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Johnny Melton 
Square Dance Caller
ID: 1437

Johnny Melton  

Posted to Facebook April 2, 2018: Last weekend we caught up with 96-year-old, Johnny Melton, the first person to lend his voice to an Arizona record label. He began to record for Old Timer Records in 1950, and they released a half dozen records featuring his "calling" for fiddle based groups, Roy Sexton and his Arizona Hoedowners, and Clay Ramsey and The Old Timers. This was all done in the same studio in Phoenix where Lee Hazlewood, Duane Eddy, Al Casey and Sanford Clark would eventually record their earliest groundbreaking records. Johnny is still living in the same house he's been in for 70 years, since 1948. He was an active square dance caller and instructor for years, but retired several decades ago. We were at his house to purchase his Masco square dance caller's PA that he acquired in the early 50's upon the recommendation of Johnny Schroeder (of Schroeder's Playboys), along with several metal canisters of 78rpm records. He used this tube powered turntable with attachable speakers for years, and it still works like a charm! He even took this PA out on tour through the western states, performing in Ouray, CO, Yellowstone National Park, Boise, ID, Spokane, WA, and San Jose, CA, etc. Johnny has a great memory and is such a pleasure to talk with. He really is living history.

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Recordings by Johnny Melton:
Old Timer   
Double The Dose / Spinning Wheel  (sample clip) (cue sheet)  Singing Call, Old Timer 8016
Four Gents Star or Sutters Mill / Cowboy Loop  (sample clip) (cue sheet)  Singing Call, Old Timer 8017
Inside Out Outside In / Yucaipa Twister  (sample clip) (cue sheet)  Singing Call, Old Timer 8074
Virginia Reel / Brown Eyed Mary  (cue sheet)  Patter (two vocals), Old Timer 8051