It may come as a surprise to some who know me, but for a number of years I didn’t follow Melanie Safka’s music and career very closely.  I loved her songs when I was a pre-teen in the 70s (hearing them first from my older sister’s record player in her room).  I collected some more of her LPs in my teen years.  I was most familiar with and loved her music of the 60s and 70s.  I headed off to university in the early 80s and my following of her music career drifted.  Eventually I started to play my old favourites again from time to time and I collected a few more “Best of..” collections on… yes, cassettes and CDs!

Social media ushered me into a whole new way of enjoying and experiencing her music again.  It started with YouTube searches and then I discovered that Melanie, now in her 60s, embraced social media too!  The 15 year old me would never have predicted I would follow Melanie on Twitter and read her blog.

Just when I think I have scouted out most of her early performances and my favourites on YouTube, I find new gems.  She still has quite a fan base uploading her tunes and covers.  She also has an official YouTube channel as well as SoundCloud, a blog, a Facebook page, etc.

In a previous music related/musing post of mine, I had wondered who Tim Hardin was and that led me to learning that he sang If I was a carpenter at Woodstock.  In the post, I mentioned other musicians who did covers of that song since he died.  Melanie also sang at Woodstock, but I didn’t realize that she also did a cover of Hardin’s song in the past.  I came across it on YouTube recently.  Interestingly, it is an audio from an original acetate recording in 1968.  The YouTube post’s description claims that it has never been previously recorded or released on an album and the person who created the music video commented further,

This was taken from one of the acetates I borrowed for one day from Melanie’s Mom. I transferred all the tracks from three acetates to Reel to Reel Tape. You can hear slight clicks from the acetate easily.”

And then I realized I didn’t know much about acetate recordings.  Wikipedia helped clarify.  How cool, this “transfer” of music — from a rare “demo” recording on acetate to reel to reel tape to video upload on the internet.  I’ll take it!  I only had two possible opportunities in my past to see her live in concert, but circumstances and timing of other events prevented such.  She is still doing some performances in other countries, so maybe one day…