Melton, James(1904–61) tenor; born in Moultrie, Ga. After college, he studied voice at Vanderbilt and in Berlin, making his opera debut in Cincinnati in 1938. His eight-year Metropolitan Opera career began in 1942, and he was also widely heard on the radio and in concerts. Beyond being one of the first American males to become a major opera star, he conveyed a "down-home" quality offstage that made grand opera seem more accessible to a new generation.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.