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Mel Carter

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Mel Carter was soul music at its most vanilla, if indeed he could be characterized as a soul singer at all. Although he did record for Sam Cooke's SAR label in the early '60s, by the time he reached his commercial peak with Imperial in the middle of the decade, he was specializing in middle-of-the-road pop ballads. These actually charted considerably higher on the easy listening charts than the pop ones, his biggest smash being the Top Ten pop hit "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" (1965), an update of a composition that predated the rock era. He had a couple of other Top 40 entries over the next year ("Band of Gold" and "(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings"), as well as a few other big easy listening sellers, sounding at times like a more nervous and slightly up-tempo Johnny Mathis. "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" is the song he'll be remembered for, enduring as an oft-played radio oldie for decades after its release. ~ Richie Unterberger

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22 April 1943 in Cincinnati, OH

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s