Melinda Schneider in Perth

Melinda Schneider is a leading light of the new-breed of Australian Country music artists both in Australia and the US. She made her stage debut at the age of three and has developed into an accomplished singer, songwriter and performer.

Among the many awards she’s won, Melinda has picked up six Golden Guitars and her songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as John Farnham, Billy Thorpe, Jimmy Little, Olivia Newton-John and Paul Kelly.

Lately her career has seemed to take off in some surprising directions, firstly with her involvement in television’s Dancing With The Stars, and now a new album honouring Doris Day, Melinda Does Doris.

She has dazzled with her dexterity on television’s Dancing With The Stars and has put her country recording career on pause for a moment to indulge a passion that goes back decades. A passion that has resulted in a connection with Universal Music and the shimmering tribute album Melinda Does Doris.

It all began when, in childhood, she laid eyes on Calamity Jane, Doris Day’s 1953 film tour de force and was smitten by all she saw. “She was such a huge talent” she enthuses now, “a triple threat as they say – she could sing, dance and act. I thought then she was the best of everything a woman can be and when I grow up I want to be just like her!  I’ve always loved musical theatre but I had to put a lot of that side of me away when I was making country albums.” But growing up with a yodeling mother and in a broad musical variety environment it was never going to all that far away.

She had been tossing the idea of a classy tribute albums around in the back (and more often than not, the front) of her mind for years and, after those five fine albums of deft, honest, effecting and widely acclaimed original country music, and the unstoppable rise of an instinctive almost visceral desire to revisit some of the sounds that had shaped her, this was an idea whose time had most definitely come. “It was meant to be,” she confirms. “The planets had aligned.”

She joined me on the Morning Café at 98.5 Sonshine FM today. You can hear our conversation by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

Melinda will be bringing her show, Doris Day – So Much More Than The Girl Next Door, to the Regal Theatre in Subiaco from the 12th to the 16th of October.


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Talking to Michael Paynter

Even as a young child it was obvious that he had a special connection with music. At the age of 7 he was learning the piano, at age 12 it was the guitar, and by the age of 15 he was playing drums. Combine that with a big voice and you’ve got a winning formula.

Now at 24, Melbourne born Michael Paynter is releasing a five track EP, Love the Fall.

His musical influences are as diverse as Rick Price, Muddy Waters, Elvis, Blink 182, Sam Cooke, Stereophonics and a range of others. His voice has been compared with the big sound of John Farnham.

You’ll find some of his music here.

Clearly he is a guy who is ready to give the musical world a big shake.

I spoke to Michael Paynter on my morning radio programme today. He’s a great guy and I’m sure he’s got an amazing future ahead of him.

(You can hear a more recent interview I did with Michael here.)

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