A Songwriter's Tribute: David Frazier Remembers Melvin Crispell, Jr.
I’ve often wondered where anointed people come from. How do great musicians, preachers and singers gain entrance into the earth realm? I’ve come to realize that great people are not made, great people are BORN. Melvin Crispell was not a product of a privileged childhood or pristine educational process; Melvin was just Born…..Born in Brooklyn……then Born Again spiritually and musically on Adelphi Street, 170 to be exact. His birthing process included greats like Alfred White, Bishop J.C. White, Bishop Carl Williams and the immutable Butch Heyward.
These men instructed Melvin, not with words but with actions. When you are BORN in this atmosphere, many things you learn and receive from transfer and impartation rather than lesson and study. He learned the biggest lesson of all about music and music ministry – that’s LOVE. Love will make you sit on the organ for hours without a check. Love will make you SERVE without ever hearing “thank you”. This love that you develop drives you to impact what you love, strengthen what you love, and respect what you love. Melvin Crispell wasn’t perfect but he was Born.
Melvin showed us he was Born every time the start and run buttons on any organ were pressed and he sat down to play. He played with a love and respect for God and the music. He was Born to play. Melvin’s sound was a plethora of styles with a distinction of sound that made the hearer know it was time for church.
Melvin was Born to write songs. He wrote with a respect for the Gospel music genre that was unparalleled; with a heart-felt simplicity that made you sing, made you clap, made you praise. Only people that are Born can do this with ease – just the way Melvin did it.
Melvin was Born with something so unique that other’s around the world gravitated to him. His humility and his humor was consistent in good times and bad. Melvin loved God and loved being in His presence. Those that are Born like Melvin was Born, have that insatiable desire to be in God’s presence and to be a catalyst and trigger for God’s power to manifest.
Jesus Christ was Born as well. He transformed the world in a very short lived time on earth. Melvin although gone too soon, changed the world. He was Born and gave birth to a very unique sound in the earth. Melvin and I were friends. I had such respect for him musically but I loved him like a brother. We worked on records together, played at church together, hung out together, and worked through issues together. Melvin was talented enough to share what he was Born to do but still ask questions when he wanted to grow and increase.
It is my hope that all individuals, musicians, and singers alike would seek to have a servant’s heart and develop a pure love for God and the music ministry we all strive to be efficient in like Melvin did. Melvin’s songs are timeless, full of powerful scriptural messages and will be remembered forever. Melvin will be remembered for his love….he loved God, he loved people, and he loved music….His love caused another to be BORN – Mel III.
Love never dies, the strength of your heart will survive. No one else can take love’s beauty that only God can supply, it’s on the inside, love never dies…..Love you man. We all love you very much…..simply because you were Born…… David (David Frazier)