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The musician King Malachi Street (October 21, 1935-October 21, 1978) had a solid career as a country honky-tonk singer in the early and mid-1970s prior to his death by suicide on his 43rd birthday. He was known professionally as Mel Street. Born near Grundy, Virginia, Street gained much of his early experience on radio and television at WHIS in Bluefield, where he lived and performed for several years before making his first hit recording, ‘‘Borrowed Angel,’’ in 1972. Moving to Nashville, he followed with 22 more hit songs, the most significant being ‘‘Lovin’ On Back Streets,’’ ‘‘Smokey Mountain Memories,’’ and ‘‘If I Had a Cheating Heart.’’ However, career pressures evidently took a heavy toll on Street.

This Article was written by Ivan M. Tribe

Last Revised on December 08, 2015


Tribe, Ivan M. Mountaineer Jamboree: Country Music in West Virginia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1984.

Cite This Article

Tribe, Ivan M. "Mel Street." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 December 2015. Web. 27 February 2024.


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