- Nash Street
- Carry On
- Between Hope and Heartache
- Caroline’s Song
Nash Street was a young singing group from Starkville, Mississippi, who won (January, 2008) the Twenty-sixth Annual Colgate Country Showdown with a $100,000 prize and the title “Best New Act in Country Music.” They represented radio station WOKK Meridian. The televised event, held in Nashville, Tennessee, was hosted by Mississippian and country music star LeAnn Rimes.
The group Nash Street was originally organized as “The Goat Ropers” in 1996 by Norman Mellin,the strings instructor for Starkville Public Schools. The original members were Norman Mellin (director), Hannah Melby, Chris Elam, Stacey Phillips, and Kira Martin. Their ages ranged from seven to thirteen. In 2001, the name was changed to Nash Street, the place in Starkville where the Melbys live and practice.
Nash Street consisted of Daniel Hare (vocals/bass), Hannah Melby (fiddle/vocals), Caroline Melby (vocals/mandolin) and Jason Graham (guitar). All were in their late teens to early twenties. In fact, Caroline Melby was still in high school. The others were Mississippi State students. Clay Lezon, guitarist, also occasionally played with the group.
The talented musicians produced their own version of old time, bluegrass, folk, country, and blues music, playing for church gatherings, live radio broadcasts, traditional bluegrass festivals, Mississippi State events, concerts, a Starkville Reads Big Read, and private parties. They have performed on the Mornin’ Show with Kay Bain, the Legends of Bluegrass Festival, the Pickin’ and Ginnin’ Festival in Rayville, Louisiana, the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, and Tim McGraw’s charity concert called Swampstock, in Louisiana. Nash Street’s first CD was entitled Nash Street. The group also won the talent award at the Mississippi State Fair.
Nash Street recorded its second CD at Ricky Skaggs’ studio in Nashville. That CD is called Carry On, which is also the title of a single on the album written by Jason Graham. The album also includes another original song by Graham entitled Widowmaker. The ending song Katrina on the album is dedicated to the Katrina survivors and was composed from a poem written by Pete Melby, the father of Caroline and Hannah Melby.
To win the Colgate competition in Nashville, five criteria were used: marketability in country music, vocal/instrumental ability, originality of performance, stage presence/charisma, and talent. The winning performances of Starkville’s Nash Street on January 24, 2008, event was taped for a televised one-hour special.
In 2010, the band moved to Nashville, Tennessee. The members of the band changed again resulting in a duo of Carolina Melby and Hannah Melby in 2012. They now call themselves the HanaLena Band.
- 1996-1997 Group founded by Norman Mellin as the Goat Ropers.
- 2001: Goat Ropers becomes Nash Street
- 2003: First place at Mississippi State Fair Talent Contest
- 2004: 0pening act for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Swampstock Rayville, La.
- 2008: Nash Street wins the Twenty-sixth Annual Colgate Country Showdown and a $100,000 prize as Best New Act in Country Music.
- 2012 Performed on the Music City Roots show in Nashville
- Hear songs from Nash Street’s second CD Carry On here.
- Nash Street Releases first country music video (Starkville Daily News)
- Music City Roots – Nash Street
- Nash Street Band (2008 photo, msstate.edu)