|Melba Toast,“The Toast of Country Music”
is renowned as a singer, songwriter, comedian, actress, model, MC, DJ,
comedy writer, producer and promoter.
Melba's television appearances include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,”
“The Jon Stewart Show,” “The Late Mr. Pete Show,” “The Extreme Gong Show,”
"The Marty Stuart Show", CMT’s “Countdown 2000” and "The Bat Poet Show",
among others (see resume).
Ms. Toast's film appearances include “Bug Buster,” “Dear Mr. Cash,”
“My Next Funeral,” “Lucy's Dream”and “Angel Food,” among others (see resume).
Miss Melba co-hosted and had a weekly comedy spot called “Toast in the Mornin' with Melba”
on the popular early Saturday morning radio show “Country Sunrise” on KCSN 98.9FM, where
she met Cliffie Stone and became one of his protegees, performing with him at various events and
The music videos of Dwight Yoakam, Wylie & the Wild West, Cletus T. Judd, The Ramones,
The Cramps and Mirror feature “The Toast of Country Music.”
A central figure in Los Angeles’ roots music scene for over 10 years, Ms. Toast performed with her
6-piece band, Melba Toast & her Nutty Buddies, her all-girl band The Hungry Housewives and
her singin' white trash rappin' starch sprayin' bra wearin' trio The Ironin' Maidens.
A regular on Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance, Ms. Toast first co-produced an ensemble show called
“The Alamo Jets” with LesLee Anderson and Ms. Patti (Thornton) at the world famous
Palomino Club in North Hollywood, CA. (attended by Brian Setzer! Also, Ranger Doug!).
Miss Melba's next big appearance was in the Grand Ole Anti Annual Country Christmas
Jamboree at the Anti Club in Hollywood, CA. Produced by cowgirl poet Reine River, and
featuring, most notably, E. G. Daily, Chris Gaffney & Joyce Woodson. Miss Melba performed as
2 separate personas: The first was herself, portraying The Virgin Mary singing "Away in a Manger" to
a babydoll Jesus, and the second was as part of a duo with Reine River as “The Bardot Cowgirls”
(Reine was “Bebe” and Melba was “Crouton”). (Dwight Yoakham was in attendance, and defended
Next, Melba created, produced and hosted an ensemble show called “The Wonderbread Years”
featuring an all-prison song segment called “Plowboys in Prison,” (featuring Russell Scott & his
Red Hots and Tom Kenny(currently the voice of Sponge-Bob)) once again, at the Palomino Club.
The Hula-billy Hoedown was the next show/extravganza created by "The Toast" (as Melba had by
this time come to be called). This show featured Melba as a hula dancer with two back up dancers and
a hula-billy band called her “Hawaiian Hucksters”, creating an evening of fun and hilarity while
marrying two great forms of music together: Hawaiian & Hillbilly!
“Melba Toast's Annual Holiday Benefit Concert” was an L.A. tradition for 5 years.
Co-produced by Melba and Sylvia Flowers, the show benefited a different local charity each year
and featured, among others, Cliffie Stone, Rosie Flores, Chris Gaffney,
Wylie & the Wild West, & Tony (the Wild Man) Conn.
Melba also created, co-produced ( A Flowers & Toast Production) and hosted the well-received
bi-monthly showcase for female artists “Girls’ Night Out!” at Sacred Grounds Coffee House in
San Pedro, CA. for over 2 years.
A sought-after mistress of ceremonies, Melba hosted many shows and events in the greater
Los Angeles area. Most notable are the Sunset Junction Street Fair in Hollywood, CA and
The Long Beach 4th Street Fair in Long Beach, CA, which she hosted for 6 years each.
Ms. Toast also had the distinction of performing as the featured vocalist (under her birth name, Lori
Laningham) with the Victor Valley College Symphony Orchestra in 1997 under the direction of
Conductor Dr. K. C. Manji in Apple Valley, CA.
Received CCMA’s (California Country Music Association) 1991 Horizon Artist Award
Nominated for CCMA Vocalist of the Year, 1995
Pre-nominated for six Grammy Awards, 1995 (I Want More for Christmas & Hey, Johnny, duets
w/Johnny Legend on "Trust Me" Records).
Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Melba was an army brat and grew up in Wichita Falls,Texas, Lawton,
Oklahoma, Nuremburg, Germany, Columbus, Georgia and Yuba City, California. Ms. Toast attended
Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA where she majored in Graphic Design. Melba worked as a
graphic artist and also pursued a career as a fine artist, performance artist (using the name "Miss
Wichita Falls") and playwright.
Melba later moved to Los Angeles, CA where she created and developed her stage persona now
known as “Melba Toast”, recorded with Johnny Legend on “Trust Me” Records, put her first
band together and developed a variety of shows and events, and produced her first all-original 10 song
CD titled Consider Me (2000) on Lorelei Label (LL1) (including the duet “Back to Bakersfield”
with Wylie & the Wild West’s Wylie Gustafson!) The CD features Dani-O on lead guitar,
Russell Scott on upright bass, Kenny Lord on drums and steel drums, Marilyn Young on acoustic
guitar and Matt Margucci on steel, accordion & cornet, with guest performers Jim Novak, Will
Ray, Ric Solem & Maria Werth.
In the spring of 2000, Melba visited Nashville to visit friends (Joyce Symans, Kenny and
Ruth Griffin) and to perform at Billy Block's Western Beat at The Exit/In (John Prine and
Lucinda Williams were in attendance). Also, Ms. Symans was able to get a few back stage passes
to the Opry, so Joyce treated Melba and Ruth Griffin to the Opry backstage! Melba got to meet
and talk to many of her heroes, including Jeannie Seely, Jan Howard Jim Ed Brown, Mike
Schneider, Stu Phillips, Pam Tillis, Charlie Pride, Freddie Fender, Riders in the Sky, The
Bellamy Brothers... Melba was amazed to learn that many of these great artists had heard of her,
and knew her by her work! Melba had a hard time staying on this planet for the next few weeks! She
returned to Los Angeles, and could not rest until she asked God what it was that was driving her
crazy! Melba closed her eyes in the dark, and then opened them and saw a vision of the seating
arrangement of the Opry, as seen from the stage, the image made up of twinkling stars that said,
"Come! Welcome!" Melba thought, "It's the Opry Angels! If they came all this way to tell me to
come, I guess I'd better go!" So Melba made the decision right then & there to move to Nashville!
She arrived in the summer of 2000 and immediately put together a band, which she called "Melba
Toast & her Fancy Assortment" which played throughout Tennessee, Kentucky & Georgia.
Suzette Renee Lawrence (The Neon Angels) asked Melba to co-produce and host a show she
had been producing called "Alt Country Hoedown" at The Springwater and The FooBar Too in
East Nashville , which Melba did off and on for 3 years.
Melba met her Mr. Toast six months after she moved to Nashville! She married him nine months
later. Mr. Toast and Melba appeared weekly on Nashville’s public access station’s (CATV Channel
19) hit program “The Bat Poet Show” from 2002-2011. Mr. Toast and Melba have made multiple
appearances on RFD Network's The Marty Stuart Show. Melba has been performing her popular
children's programs since 2005 at libraries and various private schools in the Nashville area.
Miss Melba's next big project is writing her first novel, as well as her memoirs.