Musical Icon Melanie Safka Performs in 'Veranda Summer Singer and Songwriter Series' No. 1 Hit Songwriter and Humanitarian Complements Cuisine at Veranda on Highland

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Veranda on Highland, one of Birmingham's premier restaurants, presents Melanie Safka, the musical pioneer famous for the No. 1 hit "Brand New Key," "Beautiful People" and "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," as part of the "Veranda Summer Singer and Songwriter Series." Melanie, who has sold over 80 million records and also served as a UNICEF spokesperson, will perform on August 19 at the restaurant at 2220 Highland Avenue South. Cocktails are available beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and the show at 8:15 p.m. The cost is $75, which includes a three course meal and the show. Seats are limited and require reservations, which can be made by calling Veranda on Highland at (205) 939-5551. Addition information is available at http://www.verandaonhighland.com.

Veranda on Highland, one of Birmingham's premier restaurants, presents Melanie Safka, the musical pioneer famous for the No. 1 hit "Brand New Key," "Beautiful People" and "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," as part of the "Veranda Summer Singer and Songwriter Series." Melanie, who has sold over 80 million records and also served as a UNICEF spokesperson, will perform on August 19 at the restaurant at 2220 Highland Avenue South.

Cocktails are available beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and the show at 8:15 p.m. The cost is $75, which includes a three course meal and the show. Seats are limited and require reservations, which can be made by calling Veranda on Highland at (205) 939-5551. Addition information is available at http://www.verandaonhighland.com.

Accompanying Melanie's performance are selections from an exclusive "Songwriter menu" created by Veranda's celebrated executive chef Tom Robey. The menu features appetizers such as a crab, watermelon and tomato salad and main courses like grilled Duroc pork tenderloin with a sweet potato and smoked mushroom hash.

"Melanie, a legendary performer and songwriter, became the voice of an era," said Tom Robey, Veranda's executive chef. "It's a rare opportunity to experience one of the best in the business in a personal venue like Veranda on Highland. Offering the finest quality is our mantra for both food and entertainment. Whether I'm preparing fresh seafood or homegrown vegetables or a famous artist is on the stage, our customers are offered nothing but excellence."

Melanie's tremendous career took flight after playing at Woodstock, where her song "Beautiful People" inspired listeners to begin the tradition of holding candles or lighters in the air. This lead the young performer to write one of her most recognizable songs, "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)." It sold over one million copies in 1970 and earned her "Female Vocalist of the Year" honors from Billboard, Cashbox, Melody Maker, Record World and Bravo.

Another signature tune, "Brand New Key," topped the charts in 1971, reaching No. 1 in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and Australia. A year later, she was the second artist after the Beatles to have three separate singles on Billboard magazine's hot 100 chart simultaneously ("Brand New Key," "Ring The Living Bell" and "The Nickel Song").

In addition to a catalogue of hit songs, several distinguished "firsts" grace Melanie's name. She is the first solo pop/rock artist ever to appear at iconic venues like the Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House and the Sydney Opera House. Also, she is the first solo/pop/rock artist ever to appear before the General Assembly of the United Nations. And, Melanie was the first solo female artist who sold out the renowned concert hall Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

In 1972, Melanie's career went beyond music when UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) named her their official spokesperson. She was so heavily invested in the cause that she cancelled an 18-month tour to pursue her humanitarian efforts with the organization.

Now, Melanie pushes towards the future with new music projects. Her newest album, titled "This New Album" is a collaboration with her son Beau Jarred Schekeryk and is described as an album for long-time and new-found fans alike. For more information, visit http://www.melaniesmusic.com.

"The impact of Melanie's music is obvious," Robey said. "An entire generation admired her and related to her music. It's only appropriate that Veranda's customers enjoy excellently-prepared food that matches her ground-breaking and innovative musical style."

The "Veranda Summer Singer and Songwriter Series" concludes on September 2 with No. 1 songwriter Richard Leigh.

About Veranda on Highland
Established in December 2006, Veranda on Highland offers creative cuisine inspired by a combination of Southern tradition and New Orleans influences. The restaurant offers nine separate dining rooms which can accommodate large dinners or smaller private functions. Both the chef team and dining room manager bring years of experience from the famous Commander's Palace in New Orleans. The restaurant is located at 2220 Highland Avenue South, Birmingham, AL, 35205. For more information, call (205) 939-5551 or visit http://www.verandaonhighland.com.

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Kathy Birchall