Atlanta native Melanie Massell is polishing her pipes and her stopwatch in advance of a pair of high-profile appearances in town this week.
These days, the singer and daughter of former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell makes her home in Sarasota, Florida but routinely gigs with keyboardist Tom Olsen at Joey D’s Oak Room here.
When Olsen posted on Facebook recently about his plans to stage an attempt at the World’s Longest Concert world record to raise money for Children’s Restoration Network, a non-profit helping metro area homeless kids, Massell asked how she could help.
So, on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Massell will be on stage at Red Rabbit Pizza & Pub in Johns Creek to participate in the 343-hour “343 for Kids!” concert. The ongoing live event is being beamed out live online via UStream.
The event started on July 10 and runs non-stop through July 24.
“It’s a little intimidating because there are so many rules with the Guinness people there,” Massell tells Intel. “You can’t repeat the same song in any four-hour period and there can’t be more than 30 seconds of downtime between songs. I’m not going to be talking a whole lot! A lot of musicians aren’t great business people. A lot of us don’t even know what a set list is. Tom has done a masterful job of coordinating this.”
On the R&B-themed Thursday, Massell says she’s prepping the soul side of her act, including renditions of “Mustang Sally,” “At Last” and “Dancing in the Street.”
For Friday’s jazz-oriented theme, Massell is contemplating standards, including “Fly Me to the Moon” and her mother Doris‘ favorite, “Crazy.”
“Every time she hears it she cries,” Massell explains. “I wish I had known that when I was 16!”
As for her dad, who will be tuning in online from his Buckhead Coalition president’s office, Massell is contemplating which of his favorites to perform.
“Usually, he requests [the Buckhead Coalition commissioned ditty written by the singer] ‘It’s Buckhead!’ but I’m not allowed to perform that outside the Buckhead city limits. I’ll probably sing ‘That Old Black Magic’ for him.”
Massell says she’s looking forward to helping to raise money and awareness for CRN this week and the opportunity to be a part of a potential Guinness World Record-breaking event.
“It’s something that’s on most people’s bucket list,” she says. “It was either this or the pogo stick record. I’m a pretty endowed girl. This might be safer.”