Melville Orson Swayze (Born June 5, 1943) is an American Musician best knowned for his Solo Career]. He has worked with The Guests, Blossom Worth, and Empires. He has also carried a large career stretching from the 60's to present time.
Mel Swayze has gained fame for his ingenious use of Lyrics and Melodies and experimenting with different Genres. He has recorded 78 Albums of which 40 albums have reached higher than platinum, 10 reached at least gold and others have received attention from fans. He has also worked with other groups and collaborated on more than 200 albums. He is one of the most successful artists of all time, but only slightly passes Paul McCartney on record sales.
Swayze was born in Topeka, Kansas to Henry Polke and Catherine Fleur Swayze on June 5, 1943. His Father was a Barber and his mother was a Singer in a Band called "The Seven Sisters" which didn't last long. He moved from Topeka to Little Rock, then moved to Minneapolis when his mother wanted to join a band called "The Cherry Girls". They lived in Minneapolis until Swayze was nine years old when he was then demonstrating musical talent. He was then inspired to take place in his school's music program in the cities and began a long education. By age 18, he was accepted into the Minnesota State University for Education in the Music Industry.
Beginning of CareerEdit
Swayze began with a group called "The Dandelions" which lasted for a short while, but never got anywhere. He finally joined up with a Band called "Roadside Wonders" which recorded two albums and received some attention from the Gospel Charts. He quit the band and started a group called "Meddlesome Youth" which lasted for a short while until 1964.
Red Road and AfterEdit
Swayze met Andy Roadhouse, a small Music Producer who helped him get together a band called "Red Road which would garner the album, Red Roads Across The Nation which became a hit on the Country Charts and the Pop Charts. They would later record one more album called My Father's Land which became a minor success on the charts. Red Road then disassembled as it was growing older. By 1965, Swayze began a solo career releasing a Rock and roll album entitled Highways Beyond Heaven which experimented with studio equipment and instruments. It received some attention on the Mainstream Charts and some on the Pop Charts, but did not garner a Single.
Breakthrough And ProducingEdit
Swayze was not content with the People in the Record Companies and began his label, "Swayze Record" which released only one album by him called Horsemen Do Ride Onward which was a more Pop Oriented Album than his last one. It received a large amount of attention as it reached a high spot on the Mainstream Charts, giving him a beginning. He then released Fortune of a Country Boy and Did You Think I Was From Dixie? which both became major successes on the Country Charts. From there, he became interested in Psychedelic Music and began studying it. He received want to become a Producer of these kind of Albums and he began his career.
By The Time the 60's ended, Swayze became focused on producing an Album for a group called "Fire And Brimstone" which was a small group that ended in 1970. Swayze went searching for another group in the 60's and found a group called Thomas Reyman and The Guests. He helped them get a headstart with their career and became a drummer for the band. He was fired from producing because he did not have the headstart as some of these major producers had, so he just played drums for the band for a while. He did also experiment with some Keyboard instruments with them and became a synthesizer user himself during this time, but it wasn't until 1976 when he decided to mess around with it for a while longer.
Breakup of the Guests and Solo CareerEdit
When The Guests Broke up in 1978, Swayze began his solo career with a firm headstart. He Recorded his first solo album in 10 years entitled Griffon I which experimented with Keyboard styles and guitar techniques. He also used some drumming techniques while looping. He then released his next album Skyway in 1980 which became a minor success on the Rock Charts as it combined elements of Progressive Rock and Blues together and created a Led Zeppelin Sound. Swayze then released the album Griffon II in the same year as he began to experiment even further. He soon developed his storyline for a Concept Album.
His next album, Dragging The Lion's Feet experimented with Funk and Gospel fused together. It failed terribly and Swayze stated, "It was My Worst, but it could've been my best."
He then recorded the Album Loverboy which experimented with Rock and Electronic Music. It received some attention on the Rock Charts and a single was released for The adult contemporary Charts. He then released the Album Griffon III which continued the storyline and acted as an In-between of Griffon I and Griffon II.
Major Success and Reunion of The GuestsEdit
Swayze released in 1982 his first Synthpop Album in a trilogy entitled For The Love of Robot-Kind which became a Huge Success Topping US Charts and UK Charts. After The Album came off the Charts, He Released Chronicle which inspired the story Chronicle by Jethro Donahue who wrote several books based off of Swayze's Albums. It became another major Success and finally he released one other album that year called Hellish Tires which was more Rock than Synthpop, but it still received attention.
In 1983, after seeing the Movie WarGame, Swayze was inspired to release his album Dinah, using Synthesizers and voice Distortion, he created a minor success with the album and a novel entitled Vector Gamma, Dinah was released by Jethro Donahue. Swayze then released Griffon IV, returning to his Progressive Rock sound. It told more to the story and as it happened, Donahue released a book entitled Griffon which became a Nebula Award Recipient.
The Next year, Swayze watched the movie Adiemus, he began researching Classical Music and began his journey into composers like Bach and Mozart, leading him to release his experimental album Changer Stranger which was called an Entire Suite on the Track Listing as it took on the form of a suite itself. The Next album he released was called Mozart's Fantasy which became his biggest success involving Synthesizers and becoming a recipient of the Grammy Award.
For the Next Three years, he recorded Six Studio Albums and Began the group Blossom Worth which was a major success, but in 1987 he reunited with the Guests to Record their last album. When they disassembled again, Jackie Akyroyd joined Swayze to form the group Empires.
Empires released Two Albums entitled Empires That Rise and Fliker which both experimented with Rock and Metal. Blossom Worth then released their Albums Monday Year and Standing Your Ground. Swayze then began the group Terminus which released an album called Foundation which takes inspiration from Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. Swayze then releases the album Griffon V which experimented with Progressive Metal.
In 1994, Swayze did a collaboration of Empires and Terminus that made the album Foundation And Empire, inspired by the Novel of the same name. Swayze then released with Blossom Worth the albums Triumvirate which inspired the novel Axis of The Galaxy written by Donehue.
For the Next Five years, Swayze released more solo albums including his next biggest hit, Aristotle. Empires Broke up in 1997 after releasing Four More Albums, Terminus broke up in 1998 after the lead Guitarist got killed in an Accident. Swayze then focused on his music career and began developing New Age Albums.
In 1999, he released the album Color Scheme of Heaven which experimented with many different Traditional Instruments, producing a New Age sound unique to him. It received a Grammy Nomination and he went to Gold status with the Album.
2000's and 2010'sEdit
Swayze then did a Collaboration with Thomas Reyman on the album Planetary Movement which involved usage heavily on Electronic Sounds and Traditional sounds. It also received the Grammy Award for New Age album.
The Next five years Swayze Released more albums and began his current group Griffon where he continued his Griffon story. He then collaborated with artists like Meatloaf and Dream Theater, working with Kitaro and jon Anderson as well. Then he received a heart attack which put him in a coma for Three Days. When he woke up, he claimed he saw heaven and released the album Standing In Heaven and What I Saw There which became a major hit on the New Age Charts.
He continued releasing albums on these different groups and was entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Solo Artist.
See Also: Mel Swayze Discography
Mel Swayze lives now in Utah with his wife Harriet who is an Editor for the "Old Tyme News" which is a semi-annual magazine that is given to people part of the Pioneer's Club. He has had Four children over the years named Joshua Swayze, Jon Swayze, Hannah Swayze, and Charol Swayze, only two of which have become musicians. He found while doing his Genealogy that he had a brother named Gideon Swayze who was taken under the custody of his Aunt Marie Swayze. He had exchanged letters with him in the past, but now frequently visits him. Gideon is also a Composer of Classical compositions.