Singer-Songwriter Mel McDaniel From Okmulgee Dead At 68

Friday, April 1st 2011, 11:25 am
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -- Country singer Mel McDaniel, whose good time songs included "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" and "Louisiana Saturday Night," has died. He was 68.

Darleen Bieber of Schmidt Relations, publicist for the Grand Ole Opry, said Friday that McDaniel died of lung cancer Thursday night at his home in Hendersonville.

He was a regular performer on the Grand Ole' Opry, beginning in 1986.

McDaniel was a native of Okmulgee. He was born in Checotah, but was raised in Okmulgee where he graduated high school in 1961.

Okmulgee is proud of its native son Mel McDaniel, recording artist and star of the grand ole opry.

"He never forgot us, and I promise you people here will never forget him," said Herman Brown of the Okmulgee County Times.

Herman Brown, longtime editor of the Okmulgee Daily Times, says Mel McDaniel was a hard working yet very personable artist.

"You didn't feel like you were talking to a quote star, you felt like you were talking to a friend who just happened to sing way better than most people," Brown said.

Mel McDaniel was known for his high energy good-time songs. Paul Brown at KOKL radio has been playing some of those songs to honor McDaniel.

Like the one that shot McDaniel to stardom. And another that is his most recognizable one.

"Whenever he was little, he would always drag this old guitar around and this old beat up cowboy hat," Brown said.

Brown grew up with McDaniel and says he always wanted to be a singer and song writer.

"His dream was to sing on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry," he said.

That dream came true; McDaniel was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and in 2006 was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

8/3/2006 Related Story: Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame Inductees For 2006 Announced

"Mel was country music, country guy," Brown said.

Those who knew him, listened to his music, and loved him say they'll miss Mel McDaniel. A unique talent that made Okmulgee and Oklahoma proud.

McDaniel is survived by a daughter. Funeral services are incomplete.