Melvin Dunlap

Melvin Dunlap played bass on several classic soul and R&B recordings beginning in the early 1970s. When he was a kid, he was sick and stuck in bed for an extended period of time and started playing an old Fender bass his parents purchased from a pawnshop in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Years later he was asked to tour with the O’Jay’s, which brought Melvin to California where he recorded with Charles Wright on the hit “Express Yourself” with his influential bass line, and with Bill Withers on several classic tunes including “Lean On Me,” “Use Me,” and “Another Day to Run.” Melvin made a special bass with only half of the neck with frets, which provides smooth slides and chord changes. 

Interview Date:
August 5, 2019
Job Title:
Musician, Bassist

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