Song of the Day: LeGrand Mellon “Baby Please Don’t Go”
LeGrand Mellon is an American actress who guested as ‘Miranda’ in the mid-60s TV show, the spy/western hybrid The Wild Wild West starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. These days, that title is probably more closely associated with the preposterous 1999 steampunk remake starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline.
Marketed as a young but accomplished siren to rival contemporaries like Nancy Sinatra and Ann-Margret, LeGrand Mellon was seemingly plucked from the stage lot and dropped into the recording studio for a trio of singles for Columbia Records. “Baby Please Don’t Go” / “Summertime” was the final release after “Everybody But Me” / “Growin’ My Own” and “Move It On Over” / “The Sound Of The Blues.”
Her version of the blues standard “Baby Please Don’t Go” (itself originally adapted from the folk traditional by Big Joe Williams in 1935) is a unique, hard-hitting take, led by a buzzing 12-string folk-blues lead with enough fuzztoned, in-the-red distortion that dances on the edge of psychedelia. The overall effect shimmies and swings hard with horns and thunderous drums, creating an amazing garage-lounge hybrid. Mellon’s delivery is charmingly off-key in spots, but she delivers with just enough attitude to pull it off. The song is truly deserving of a mid-60s cinematic party scene.
As introduced by Columbia Records on the debut single, “Everybody But Me” / “Growin’ My Own”:
“What’s in a Name?”
In this name lives a warm, exciting and completely delightful young lady who sings like a dream, and, as you can see, is classic in her beauty.
LeGrand’s background encompasses studies in arranging and composing, extensive dramatic experience and a career as a professional photographer.
“She has never sung before” …a statement you will find hard to believe after you’ve her first Columbia recording.
We think we have something special in LeGrand Mellon… what do you think?
Ostensibly the public weren’t as excited about LeGrand Mellon as Columbia’s promotion department because a full-length release never followed. After flooding the market with the “Everybody But Me” debut, subsequent singles weren’t as well-distributed and are now relatively rare.
UK indie guitar band and 60s aficionados The Primitives covered second single “Move It On Over” on their Echoes and Rhymes album in 2012, attesting to Mellon’s enduring cult appeal.
LeGrand Mellon went on to more localized fame as an influential New York socialite, actively supporting philanthropic causes.
Because they’re so great, here’s the animated credit sequence from Wild Wild West: