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Mel Street


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.

Written by Ivan M. Tribe


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