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Terence "Terry" Melcher was a prominent American record producer, songwriter, and musician known for his contributions to the music industry during the 1960s and 1970s.
Melcher had a fascinating career marked by significant achievements and notable collaborations. Here is a detailed history of Terry Melcher:
1. Terry Melcher was born on February 8, 1942, in New York City, USA, as Terrence Paul Jorden. He later adopted the surname "Melcher."
2. He was the son of Doris Day, a famous actress, and Martin Melcher, a successful Hollywood agent and producer. Growing up in a show business family, he was exposed to the entertainment industry from a young age.
3. In the early 1960s, Terry Melcher began pursuing a career in music. He formed a folk-rock duo with Bruce Johnston called "Bruce & Terry" and released several singles, including "Custom Machine" and "Summer Means Fun."
4. Melcher transitioned into record production and made a significant impact on the music scene during the mid-1960s. He became associated with the burgeoning folk and rock music scene in Los Angeles.
5. One of his most notable collaborations was with The Byrds, a pioneering folk-rock band. He produced their debut album, "Mr. Tambourine Man," which included the hit title track and helped establish the folk-rock genre.
6. Melcher also produced other influential artists and groups of the era, including Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Mamas & the Papas, and Glen Campbell. His production work contributed to several chart-topping singles and albums.
Connection to the Beach Boys and Charles Manson:
7. In 1968, Terry Melcher had a connection to the Beach Boys. He co-wrote and produced songs with the band, including "Kokomo."
8. Perhaps one of the most infamous aspects of Melcher's life was his association with Charles Manson. Manson and his "Family" briefly stayed in a house that Melcher had previously rented in the late 1960s. Melcher had met Manson through mutual acquaintances in the music scene but had no interest in furthering Manson's music career. This house, known as the "Tate House," later became the site of the Manson Family's infamous murder spree in 1969, including the murder of actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time.
9. After the Manson Family murders, Terry Melcher experienced significant trauma and withdrew from the music industry for a time.
10. He eventually returned to music production and worked with artists such as Ry Cooder and Bruce Johnston.
11. Melcher also delved into other creative ventures, including real estate and the development of artists' recording studios.
12. Terry Melcher passed away on November 19, 2004, at the age of 62, due to melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Terry Melcher's contributions to the music industry, particularly during the 1960s, continue to be celebrated. His work as a record producer helped shape the sound of that era, and his collaborations with iconic musicians left a lasting impact on popular music. Despite the dark chapter in his life associated with the Manson Family, Melcher is remembered primarily for his significant role in the music of the 1960s and 1970s.