Mel Waiters was a renowned singer and songwriter who specialized in southern soul and blues music. He was born on June 25, 1956 in San Antonio, Texas, and started his career as a DJ and performer in local clubs and military bases. He rose to fame in the 1990s with his hit singles “Hit It and Quit It” and “Got My Whiskey”, which became anthems for soul lovers. He recorded several albums with Malaco Records, and was known for his smooth vocals and catchy tunes. He passed away on May 28, 2015, after a long battle with cancer, leaving behind a legacy of soulful music and loyal fans.
Early Life and Influences
Mel Waiters was born as Melvin Waiters to Melvin and Mary Waiters. He had three siblings: Michael, Mark, and Michelle. He grew up in a musical family, and was influenced by his father, who was a gospel singer, and his uncle, who played saxophone. He also listened to artists like Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, and Bobby Womack, who inspired his singing style. He attended Sam Houston High School, where he sang in the choir and played drums in the band. He also learned to play keyboards and guitar, and formed his own group called The Classmates.
Career and Success
Mel Waiters started his professional career as a radio DJ at KEDA, where he played soul and blues music. He also performed at nightclubs and military bases, where he gained popularity and recognition. He released his debut album, I’m Serious, in 1995, which featured his first hit single, “Hit It and Quit It”. The song was a smash hit on the southern soul circuit, and established Waiters as a rising star. He followed up with his second album, Woman in Need, in 1997, which included his signature song, “Got My Whiskey”. The song was a huge success, and became a staple at parties and juke joints. Waiters signed with Malaco Records in 1999, and released his third album, Material Things, which made it to the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album also contained his hit single, “Hole in the Wall”, which was a tribute to his favorite venues. Waiters continued to release albums with Malaco Records, such as I Ain’t Gone Do It (2001), Throw Back Days (2003), How You Gonna Act Like That (2005), and Everything’s Going Out (2008). He also collaborated with other soul artists, such as Sir Charles Jones, Theodis Ealey, and Latimore. He was nominated for several awards, such as the Blues Music Award, the Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year Award, and the Jackson Music Award. He was also featured on the cover of Living Blues magazine in 2007.
Death and Legacy
Mel Waiters was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and underwent chemotherapy and surgery. He continued to perform and record music, despite his illness. He released his last album, True Love, in 2015, which was dedicated to his wife and fans. He also performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April 2015, where he received a standing ovation. He died on May 28, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 58. He was survived by his wife, Ruby, and his four children: Melvin Jr., Melinda, Melisha, and Melody. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in his hometown. He is remembered as one of the most influential and beloved singers of southern soul and blues music, who touched the hearts of millions with his voice and songs.