Terry Melcher RIP
Mon Nov 22 04:43:47 EST 2004
Terry Melcher, songwriter and producer
Los Angeles Times
Nov. 22, 2004 12:00 AM
LOS ANGELES - Terry Melcher, surfin'-era singer, songwriter and recording
executive who produced the Byrds' No. 1 hits Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn,
Turn, Turn and co-wrote the Beach Boys' well-loved Kokomo, has died. He was 62.
Melcher, who also worked on several projects with his mother, actress and
singer Doris Day, died Friday night in his Beverly Hills home of cancer,
publicist Linda Dozoretz said Saturday.
Helping to shape the California surf, rock and folk music scene in the
1960s, the multifaceted musician sang background, played piano, wrote
lyrics, composed music and produced records and shows, including the
Monterey Pop Festival.
During his famous mother's filmmaking heyday, he often composed songs for
her projects, including the title ballad Move Over, Darling for her 1963
movie with James Garner and Polly Bergen. He also was an executive producer
of her CBS television series, The Doris Day Show, from 1968 to 1972, and
engineered her return to television in the mid-1980s with the show Doris
Day's Best Friends.
In the early 1960s, Melcher formed Bruce & Terry with Bruce Johnston, who
later joined the Beach Boys, and had hits with Custom Machine and Summer
The duo also formed the Rip Chords and recorded such successes as Hey,
Little Cobra, which they released in an album, along with the album Other
Hot Rod Hits. Subsequently, Melcher issued two less successful solo albums,
Terry Melcher and Royal Flush. He also performed backup on albums of his
friends the Beach Boys, including their successful Pet Sounds.
In the mid-1960s, Melcher became a staff producer for Columbia Records and
hit his stride when he was assigned to work with a new band called the
Byrds. He helped craft their fusion of rock and folk into a new and
immensely popular sound, and produced their definitive versions of Bob
Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man and Pete Seeger's Turn, Turn, Turn, as well as
later albums including Ballad of Easy Rider.
The young producer went on to turn the rag-tag garage band Paul Revere and
the Raiders into a mainstream pop group. He wrote such hits for them as Him
or Me - What's It Gonna Be? and The Great Airplane Strike.
Other well-known artists relying on the Melcher touch included the Mamas
and the Papas, Bobby Darin and Glen Campbell.
As Day's only child, Melcher clearly benefited from the halo of her
enormous success in forging his own career and initially even billed
himself as Terry Day. But he also remained extremely close to Day
throughout his life, seeing her through marital and financial strife, and
in recent years devoting himself to managing her projects.
Born Feb. 8, 1942, in New York City to Day and her first husband,
trombonist Al Jorden, Melcher was adopted 10 years later by her third
husband, Martin Melcher, and took his surname.
He is survived by Day, of Carmel, Calif.; his wife, Terese; and a son,
Ryan, from a previous marriage.
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