Melanie, a husky-voiced singer-songwriter, was one of the surprise stars of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival and two years later had a No. 1 single with “Brand New Key” as a disarming child. She is 76 years old.
Her death Announced on social media By his children, Lila, Geordie and Beau Jarrett. No cause or location was specified.
Melanie, born Melanie Chatka in 1947, was only 22 years old, but was already on the New York folk scene when she appeared in Woodstock. She was one of three women who performed unaccompanied at the festival — and, as she later recalled, she was terrified of performing in front of a much larger crowd than the coffeehouse audience she was used to.
It started to rain before she took the stage, and she later said that the sight of people in the crowd lighting candles inspired her to write “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” he recorded with gospel-style backing from the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Released in 1970It peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his first hit.
Her biggest hit, “Brand New Key” Its simplicity captivated listeners but created controversy – and was reportedly banned by some radio stations – because some people said “I've got a brand new pair of roller skates/You got a brand – new key.” She acknowledged that the words could be interpreted that way, but insisted that this was not her intention.
“I wrote 'Brand New Key' in about 15 minutes one night,” he said in an interview. “I thought it was beautiful; Kind of an old 30s tune.
“I think a key and a lock have always been Freudian symbols, and very obvious ones at that. There's no deep serious expression behind the song, but people read things into it.