Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I received a wonderful Christmas card from my friend Conway Stone (who helped me over the years with much research for my book). It features the front of my father's 1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

I share it—and the wishes it brings—with all of you.  Cheers!  Margo

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2016 Glidden Tour

What a fun day I had yesterday!  Barbara Fox, Tour Director of the 71st Revival Glidden Tour invited me to attend their luncheon at the Mount Washington Omni Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH. I had a grand time meeting new friends (several of whom own cars of my father’s) and reconnecting with old friends. I shared a lunch table with Pat Swigart, whose late husband started the Swigart Antique Auto Museum in Huntingdon, PA.

As you may recall, in 1946 my father my father instigated and personally arranged a post-war revival of the Glidden Tour, a prestigious endurance test for autos in the early part of the century. Members of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America turned back the pages of history when they gathered on the morning of August 17, 1946, at 9 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, in front of the Plaza Hotel, to begin the revived tour’s first leg, the 151-mile journey to Albany. Cars had to be older than 1919 vintage. The original tours, funded by financier Charles Jasper Glidden, an ardent early advocate of automobiles as viable transportation, were primarily “reliability tours” to show that cars could complete arduous journeys with relatively little strife. They were held annually from 1905 to 1915 and were the most grueling tests for automobiles until the Indianapolis 500 Race was introduced in 1911. “We brought the Glidden Tour back again,” said my father, “not to test the performance of our cars, but more or less as an excuse to polish ’em up and take them out of the garage.”

Nineteen forty-six happened to be the Golden Jubilee of the automobile industry and the tour was partly to celebrate this milestone. So as not to be embarrassed by cries of “Get a horse!” tour officials arranged for two service vehicles to accompany the group on its 1,200-mile run. One of the major events that made the tour possible was a post-war agreement by Firestone Tire & Rubber Company to resurrect their old tire molds; that agreement, instigated by my father, literally put antique autos back on the road. He also negotiated with Firestone, Texaco, Ford, General Motors, Thompson Motor Products, and International Harvester for assistance to tour participants in return for suitable publicity opportunities. He’d done radio shows for several of those companies—Texaco Star Theater, The Voice of Firestone, and Harvest of Stars—and some years later would host Ford Motor Company’s Ford Festival on TV. His singing career and his car-collecting hobby were never far apart.

Friday, April 15, 2016

New James Melton CD

 I am delighted to announce that Frank Bristow (with the able assistance of Andy Pope, Bill Park and James Drake) has produced a fine new CD.

One of the highlights for me was the inclusion of selections from the "soon to open" Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun, along with brief remarks by Berlin himself. This took place on a "Texaco Star Theater" radio broadcast in the spring of 1946 (seventy years ago!)

 The CD can be purchased by contacting Frank in Australia at Be sure to check out his website too:  So much interesting stiff there!

(There's a second new CD, which I will detail in a later post.)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"September in the Rain"

Recently I heard through a mutual friend that Michael Feinstein (yes, the Michael Feinstein) was looking for James Melton's arrangement of "September in the Rain." (The song is by Warren and Dubin, from the 1937 movie "Melody for Two," in which my father starred.)  I was able to direct him to the University of Wyoming archives, where the bulk of my father's orchestrations reside.  How they got to Wyoming is another story which I will post at a later date.  At any rate, I am so delighted (and flattered) that Michael thinks enough of that music to want to include it in his Great American Songbook Project.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy Birthday

Today is my father's 112th birthday.  Here's a nice photo of him and his mother, taken probably in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Although I haven't posted anything here for a while, I continue to hear from folks who have some connection to my father, and I continue to keep in touch with my "network" of friends, fans and family as new material emerges.

Most recently, I heard from Gary Melton, who is my father's great (or is it grand?) nephew!  I was able to send him a few family photos, including one of all the Melton siblings (including his grandfather, Guyton).

I also had a lovely email from a gentleman in Baltimore who called my father his "boyhood hero," and described in detail a concert in Philadelphia in 1945, during which my father forgot the lyrics to "Soliloquy" from Carousel.  A rare occurrence!

It really warms my heart when people rake the time to track me down with these recollections!

Happy New Year to all!