- Melba Toast
Melba Toast, “The Toast of Country Music” is renowned as a blond ultra-maxi bouffant singer/songwriter/comedian/actress/MC and promoter. Ms. Toast has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, “The Jon Stewart Show”, “The Late Mr. Pete Show”, “The Extreme Gong Show”, "The Marty Stuart Show", CMT’s “Countdown 2000” and VH1, among others. Melba co-hosted the popular early Saturday morning radio show “Country Sunrise” on KCSN 98.9FM with Tom Willett and Mark Thornton, where she met Cliffie Stone and craig, and became their protegee, performing with them at various events and promotions.
Melba was a central figure in Los Angeles’ roots music scene for over 10 years, performing with her 6-piece band, Melba Toast & her Nutty Buddies, as well as with her all-girl band The Ironin‘ Maidens & The Hungry Housewives Band, including regular appearances on Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance. Melba produced an annual Christmas benefit for 8 years that included Country Music Hall of Fame legend Cliffie Stone and produced performance extravaganzas such as “The Alamo Jets” (with Leslie Anderson and Ms. Patti Thornton) and “Melba Toast Presents “The Wonderbread Years” featuring an all-prison song segment “Plowboys in Prison” and a hillbilly fashion show including performers Tom Kenny (voice of Sponge Bob), Russell Scott & his Red Hots, Archie Francis (The Corn Man), The Plowboys and others at The World Famous Palomino Club in North Hollywood and a Hula-billy Hoedown at Jack‘s Sugar Shack in Los Angeles. Melba also created and hosted the well-received bi-monthly showcase for female artists, “Girls’ Night Out!” and hosted The Sunset Junction Street Fair in Hollywood, CA and The Long Beach 4th Street Fair in Long Beach, CA for 6 years. Miss Toast was also a featured performer for 5 years in Cliffie Stone‘s Family Jamboree in Newhall, CA.
Named CCMA’s 1991 Horizon Artist and nominated for Vocalist of the Year in 1995, Melba was pre-nominated for six Grammy Awards in 1995. Ms. Toast also had the distinction of performing as the featured vocalist with The Victor Valley College Symphony Orchestra (1997) in Apple Valley, CA. Ms. Toast appeared and sang in the film “Bug Buster” starring Randy Quaid. She also appeared in the independent films “Dear Mr. Cash”, “Lucy’s Dream” and “My Next Funeral”, as well as having appeared in the music videos of LeAnn Rimes, Dwight Yoakam, Wylie & the Wild West, Cledus T. Judd, The Ramones and The Cramps.
Born on 9/24/56 in Wichita Falls, Texas, Melba was an army brat and grew up in Texas, Oklahoma, Germany, Georgia and Yuba City, California. Ms. Toast attended Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA where she majored in Graphic Design. Melba also pursued a career as a fine artist, performance artist and playwright. Melba later moved to Los Angeles, CA where she created and developed her stage persona now known as “Melba Toast”, recorded with Johnny Legend on “Trust Me” Records, put her first band together and developed a variety of shows and events, and produced her first all-original 10 song CD titled “Consider Me” (2000) on Lorelei Label (LL1)(including the duet “Back to Bakersfield” with Wylie & the Wild West’s Wylie Gustafson!). The CD features Dani-O on lead guitar, Russell Scott on upright bass, Kenny Lord on drums, Marilyn Young on acoustic guitar and Matt Margucci on steel, accordion & coronet, with guest performers Jim Novak & Will Ray.
Melba‘s first Nashville band, “Melba Toast & her Fancy Assortment” featured musical director Bob Collins on bass, Nick Kane (The Mavericks) & Brian Scott on guitar, Austin Pate on drums & percussion, Ron Sherer on steel and Wayne Marsh on keyboard. This band was featured weekly in the series “Alt. Country Hoedown” hosted by Melba & co-produced by Suzette Renee Lawrence from 2000-2001. Melba’s current band ”Melba Toast & her Tomato Pickers” (featuring hollerin’ boys “The Field Hands”) premiered at the 2007 Tomato Arts Festival in East Nashville and features Mark Thornton (Jerry Reed) on guitar, Ruth Griffin on bass, Kenny Griffin on drums, Mike Fried on pedal steel and various guest "Hollerin‘ Boys".
Melba’s seasonal band is called Christmas Tree-O and features Mark Thornton on guitar and Suzette Lawrence on guitar and vocals and features an all-Christmas set list. Melba continues to perform around Nashville, either individually or with her bands, including an appearance on Billy Block’s Western Beat Roots Revival, a performance with Little Miss Tammy Smith when she opened for Unknown Hinson in 2007 and continues performing improv comedy weekly on Nashville’s public access station’s hit program “The Bat Poet Show” .
Melba also performs a series of educational children’s programs each summer for the Nashville Public Library, preschools and other children’s venues as “Cowgirl Melba”, “Miss Solar System” and “Springtime Melba”. Melba produced and starred in"The Melba Toast Christmas Special" for Metropolitan Educational Access Corporation’s Music City Arts TV9 in Nashville, TN. Ms. Toast is currently developing a weekly educational children’s program suitable for syndication. Toast was married on 9/16/01 to "Mr. Toast". The couple happily reside in Nashville, TN.
Melba’s powerful and excruciatingly beautiful voice and presence, performance art background, wild theatrics and masterful showmanship combined with friendly humor and genuine warmth help her to spread the “Melba Message”, which is to love who you are. Melba is a genuine and authentic female country comedic presence.
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