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The Story of Melvin and Mervin Steals

In their career, twins Melvin and Mervin Steals, have received two Grammy Nominations and one Grammy Win.

The twins have written over 100 songs that have been recorded and 47 of those songs continue to be played in the world market.

They are best known for having written the American classic ‘Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.’

Not only are they great songwriters, but they also have maternal roots in Greenville and Crenshaw County.

After graduation from high school in 1964, the twins enrolled at Cheyney State College, located just outside of Philadelphia.

Cheyney is America’s oldest Historical Black College/University. It was at this august Black institution of higher learning where the twin’s lives would be changed forever.

There they met Eddie Holman, a new classmate, during their sophomore year and formed a life-long friendship.

Before dropping out of school to get married and record his timeless hit song ‘Hey There Lonely Girl,’ Holman took the twins and two classmates fo Frank Virtues’ recording studio in North Philly.

They made their very first recording there. They also met three guys who would soon become the “Heart and Soul” of the Philly sound: Norman Harris (guitar), Ronnie Baker (bass), and Early Young (drums) who also played The Trampps.

When Melvin discovered Tammie Terrell was a Que-frat brother’s cousin, he asked Terrell to “hook a brother up.” He did and that is what launched their songwriting careers.

It was around that time the twins wrote, sang and recorded their first Steals Brothers song ‘I’m Not Strong Enough,’ by The Four Perfections.

It became a big hit in the UK during the early 1970’s and has since become a rare recording for which collectors will pay as much as $1,000 for a pristine copy.

Melvin and Mervin’s 100-plus Steals Brothers Classics have been recorded by a number of well-known recording artists over the years.

In addition to The Spinners, this list includes Gloria Gaynor, Archie Bell & The Drells, O.C. Smith, Blue Magic, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Donnie Osmond, Regina Bell, Major Harris, The Impressions, and Eddie Kendricks.

More recently, celebrated rappers like A$AP Rocky (Back Home), Chubb Rock and Lil Wayne along Mary J. Blige(Treat ‘Em Right) have seen the value of sampling the twins songwriting.

In 2021, Melvin and Mervin, along with business partner McKinely Jackson who was Marvin Gaye’s musical director, received Grammy Awards for being co-writer of the song ‘10%’ by Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis for the Best Dance Recording of 2020.

3 Comments

  1. Gary Cooper on August 13, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for the post. Didn’t know what became of these brothers. It’s nice to know of their fame and success. I remember them.

  2. Richard Jenkins on January 12, 2024 at 11:22 am

    Mr. Steals was my teacher in Aliquippa school. What a very nice man he was, and very talented . I found out years later that he wrote a bunch of songs that I listened to and still do. love the song “Could It Be I’m Falling In love” and at the time never new that, I kinda wish I did that would of been really cool. But I just wanted to say hi to a wonderful person from my past. God Bless.

  3. Tyrone Belford on February 23, 2024 at 10:42 pm

    I met the Steel twins at Cheyney State , back in 1965 through my late brother , Champ Belford (Bass player) and the late Oscar Strange ( Guitar player). I was attending Delaware State College at the time.I went to Cheyney to visit my brother , I happened to be a (Sax player) after I arrived, we went to the auditorium, where we ran into the twins,where we had a session. As fate would have it the brothers went on to be a part of the Kenny Gamble ,Leon Huff and Tom Bell ,Sound Of Philadelphia. They would come into contact with my dear friends Carl & Roland Chambers, also Norman Harris and Ronny Baker!!!!! I am so very proud to say ” I Knew Them When”
    T Belford “Del State 67”

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