by Johnny LoftusMel McDaniel decided on a career in music at age 14, after seeing Elvis Presley on television. After establishing himself in the bars and clubs of his hometown of Tulsa, OK, McDaniel briefly landed in Nashville before settling in Anchorage, AK. It was there that he refined his songwriting and performance skills; when McDaniel returned to Nashville in 1976, he promptly signed a record deal with Capitol. He had some early success with the single Have a Dream on Me, but really began to steamroll thereafter, ending up with a string of country Top Tens that stretched through the 1980s. His biggest hit came in 1984 with Babys Got Her Blue Jeans On, a song that was nominated for a Grammy and a CMA. McDaniel continued to perform throughout the 90s and into the 2000s, usually at the Grand Ole Opry, of which he became a member on January 11, 1986.