Singer Melanie of 'Brand New Key' Fame Performing In Chicago; Shares Human Right Activism

October 13, 2018 - 6:05 pm

By Mark Friedman

CHICAGO ( WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- This year marks the 49th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival that gave many performers a chance to express and share with their audience what was happening in those days through their music.

One of the performers on the opening night of Woodstock was Melanie, whose hit songs include "Brand New Key" and "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)," which was inspired by what happened at Woodstock in 1969. Candles were given to the crowd, which flickered in the rain after being lit to show everyone was in sync with her music. 

That started a long-running tradition for music fans that now involves cellphones instead of candles or lighters.

Today, human rights is very much on Melanie's mind.

She calls herself a "humanist activist," and is involved with a group called United For Human Rights, which is trying to raise awareness over the 30 human rights that were drawn up by Eleanor Roosevelt and ratified by the U.N. after World War Two.

Melanie said her goal is to get those rights taught in schools and understood.

She continues to write and perform music, and is in Chicago Saturday night to perform two shows at Szold Hall of the Old Town School Of Folk Music on Lincoln Avenue near Montrose.