gregg Poree’
Trumpet - Noland Shaheed
Trombone - Duane Benjamin
Alto Sax - Jeff Clayton

The Glory of Love/You’ll Never Know
Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone/Who’s Sorry Now
Tomorrow Night
Piano/arr. - John Rodby
Bass - Kevin O’Neal
Drums - Dean Koba
Guitar - Grant Geissman
Trumpet - Noland Shaheed
Trombone - Duane Benjamin
Alto Sax - Fred Jackson

I Worry About You
Where or When
Piano/arr. - Randy Randolph
Bass - Jeff Littleton
Drums - Quinton Denard
Guitar - Gregg Poree’
Trumpet - Charlie Peterson
Trombone - Duane Benjamin
Alto Sax - Fred Jackson

Produced by Mel Carter
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Randall Tobin
at Theta Sound Studio, Burbank, California
Art Direction by Mel Carter & Theta Media Group
Photography by Denice Duff

©2008 CSP Records mc


This CD is dedicated to my mom (Claudia) and Charles Martin.

A special thanks to Clare Cameron and Larry Kleno, whose support and love have been a big part of this project. A special thanks to Norma Jean for being there always, when I needed someone to bounce off of (thanks Minnie Me). Special thanks to Gladys for the encouraging remarks and sheer joy of just giving of herself to the project. Special thanks to Susan for believing in the project and for just being! (smile). Thanks Ken, Randy, Richard and Pat, Dennis and Lula, Curtis and Yvonne, Lish and Lisa, Zelda, you all know who you are and what you have done for me at a special time in my life — Thank You.

To all of the fans... Thank you for sticking by me for all these years and may our musical journey continue forever!

To Kim, Larry, Kesha, Kellie and all the little ones — to Gary and Ari, Darlene and Darius, Stephanie, I love you all so much — thank you for sharing your love with me.



to write a review

Chuck Benjamin

I programmed classic Mel Carter tunes on my station, TUNEDEX MEMORIES because he had one of the smoothest voices I had ever heard back when my radio was my life. His singles were played on local Cleveland stations OFTEN.... he had a voice and styling that stood out in the ocean of "moptop harmony".

Well, the years have passed, but Mel's voice is better than ever. His gift of interpretation comes through the speakers and you can almost feel his passion as you listen to his silky voice.

My favorites include "Cry", "It's Too Soon To Know" and the Bluesy "Tomorrow Night". I'll be
sharing these and more with our listeners very soon with a "spotlight" show. But don't wait to hear it - BUY IT NOW! You won't regret it!

Chuck Benjamin
Programming Director

Mannie The Poet

Amazingly beautiful
I love the feel of classic music with big band sound to it.. this is exactly that, Mel Carter captures your soul with his voice while the big band sound in the background warms you with his melody... This is a must have cd... you will enjoy it!!! A good gift to mom and dad...

Susan Hutton

Heart and Soul of Mel Carter
More STARS please...5 isn't enough. If angels really do's because this man gave them lessons!!!

Richard Stockton

Listen Up!
Wow - again Mel shows us what a Master Vocalist is, and what other solo vocal artists should strive to achieve. The covers are like slipping into your favorite digs, sipping your drink of choice and getting lucky over and over and over again. Mel brings to music a faultless technique and a rock-solid, cristal-clear range - a true treat for those 'in the know', a rare artistry to experience for new-comers to his music. Should you ever have the opportunity to see and hear Mel in person, Run don't Walk for tickets to one of the finest Jazz Vocalists' to ever grace the stage. BRAVO!

Joe Magnetico

The Heart And Soul Of Mel Carter
This brand new album from Mel is the goods! Mel possesses one of the most unique tones in the business and still going strong! I have to second a previous reviewer who said "Run don't Walk for tickets to one of the finest Jazz Vocalists' to ever grace the stage". Mel is DYNAMITE!