Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes – ‘Pray Before You Start Your Day’

Despite departing this life back in the 1990s, Harold Melvin’s music lives on, with his songs still on regular radio rotation. The surviving members of his group, The Blue Notes, still perform his music, and on occasion find new contexts for it.

McKinley Horton, of Cashmere, began his career playing piano for Melvin, back when he was 18. He’s since written songs with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Organized Noise (producers of Outkast), but he played synths with the Blue Notes, and worked and wrote extensively with Melvin. One such song is ‘Pray Before You Start Your Day’, which McKinley co-wrote with Melvin back in 1996, shortly before Harold died. A devotional song, it’s been given several mixes, including the contemporary R&B version you can hear below. The single features rap on the second verse, by Horton’s son, Izaiah James.

The song has been released now because it’s Horton’s intention to pair it with a documentary about Harold Melvin’s life. The accompanying video is a testimony to the intense spirituality and breadth of vision of Harold Melvin, as well as Horton himself.

The clip for ‘Pray’, was shot on the streets of Philadelphia, with plenty of street signs to guide those of us unfamiliar with the City of Brotherly Love. The video follows ordinary people coping with extraordinary stress and follows them to the brink of disaster. Yet, they’re pulled back from the precipice through the power of prayer, reoriented, and set on the right path.

Watch the video below for ‘Pray Before You Start Your Day’, and find out more about the documentary here.

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes ft. Izaiah James - "Pray Before You Start Your Day" (Official Video)

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com