Melvin Records Round Up

A. The Melvin Records Discography


Their Greatest Unreleased   MM01 1975

21   MM02 1975

Wings Over Atlanta   MM03   1977

When It Says Beatles Beatles Beatles On The Label Label Label You Will Love It On Your Turntable Turntable Turntable   MM04   1978

Ed’s Really Big Beatle Blasts    MM05   1978

The New 21    MM06   1978

(The Move) Omnibus   MM07   1978

Beatles vs Don Ho / Silver Lining    MM08   1979

(John Lennon) Come Back Johnny!   MM09   1979

Visit To Minneapolis EP    MMEP-01   1979

(Ringo Starr) Down And Out?    MS10   1980

Shout/I Forgot To Remember To Forget You 45    MM6-2/MM6-3   1980

Top Of The Pops EP    Brown Cloud Records   year?

John Paul George Ringo In The 1970s    MR-12-S   1980

The 1964 & 1965 Ed Sullivan Shows    MR-14-M   1980


2. Supposedly Planned But never Released Melvin Titles

The 1995 book BLACK MARKET BEATLES lists these for 1981 and 1982 but offer no further information. I have my doubts this is more than just an insider joke, I mean The Beatles Order Lunch, seriously?

It does appear that for whatever reason, Melvin Records either decided to cease operations in late 1980 or 1981 or that decision was made for them.

Howdy Y’all    MM-15-UNREL

The Beatles Order Lunch    MM-17-UNREL

Live Somewhere    MS-18-UNREL

Abbey Road under Construction    MM-19-UNREL

The Best Of Melvin    MM-21-UNREL


3. Not Melvin Records

Apart from Silver Lining, which technically is not a Melvin Records original release, there is of course this imposter:

Wings Over Wembley

A Melvin release with simple POD labels (a label associated with several re-pressings from the old TMOQ catalog)? Clearly not possible.



3. The Ballad Of Fred & Yoko


“[Fred] went to see George Harrison live in Atlanta, attended both of John Lennon’s “One to One” benefit concerts in New York City, and along with a few other fortunate super-fans, talked his way into spending two weeks in 1974 as a fly-on-the-wall in Nashville, while Paul McCartney recorded a never-released Wings album called “ColdCuts.” As Arnold later told an interviewer, “I was aggressive enough to be at the right places at the right time, that’s all.”

Friends recall Arnold disappearing for weeks at a time, and returning with deliberately vague stories suggesting he’d spent time with John and Yoko in New York. As a local fan club president, he’d get offered occasional promotional opportunities, and meeting the band was apparently part of the deal. “John, you just feel in the atmosphere around you that he’s greater than you are,” Arnold told a reporter about his first visit with Lennon. “He doesn’t necessarily feel that way — you just feel that way.” And Ono? “Yoko,” he hesitated, “I just feel comfortable with. She’s very natural, normal, intelligent and intellectual. A bright lady; very bright.”

In the aftermath of the band’s break-up and Lennon’s death, Arnold had discovered the great cause of his life: “My eventual goal is to one day open a Beatles museum in New York and take people on tours,” he told a reporter, who identified him as the “world’s 2nd largest collector of Beatle paraphernalia.” “Of course I could never sell or part with all my souvenirs and memorabilia,” he told her, “but I’d love to talk to people as I have talked to you.”

In the ’80s, Fred renamed his store The Prism and began increasingly to embrace the avant-garde. Friends wondered openly if Yoko Ono’s influence might be to blame. Fennell and the rest of the city’s old-school Beatles-fan community found his interest in Ono baffling, almost treasonous. “He was much more enamored with Yoko than with Lennon,” Fennell told me, still shuddering at the thought. “We found it very weird.”

Melvin Rec Fred A r s

The Prism became an important meeting place for Charleston’s emerging punk community, and Arnold enthusiastically embraced the new subculture. His employees wore facial piercings and spiked collars, and Arnold started booking shows for groups like the Dead Kennedys, developing longstanding relationships with artists like Jello Biafra, Wendy O. Williams and GG Allin. He kept a cage of live rats in the center of his store, a gimmick that appealed to his new customers. Online, you can find a number of nostalgic tributes to the ’80s Charleston punk scene, many of which cite The Prism as a crucial gateway to the underground. (Jack Hunter, a radio host and former writer and aide for Rand Paul, told me he purchased his “entire Sex Pistols record collection there when I was in high school.”) You can imagine the appeal of punk’s proudly outcast ethos to the albino child of a paranoid schizophrenic. For their part, the punks made Arnold into a kind of mascot, “Billy ‘Bino,” and several of the online remembrances contain speculation as to the mystery of his whereabouts.

In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo struck the coast of Charleston. The Category 4 storm brought with it winds of up to 140 mph, and large areas of the city were devastated, Arnold’s store included. He estimated the initial inventory loss at $10,000 — the roof of the store’s warehouse was dislodged entirely in the storm. He lost electricity for two weeks, and, as he told Billboard in an interview the following month, he assumed the resulting lack of air conditioning had inflicted even further damage. Moreover, Arnold had no insurance. “I’ve been in business for over 18 years, and we never had insurance for our inventory,” Arnold said. “We hardly ever have hurricanes here. I think the last one was in 1958.”

Among the objects lost were important pieces of Arnold’s Beatles collection, artifacts of incalculable sentimental value. On top of everything else, there was the cruel fate of his favorite pets. “When the hurricane came, the rats died in the flood,” Durst told me. “It was a sad day for him.” ”

Fred Arnold died a homeless person at the age of 67 when he stepped into the path of a car in December of 2015 in Little Rock, AR.


In closing of the Melvin Records chapter I once again highly recommend this well written article the above quotes were taken from:


  1. Chris said:

    amazing study on Melvin recs. Thanks a lot. keep on rockin´

    • Thanks, Chris, glad you liked it. The only way to go deeper would be to get an interview with Eddie.

  2. YesDays said:

    I also need to chime in and say this has been a terrific series of posts on Melvin Records. It has provided a deeply insightful view of the releases that were produced, and certainly altered my perspective of the label.

  3. Thank you, YesDays – if only I could get paid for doing this… 😉

  4. Chris said:

    How about finding a sponsor and make a documentary video. I´ve seen documentaries about everything in the world but never saw a single one about bootlegs. It would be very nice watching interviews with the original bootlegers while showing the locations of the pressing plants, places that sold bootlegs in the seventies etc…What do you think ?

  5. Who would sponsor that? Also, I did try contacting Vicky Vinyl and Eddie from Melvin but got no response.

  6. YesDays said:

    Getting paid for pursuing and immersing oneself in a hobby, ….yeah, that would be a dream come true. I definitely agree that the vast volume of work and effort you’ve put into this is highly deserving of some form of compensation. Although, I’ve never been sure of your intents, with wordpress and a blog I though maybe you just want a free and open discussion, interaction etc…and not looking for money. Anyway, what you’ve compiled here could certainly be cobbled into a book. And while it would put Hot Wacks and other similar publications to shame, Hot Wacks Press comes to mind as a potential publisher, ..although I’m not sure about their current status of operation. Thanks very much for all the work, and all the enjoyment.

    • I have not really changed my intent, which is as you describe it, YesDays (although from time to time I think about getting my own domain and move it all over and perhaps catch some ad revenue eventually), my comment about getting paid for it was more of a pie-in-the-sky type of comment. Thank you for your kind words.

  7. Robert P said:

    Melvin Records was Overby Productions, Not Overdone Productions (they started in Detroit around 1977), two separate “companies” people..

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