Mel Williams, a wise and well-respected member of the Modesto community, was familiar to radio audiences for nearly a quarter-century as a genial program host who offered up mellow sounds and insight commentary drawn from his encyclopedic knowledge of music. In addition, he was an accomplished musician.
Mel’s radio career began in 1974 with a one-hour program on KHOP in Modesto. Following KHOP he found a home at KUOP-FM where jazz listeners from throughout the valley would tune in at 6 o’clock to hear him open his KUOP-FM show with: “Good evening, my wonderful listening audience…this is the world of Mel Williams.” He was at KUOP-FM for 13 years. In a 1990 interview, Mel said: “Music is my first love, and it will probably be my last.
Mel Williams died May 30, 1999 in Modesto, CA. He was 69.
Here’s a segment from “The World of Mel Williams,” courtesy of KUOP-FM.
The following airchecks were donated to the Modesto Radio Museum by Christian Walter of Pocatello, Idaho. Christian lived in Modesto back in the ’90s and recorded many of “The World of Mel Williams” programs.
The World of Mel Williams on KUOP-FM, hour one from March, 1996
The World of Mel Williams on KUOP-FM, hour two from March, 1996