R.I.P. Southern Soul singer Mel Waiters (1956-2015)

(May 28, 2015) A Southern Soul singer and songwriter hailing from the East Side of San Antonio, Texas, Mel Waiters' unique brand of straight talking, regional flavored soul largely appeared on the Billboard Blues Charts, landing no less than three Top 10 Blues Albums, including 2010’s I Ain’t Gone Do It (peak #3). Best known for such party singles as “Hit It And Quit It,” “Hole in the Wall,” “The Smaller The Club,” and “Got My Whiskey,” the former radio DJ of KEDA and KAPE San Antonio and popular entertainer broke through as a solo artist in the mid-1990s with his debut album, I’m Serious, and carried a recording and live performance career as a soloist that spanned 20 years. Sadly, he reportedly died after a brief bout with cancer at the still tender age of 58.

(May 28, 2015) A Southern Soul singer and songwriter hailing from the East Side of San Antonio, Texas, Mel Waiters' unique brand of straight talking, regional flavored soul largely appeared on the Billboard Blues Charts, landing no less than three Top 10 Blues Albums, including 2010’s I Ain’t Gone Do It (peak #3). Best known for such party singles as “Hit It And Quit It,” “Hole in the Wall,” “The Smaller The Club,” and “Got My Whiskey,” the former radio DJ of KEDA and KAPE San Antonio and popular entertainer broke through as a solo artist in the mid-1990s with his debut album, I’m Serious, and carried a recording and live performance career as a soloist that spanned 20 years. Sadly, he reportedly died after a brief bout with cancer at the still tender age of 58.

Musically reared in Jacob's Chapel United Methodist Church and area clubs, the former East Terrace projects kid began his work in the industry as a radio DJ, military base entertainer, and as a singing drummer for various cover bands throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, including the Gotson Brothers Band. Signing to the Serious Sound label, in 1995 Waiters released his debut LP, I’m Serious, which featured the breakout “Hit It and Quit It,” and its quick follow-up, Suki-Suki Man, in 1997. That same year, Waiters ultimately landed a deal with his long-term label home, the legendary, Mississippi-based Malaco/Waldoxy Records, home of such Southern Soul icons as Denise LaSalle, Johnnie Taylor, and Marvin Sease. With a steady stream of regional hits and national bestselling blues albums, Waiters released six more albums with Waldoxy over the next 11 years, gaining a dedicated following on the festival and cruise circuit for his dapper attire, bawdy sense of humor, and strong bluesy soul vocals. He’d close out his career releasing his final two projects, Got No Curfew (2012) and Poor Side of Town (2013), on his Brittney Records label, named after his daughter.

Mel Waiters died following a brief battle with cancer just a month shy of his 59th birthday. Waiters is survived by his wife, Portia, and daughter, Brittney.

By L. Michael Gipson

 
Video of the Month - Kea Michaels - "Not My Friend"
Choice Cut - Chris Jasper - "Have I Told You Lately"
Song of the Month - Tracy Cruz - "Your Love's Everything"

Leave a comment!