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Melanie on returning to Florida

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Melanie with son 2013 by Richard Beukelaar

Melanie Safka in Delft, Holland, earlier this month performing with her son Beau Jarred. Courtesy photo by Richard Beukelaar.

Melanie Safka shot to one-name fame as at Woodstock, where she sang her song "Beautiful People." The story goes, the song inspired a sea of candles and cigarette lighters, which, in turn, moved Melanie to write "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain"), which sold more than one million copies in 1970. Melanie had another huge hit the next year with the cute, catchy,  innuendo-filled roller-skating single "Brand New Key."  Melanie had fallen from the pop charts by the mid-1970s but remained  a popular concert draw, touring the world and in 1994 returned to Woodstock for the 25th anniversary concert.

She lives in Nashville now, but in1998, the St. Petersburg Times did a story about Melanie and her husband, Peter Schekeryk, opening a restaurant and coffee house in Tarpon Springs. Melanie and her 30-plus-year husband, who was also her manager and producer, decided to relocate with their three children to Pinellas County in about 1990. The hand-painted lyrics of "Beautiful People" served as a welcoming sign in the foyer of the coffeehouse named after the singer, the Times reported.

"My son Beau Jarred who has performed as a concert guitarist all over Europe, will accompany me," Melanie said by email last week while on tour in the Netherlands. "This will be my first concert on the west coast of Florida since my husband passed away, I've been holding off as we lived in this area for a very long time. I am slowly visiting places where we shared a history, going back to the emotional forbidden zones and making new memories."

Asked what audiences can expect, Melanie said, "I guess they can expect the unexpected with a smattering of comfort food hits."

8 p.m. Saturday,  Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota; $25 in advance, $30 at the door; 587-6588; sarasotapeacenter.org.

Last modified: November 25, 2013
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