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February 20, 2018 SouthFlorida.com"Barry Manilow bringing smiles to Hard Rock Live" by Ben Crandell
Barry Manilow wasn’t one of the cool kids when he arrived at Eastern District High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the late 1950s. But he went from outsider to insider once he sat down at the keyboard. “When they learned I could play the piano, suddenly I was in great demand. I became a popular geek,” Manilow says, laughing.

Manilow’s concert is special for other reasons: He was part of the vanguard of artists, dominant for decades on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart, who have announced they will stop touring. They include fellow Brooklyn singer-songwriter Neil Diamond and Elton John. “We crossed paths. He was a great guy. It’s a heartbreaking story what’s going on with him. I was in a real funk for a time,” says Manilow, who remembers buying Diamond’s debut single, “Solitary Man,” in 1966. “He’s a wonderful performer with a tremendous catalog of music. I hope [the Parkinson’s disease] is easy on him.”

Via mutual friends, Elton John and Manilow have been in more frequent contact over the years. John announced in January that his extended Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour (with two performances in Sunrise and one in Miami) would be his last. “We’ll see about that. I know he wants to take time off and be there to raise his kids. But then, he announced a three-year tour,” Manilow says, laughing. “We’ll see if he actually stops.”

Manilow has so far been able to stick to his decision to stop doing major tours after a 2015 trek that coincided with the 40th anniversary of "Mandy," the first of 16 top 10 hits between 1974 and 1981. The Hard Rock concert is one of the “one-nighters I’ll plug in every once in a while,” he says. While not the focus of the announcement of Manilow’s final tour, the singer says a principal motivation was to spend more time at home with husband and manager Garry Kief.

An intensely private person, Manilow went public with his 40-year relationship with Kief in a People magazine interview last April. “Everybody knew that Garry and I were a couple. You can’t hide for 40 years, not that I ever would,” Manilow says. “I’m a private guy. I don’t want people knowing what my dogs ate. I don’t like people knowing where and how I live. I’m very public, but there’s some parts of me that I’ve kept to myself. It’s the only way I’ve been able to survive.”

Manilow admits that for a time he was reluctant to talk about the relationship for fear of disappointing his fans. But the reaction was something he calls “a beautiful experience.” “They really care for me. And when they found out that I was happy and not sitting alone in some big mansion, they were very happy for me,” he says.

Manilow says there is one song that he’s looking forward to performing at Hard Rock Live on Wednesday night. “Boy, I never would have said this years ago, but it’s ‘Can’t Smile Without You,’” Manilow says of his [1978 hit]. “I’ve never seen a happier crowd. I never really respected it as much as I do now. It’s an amazing thing that happens, night after night. I think people in that audience forget all the negative stuff that’s outside the arena when that song hits. And that’s really what I’m there for. That song starts that feeling, and from then on, it’s a big party.”

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Hard Rock Live will donate this week’s proceeds from Barry Manilow ticket sales to the GoFundMe page created by the Broward Education Foundation to support the victims of the shooting in Parkland and their families, which can be found at GoFundMe.com/StonemanDouglasVictimsFund. In addition, proceeds from sales of a specialty cocktail sold during Manilow’s performance will go to the fund. For more information, go to SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com/Parkland-Strong.htm.

Barry Manilow will perform 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $65-$180. For more information, go to MyHRL.com.

February 17, 2018 Herald-Tribune"Barry Manilow gets crowd singing in Van Wezel debut: Grammy-winning singer performs for the Van Wezel Foundation gala" by Jay Handelman
Barry Manilow probably could have performed for three hours or more and not touched on all the hits he recorded or the songs that die-hard fans were longing to hear during his Sarasota debut Friday night at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

As it was, backed by three singers and a lively band, the Grammy Award-winning singer presented a 90-minute show featuring hits that touched on different periods of his long career. Manilow may have initially been a reluctant performer when he started recording his own music in the 1970s, but he’s a showman at heart (as well as a fine songwriter and craftsman) and he clearly loves what he’s doing. And he must get pleasure from standing on stage or sitting at the piano to play one of his old favorites and have 1,700 people enthusiastically singing along.

In a concert that was part of the annual Van Wezel Foundation gala, Manilow performed 20 songs, joked about himself and turned the theater into a party room. Audience members were given green glow sticks as they entered the theater, and throughout the show, you could see the lights bouncing to the lively beats or swaying during one of the ballads.

Of the gala and the Van Wezel, he said, “You have the support of your community, the respect of your peers and tonight you have something no one else has, you have me.” That set the crowd cheering even louder than they had at the opening number, “It’s a Miracle.”

It’s an elaborate show with lots of flashing lights and a video screen that kept Manilow in focus especially for those in the back of the theater. His performance of “Bandstand Boogie” was sung as a video clip played of “American Bandstand” and its longtime host Dick Clark. “I Can’t Smile Without You” was accompanied by a video of a bouncing smiley face and the lyrics, but it didn’t seem like many people needed the words to join in the sing-along.

Before performing his first big hit, “Mandy,” he briefly left the stage to change into a white jacket as a video showed him performing the song years ago on the old “Midnight Special” TV series. He then joined in with his old self as the video displayed him then and now.

The crowd started cheering as they quickly recognized each song from just the first few notes. The ballads have a bit more bombast when he performs them on stage, but they still convey the heart. Before launching into the tender “Somewhere in the Night,” he noted a distinction in his music. “Music is all about rhythm these days. I keep thinking, where did the melodies go. Well, they’re right here tonight.”

Manilow has reason to boast after selling more than 85 million records since 1974. The show is schmaltzy, filled with big arrangements and dramatic punches on the expected key changes. But it all fits Manilow, and the audience members clearly eat it up. That’s partly because he performs with such affection. He’s enjoying himself, so you can, too.

After singing a disco version of his early hit “Could it be Magic” that had him dancing a bit with his backup singers, Manilow jokingly noted, “I’m still a sex God. And this sex God has got to sit down. What’s your 74-year-old grandfather doing tonight? Mine could barely cough up phlegm.” That reference to his age is stunning because for the most part he looks pretty much as he did 40 or more years ago. He’s trim and energetic, still singing in a clear and strong, if slightly raspier voice.

He could have used any dozen of his songs as a closer, but he chose perhaps his most popular song, “Copacabana,” which featured members of the Sarasota High School choir singing and dancing in the background. The audience was on its feet, glow sticks waving in the air and the energy rising. And with cheers, he waved his goodbyes and said “I hope I’ll see you again.” 90 minutes and done. A true showman knows to always leave them wanting more.

February 17, 2018 Herald-Tribune"Manilow headlines Van Wezel Gala" by Gayle Guynup
Van Wezel Foundation Gala: For those of us who grew up in the1970s and ’80s, hearing Barry Manilow was like stepping back in time, each song spurring some memory of teenage angst and young love. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. The 17th annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala, which also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, began at a gala dinner held under tent, adjacent to the hall.

Mary Kenealy Events created a beautiful, pearl-inspired setting. The evening began with cocktails on the bayfront, the ideal spot to take in a picture-perfect sunset. Guests then moved into the tent, where they were greeted by new COO Jim Selinski, who announced a $10 million legacy gift from Herta Klauser Cuneo, who passed away on Sept. 11, 2017. “Her legacy will live on forever through her truly transformative gift (the largest in the foundation’s history),” Selinski said.

The hall’s Executive Director Mary Bensel then noted that “This is the most important night of the Van Wezel’s year.” Proceeds benefit the hall’s educational programs, which annually bring 30,000 students to a variety of performances. “We provide a safe place and a joyful experience,” she said. “That is what our education program is all about - creating a memory that will last a lifetime.”

Following dinner catered by Michael’s on East, and a live auction and paddle raise led by Michael Klauber, it was time to move into the hall for a 90-minute performance by Barry Manilow. The high-energy show began with “It’s a Miracle,” and the hits kept on coming ... “Can’t Smile Without You,” “I Write the Songs,” “Mandy,” “Even Now” and many more. The 74-year-old performer put on a show that delighted people of all ages.

February 15, 2018 News-Press"Barry Manilow gives gift of music to Dunbar High as he prepares for Germain Arena show" by Charles Runnells
Barry Manilow knows it better than just about anybody: The piano can change your life forever. For him, the change started modestly in elementary school. “Suddenly I became the most popular kid in school,” Manilow says. “Because I knew how to play the PIANO.”

Then along came his love song “Mandy” in 1975 -- a song Manilow will no doubt play Tuesday when he visits Germain Arena in Estero. And boy, did Manilow’s life change after that one. Forty three years later, he says, it’s still the song that means the most to him. “That was the first one,” says Manilow, 74, of Palm Springs, Calif. “It was the biggest surprise of my life. I never thought I’d have a hit record. Suddenly, I had a No. 1 record, and it was crazy. It was the most exciting and terrifying couple of years of my life."

Manilow never saw himself as the superstar he later became, a pop icon who’s 50 Top 40 hits include “Copacabana,” “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Looks Like We Made It.”

He had a more low-key career planned, in fact. “I was going to be a musician, an arranger, a conductor, a songwriter,” he says. “That’s where I was heading. And suddenly I wind up with a No. 1 record. And boy oh boy, that was a crazy year. It exploded in a million pieces, and I just wasn’t prepared for it ... I’d never even thought of it. And really, it changed my life.”

That’s why Manilow started his Manilow Music Project about 10 years ago. Wherever he performs -- including Tuesday’s Germain Arena concert -- he donates a keyboard to kick off a musical-instrument drive for a local school’s musical program (in this case, Dunbar High School). Then he asks his fans to donate instruments, too. And here's the sweetener: If they do, they get two free tickets to the Manilow show. So far, Germain Arena has collected about 12 instruments for Dunbar High, including keyboards, guitars, trumpets, a saxophone, a clarinet and a flute, according to Germain’s event coordinator, Channa Harrington.

Dunbar High’s principal, Carl Burnside, said he's excited to be selected as a beneficiary of the Manilow Music Project. “The gift of music is a very powerful one,” he said in a press release last month announcing the charity drive. "I am extremely appreciative that students of Dunbar High will benefit from Mr. Manilow’s mission of highlighting the importance of music programs in schools.”

Manilow says he got the idea for the Manilow Music Project from a friend in Palm Springs, California. “He asked me if I knew where his daughter could get a sax, because the school didn’t have one,” he says. “And I said, ‘They don’t have a sax?’ And I started looking around and reading up on it. And yeah, nearly all the middle schools and high schools around the country, because of budget problems... the first thing that goes is music and art. That’s the first thing that goes. And I said, ‘I’m a musician. I have to do something!’”

Music is important, Manilow explains. Sure, most people don’t become famous pop stars. But learning to play an instrument can boost your confidence, sharpen your memory, improve your math and reading skills, and a lot more. “A lot of people think it’s playtime, but it really isn’t,” Manilow says. “It’s more than just playtime. I’ve spoken to principals and teachers, and they always tell me that (the students’) grades go up when they’re in music classes. “It’s more important than people think. It changes peoples lives -- like it did mine!”

If you go... Who: Barry Manilow. When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Where: Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero. Tickets: $55-$247. Info: 948-7825 or germainarena.com.

Donate a musical instrument, get two free tickets to Barry Manilow: Barry Manilow got things started last month by donating a Yamaha keyboard to Dunbar High School. Now the pop icon wants Southwest Florida residents to step up, too, and donate more musical instruments to the school. Anyone who donates a new or “gently used” instrument will get two free tickets to Tuesday’s Manilow show (while supplies last, valid for pre-selected seat locations on a first come, first served basis). Donations can be dropped off at the Germain Arena box office between now and Tuesday. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Learn more about the Manilow Music Project at manilowmusicproject.org.

February 14, 2018 Local 10 News (ABC)"Barry Manilow Live at Hard Rock Live, Wed., Feb. 21" by Brian Doughty
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Barry Manilow performs live at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood on Wednesday, February 21st. Fans will get to hear hits like "Mandy", "I Write the Songs" and of course, "Copacabana"! The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. For tickets or more information click here.
February 14, 2018 Jacksonville.com (Florida Times-Union)"Retirement isn’t in the cards for Barry Manilow" by Tom Szaroleta
In the past month or so, Neil Diamond announced that he’s retiring from performing due to health problems. Elton John announced his final tour. Paul Simon said he’s calling it quits. Even Lynyrd Skynyrd is going out on its final tour. Don’t expect Barry Manilow to follow suit any time soon. “First of all, Neil has to because he’s ill and Elton’s got children, so that makes sense,” Manilow said last week in a phone interview. “Me? I’ve just backed off on the big tours. I’m not leaving the road. Last year I realized that I’ve got to stop being away from home as much as I am so I go out a few times a month and that’s good enough for me. I don’t think I will retire, but I don’t go out as much as I used to.”

Manilow plays the Times-Union Center in Jacksonville on Sunday, one of a handful of Florida dates. Manilow said he’s negotiating to do a residency in Las Vegas, where he can play in one place and have his fans come to him. That would be ideal, he said, because it would allow him to spend more time at home while still keeping his longtime band busy. “That’s the answer for me. My band and my crew, I’m going to lose them if I don’t do something and I don’t want to lose them,” he said. “It would be terrible to have to break in new people. I’ve got such a huge catalog and the people who work for me know the stuff inside out so we don’t even have to rehearse very much.”

Another option would be to pair up with another big star and go out on a co-headlining tour, but Manilow said that isn’t really his style. His fans are pretty hardcore, he said, and are there to hear his music. He rarely tours with opening acts but when he does, he usually chooses comics or jazz saxman Dave Koz, whose work fits in with his crowd.

And don’t look for Manilow to go on the road opening for someone else. He said it’s been decades since he was an opening act, and he doesn’t miss it. “When my first album came out -- which nobody bought -- I had to go out and promote it. I was the opening act for Country Joe, without his Fish. He was the headliner, so you can imagine that audience; they were so stoned they were laying in the aisles and I came out with my commercial [medley] and they didn’t know what they were looking at. I opened for Johnny Rivers. I was the opening act for Freddie Hubbard, the jazz trumpet player. When he heard my commercials [medley], which went over very well, he refused to go on. He said he refused to go on with anybody who plays commercials. He wanted nothing to do with me.”

Manilow said he plans to go into the studio soon, but he’s not sure what he’ll record. He’s done the best songs of the ’50s, ’60. ’70s and ’80s, songs of New York, Christmas songs, duets, big band and Frank Sinatra songs. So what’s next? He said he might turn to Nashville for inspiration. “If you take some of those country songs and dig into them, suddenly you find there’s a pretty ballad hiding in that song,” he said. “I couldn’t just do a country album, that would be silly, it’s not who I am. But maybe there are some songs out there that I could do.”

Barry Manilow: 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Times-Union Center. $57-$247.

February 14, 2018 Herald-Tribune"Barry Manilow says farewell in Van Wezel concert stop: Singer makes his Sarasota debut in a concert of hits" by Jay Handelman
When I was a junior in high school, I remember talking with some friends between classes in the hallway one day when our math teacher joined us and, out of the blue, asked, “Have you heard this Barry Manilow guy?”

It was late in 1974, and at the time, Manilow had his first hit record with the song “Mandy” by Scott English and Richard Kerr. It was hard not to have heard the song, which soared to the top of the charts at a time when Top 40 radio was still popular (and about the only place to hear new music). “I think he’s going to be big,” Mr. Stevenson told us. He taught math, not music, but he was certainly right.

Those words have stuck with me all these years. I have heard that teacher’s voice in my head every time I listen to one of Manilow’s albums or when I’ve seen an interview or watched him perform on television: “He’s going to be big.”

Over the years, Manilow has sang his way to selling more than 80 million records, with lively hits like “Copacabana” and all those sorrowful ballads about missed chances, the ships passing in the night and the relationships that didn’t make it through the rain or survive that “Weekend in New England.”

I’m not sure if my teacher had anything to do with it, but I’ve followed along all these years, from the big hits at the start of his solo career, through the holiday albums and his recordings celebrating great songs of Frank Sinatra and music from the 1950s through the ’80s, even his most recent record, released last year, of songs about New York.

In a telephone interview a few weeks ago to talk about his concert Friday night at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Manilow said his popularity coincided with a desire on the part of music lovers to hear songs with a melody and a good lyric. And his Sarasota concert will feature “90 minutes of songs that everybody will recognize. I’m one of the lucky guys that has a catalog of songs that people know.”

Though he was initially a reluctant performer, he realized the theatricality of the music he wrote and the songs by other composers that he popularized. (He didn’t write “I Write the Songs,” but his recording hit No. 1 and stayed on the charts for 20 weeks in 1975.)

His songs usually tell stories. “Copacabana,” about the showgirl Lola’s descent into drunken loneliness after a fight one night between her boyfriend and a mobster, became the focus of an original stage musical that he hopes will someday make it to Broadway.

His 1976 hit “Weekend in New England” is typical of the kind of ballads he sang, about a man having to wait to be with his love once again. “When will our eyes meet? When can I touch you? When will this strong yearning end? And when will I hold you again?” he sings.

As he brings his long-running farewell tour to Sarasota, Manilow will be touching on all those feelings, performing hits “that make the whole world sing.”

Barry Manilow’s chart-topping songs, according to Billboard: “Mandy,” 1974, peaked at No. 1, on the charts for 16 weeks. “I Write the Songs,” 1975, peaked at No. 1, 20 weeks. “Looks Like We Made It,” 1977, peaked at No. 1, 19 weeks. “Can’t Smile Without You,” 1978, peaked at No. 3, 19 weeks. “Could it Be Magic,” 1975, peaked at No. 6, 18 weeks. “Copacabana,” 1978, peaked at No. 6, 16 weeks. “Somewhere in the Night,” 1978, peaked at No. 9, 15 weeks. “Ships,” 1979, peaked at No. 9, 14 weeks. “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again,” 1976, peaked at No. 10, 15 weeks. “Weekend in New England,” 1976, peaked at No. 10, 19 weeks.

Barry Manilow performs at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, as part of the Van Wezel Foundation annual gala. Remaining tickets are $206-$256. For more information: 941-953-3368; vanwezel.org. For information on the gala dinner and event: 941-366-5578; vwfoundation.org.

February 14, 2018 Bradenton Herald"Barry Manilow writes the songs that make the whole word sing, but not all of the ones he sings" by Marty Clear
He got his start as a jingle writer, and if you watched TV in the 1960s, his commercial melodies probably wormed their way into your ears. You heard them on commercials for State Farm Insurance (“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”) “Band-Aid” (“I am stuck on Band-Aid and Band-Aid’s stuck on me”) and McDonald’s (“You deserve a break today”). He later went on to pop megastardom, singing the kind of personal-sounding ballads that songwriters usually sing themselves.

And Barry Manilow did write or co-write a lot of his big hits. But there are a lot that he covered, or that other people wrote for him. They’re some of his best songs, even his most ardent fans would agree. So, in honor of Manilow’s Sarasota debut, Friday evening at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (it’s the featured performance for Van Wezel’s annual gala), here’s a look at some of his best songs that he didn’t write:

1. “Read ’em and Weep.” Jim Steinman wrote it, Meat Loaf recorded it first, but it was still obscure when Manilow released it on his 1983 “Greatest Hits” album. It had not been a hit before them, but it was released as a single and reached the top of the Adult Contemporary Chart.

2. “Mandy.” Originally titled “Brandy,” it was a hit in a couple other countries by other performers before Manilow changed the name to “Mandy” and re-wrote it a bit and made it a bigger hit here in 1974. Despite the prevalent urban myth, it is apparently not about the songwriter’s dog.

3. “Ships.” By far the most improbable source for a Manilow song. This one’s by British classic rocker Ian Hunter, best known as the frontman for Mott the Hoople, from his great solo album.“You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic.” Manilow’s version is lusher but less edgy than Hunter’s. Which version makes you miss your father more is simply a matter of your musical taste.

4. “I Write the Songs.” It must have taken a bit of hubris for Bruce Johnston to write a song that says he writes the songs that make the whole world sing. It must have taken a bit more for Manilow to sing the song that he writes the songs that make the whole world sing when he didn’t even write the song that says that.

5. “Weekend in New England.” Randy Edelman’s lyric [barely] mentions New England and doesn’t mention weekends at all. But it’s a pretty song and Manilow’s version has gorgeous orchestration.

6. “I Made It Through the Rain.” The original version was about a songwriter. Manilow rewrote the lyrics so they were not specific to the protagonist’s occupation. It was only a few years after “I Write the Songs” so maybe he didn’t want to record too many songs he didn’t write about being a songwriter.

7. “Can’t Smile Without You.” Several artists, including the Carpenters, recorded this old-fashioned sing-along ditty before Manilow.

8. “Looks Like We Made It.” Richard Kerr (who co-wrote “Mandy”) and Will Jennings (who wrote “My Heart Will Go One”) wrote it, but Manilow was the first to record it. The lyrics are intriguingly ironic, because they’re about two former lovers who find happiness with other partners, not with each other.

9. “Ready to Take a Chance Again.” Written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, who also wrote “Killing Me Softly.”

10. “Somewhere in the Night.” Another Kerr and Jennings song, it was a recorded by third-tier ’70s folkies Batdorf & Rodney and became a hit for Helen Reddy before Manilow made it famous.

Details: 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $106-$256. 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.

February 14, 2018 News-Press"Barry Manilow talks about Germain Arena show, his 'secret' marriage, 'Mandy' and more" by Charles Runnells
Barry Manilow performs Tuesday at Germain Arena, but first, he chatted with The News-Press about the concert, his "secret" marriage, why he quit doing big tours and much more.

Here's what the pop icon had to say about...

  • The difference between his current Florida shows and his One Last Time Tour, the massive two-year tour that visited Germain Arena in 2016 and signaled the end of big tours for Manilow: These are one nighters,” Manilow says about the Florida shows. “We’re doing four in Florida, and then I’m off for a month or so. THAT I can do. It’s not a tour. The one that we did (the One Last Time Tour) was really a tour. It was the last time I was going to do those big tours that kept me away for weeks at a time, going from city to city, hotel to hotel. I was done with that ... It's a young person's gig. It really is. It was the One Last Time Tour, and I wasn’t kidding. That was the end of my big touring years. That was the end of it."

  • His plans to play live shows as long as he can: “As long as they come, I’ll be there,” he says. “And they still seem to be coming to see the shows and enjoy the music. And I certainly do love it, being with my band and my crew ... It’s fun.”

  • His “secret” relationship with longtime partner Garry Kief, now his husband since 2014 (Manilow revealed the marriage to the public last year): “Everybody knew that Garry and I were a couple, for forever!” he says and laughs. “We’ve been together - this is our 40th year together. We’ve been together for 40 years. Everybody knew we were a couple since year one. So it wasn’t like I was hiding. Never! I’ve never been hiding. I just never talked about it unless somebody brought it up. And nobody brought it up!”

  • Why he waited until 2017 to discuss his marriage publicly. Part of it was worry about how fans might react, he says. But the bigger part was his longtime need for privacy: “I’m a private guy,” he says. “I don’t invite you into my house unless I invite you. You can’t come in unless I invite you. So since 1975, I’ve kept my life to myself. My life is so filled with people and music and noise and everything, and I keep that part to myself. It’s one little piece of the pie, and it’s mine. It’s got nothing to do with being gay or not. It’s just, I don’t want people knowing the names of my dogs! ... And I’ve kept that forever. So a relationship is the most private thing you can have, and I didn’t talk about it for that reason only.”

  • His fans' total acceptance and support after he announced his marriage: “I kind of expected that,” he says. “These people who have been in my corner for all these years, they only care that I’m happy. That’s it. So when they read that, they were really happy for me. And I got no negatives, not one negative comment anywhere. And I kind of expected it, because I know who these people are. So that part was beautiful.”

  • How his style of songwriting isn’t in fashion anymore in pop music: “They don’t do it anymore!” he says. “It’s all about rhythm and drum machines and loops. But where’d the melodies go? Did you see the Grammys? Can you sing one (song) back? For what they’re doing, they’re great. For that genre. But the melody seems to have gone the way of the Great American Songbook.”

  • Barry Manilow fans who call themselves “fanilows”: “It’s definitely been a thing for many years,” he says. “It started on the 'Will & Grace' show. One of the characters was standing outside in a really long line for a show I was supposed to be giving, and Eric (actor Eric McCormack) said, ‘What are you, a fanilow?’” Manilow admits he didn’t love the term, at first, but he grew to accept it. “I’m fine with it now,” he says. “Because when people tell me they’re fanilows, they are SERIOUS. And they’re proud to say it. So I got rid of my icks, and I’m fine with it now.”

  • Why "Mandy" is still the song that means the most to him, 43 three years later: “That was the first one,” he says. "It was the biggest surprise of my life. I never thought I’d have a hit record. Suddenly, I had a No. 1 record, and it was crazy. It was the most exciting and terrifying couple of years of my life."

  • Manilow never saw himself as the superstar he later became, a pop icon who’s 50 Top 40 hits include “Copacabana,” “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Looks Like We Made It.” He had a more low-key career planned, in fact. “I was going to be a musician, an arranger, a conductor, a songwriter,” he says. “That’s where I was heading. And suddenly I wind up with a No. 1 record. And boy oh boy, that was a crazy year. It exploded in a million pieces, and I just wasn’t prepared for it ... I’d never even thought of it. And really, it changed my life.”

  • How he learned to play the piano... “I was raised by my grandparents and my mother in a Jewish household (in Brooklyn),” he says. “And if you were a Jew or an Italian, you had to play the accordion. They won’t let you over the Brooklyn Bridge if you don’t play the accordion. (My family) knew I was musical, but they didn’t know what to do with me. And certainly they had no money. But somehow, they put a whole bunch of money together to rent me an accordion and get an accordion teacher. And I was good at it. But the best part about it was I learned to read music. And that was the beginning, for me. And then my mother remarried, and Willie Murphy came into my life. That's my stepfather. And he got rid of the accordion and rented me a piano. And from that moment on, I was on my way.”
February 10, 2018 Herald-Tribune"Barry Manilow brings his hits to Van Wezel gala concert: Singer makes a stop on his farewell tour Feb. 16 in Sarasota" by Jay Handelman
Though he became one of the top-selling recording stars of all time, Barry Manilow never gave a thought to a singing career when he was growing up in Brooklyn and started working as an arranger, orchestrator and accompanist for Bette Midler. It was a fluke, he says, that led to four decades of best-selling singles including “Mandy” “Copacabana” “I Write the Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Could it Be Magic” “Looks Like We Made It.” He has sold more than 80 million records.

“Before I started making records, I had 10 years of being an arranger, conductor and songwriter. When ‘Mandy’ came out in ’75, I was already 29. I already had a career. That’s where I thought I would be going. I was conducting and arranging for Bette Midler and then I figured I’d go to the next great singer and the next,” he said. And while he didn’t personally compose “I Write the Songs” (that credit goes to Randy Johnston), Manilow said he wanted people to hear his own music. So, to save money on hiring a professional singer, he made demos of his songs and started sending them around to record labels.

He recalls that it was a time when singer-songwriters like Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro were rising in popularity. “A record executive heard them and asked me if I wanted to record them. When I got a record contract, the only reason I accepted it was because it was a way to get my music out there,” he said in a telephone interview about his performance on Friday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the annual Van Wezel Foundation gala.

The concert is part of an extended farewell tour that is expected to mark his retirement from touring. The tour began in 2015 and he has dates booked through the year. He once recalled in a radio interview that even Midler, whom he accompanied during her now legendary performances at the Continental Baths in New York City, was surprised that he was recording his own music.

Audiences instantly connected with his music, but that meant he had to start touring to promote the recordings. Behind the scenes or the piano, he was fine. But it was a different thing being in the spotlight. “I was terrible. I’m telling you I was just terrible. But the audiences didn’t think I was. They never did. They were OK with me on that stage bumbling around not knowing what I was doing,” he said.

Manilow, who is now 74, eventually “made friends with the idea” of performing, which he has been doing regularly for more than 40 years, from Las Vegas nightclubs, to arena shows and occasionally smaller theaters like Van Wezel, which are his favorite venues. “I like the smaller ones better. What I do is more intimate. When I do it in front of 10,000 people, it’s very exciting, but I like doing it in a smaller venue. They can understand the lyrics, it’s clearer,” he said. And he’s different. “The show is pretty much the same, 90 minutes of songs that everybody will recognize. But it’s different for me because we’re closer,” he said.

Many of his songs are meant to be performed live, he said. “I’ve always written big. Sure, I do some small songs, but I always had this kind of theatrical bent to my writing, always a big idea, a catchy melody, a real interesting arrangement. Those kind of songs work just great when you put them on stage,” he said. Manilow could probably do a four-hour show and not touch on all the songs that he has written or recorded that hit the top 40 or the commercials he wrote or performed from McDonald’s “You Deserve a Break Today” to State Farm’s “Like a Good Neighbor” and “Grab a bucket of Chicken” for KFC.

A musical theater major at Juilliard, Manilow also has written two stage shows with original songs -- “Copacabana,” built around his 1978 hit and “Harmony,” about the German male sextet the Comedian harmonists. The shows have been well-received in different regional productions but haven’t made it to Broadway, which he still hopes will happen at some point.

Various producers and writers also have proposed creating a jukebox musical built around his hit songs (in the style of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” or “Jersey Boys”). “People have approached me about a musical and I tell them to put something together and send it to me and if I like it, I’ll give them permission to do it, but nothing has come of it yet,” he said.

Unlike a lot of performers still plugging away with hits from decades ago, Manilow hasn’t stopped recording. He has recorded more than 30 albums, most recently “This is My Town: Songs of New York,” which was released last year. “I just have ideas. The well hasn’t run dry. I’m still writing. I go from one idea to the next and I’m lucky that record companies are still interested and interested in having me make records. So far so good. I have ideas for three albums right now.”

His other recent albums have featured a series of greatest songs albums from each decade from the 1950s to the 1980s, and the “Greatest Love Songs of All Time,” as well a tribute to Frank Sinatra and several Christmas albums. And audiences haven’t tired of listening to him. “I think I will always connect with an audience with a good melody and a good lyric. If you see what goes on in these concerts, as I do, you’ll feel the same way,” he said. “I think they’re starving for it. They’re starving for a song that has a nice melody and a nice lyric. And I have to believe there will always be an audience for that.”

Barry Manilow: The singer performs at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, as part of the Van Wezel Foundation annual gala. Remaining tickets are $206-$256. For more information: 941-953-3368; vanwezel.org. For information on the gala dinner and event: 941-366-5578; vwfoundation.org

February 3, 2018 Houston Chronicle"Kingwood High gets musical boost from Barry Manilow" by Melanie Feuk
Barry Manilow's concert in Sugar Land drew in much more than fans on the night of Friday, Feb. 2. Some in the crowd of people arriving at the Smart Financial Center carried instruments with them. This unusual behavior may have troubled concert performers under normal circumstances, but was more than welcome at this event.

Through his nonprofit, the Manilow Music Project, Manilow himself launched an instrument drive for music students at Kingwood High School by announcing his donation of a Yamaha keyboard. Anyone who donated a musical instrument received two free tickets to the concert. Among those arriving at the event center were students from Kingwood High School.

Kingwood High School students have been displaced from their school due to flood damage from Hurricane Harvey. The school's fine arts programs suffered a crippling loss of over $1 million worth of equipment. The Humble ISD Education Foundation began a fundraising initiative for the Kingwood High School fine arts, which had collected approximately $12,000 through several events and connections.

The Manilow concert helped boost the fine arts fundraising total by donating $20 of each ticket purchased through the Humble ISD website to Kingwood High School fine arts. "Fine arts are an essential part of education," Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen stated in a news release. "Barry Manilow's donation of a piano keyboard to Kingwood High School touches our hearts and shows that the ravages of flooding will not stop the music. Humble ISD is honored that a true legend - one of the world's best-selling artists - cares for students," Fagen said.

February 2, 2018 News-Press"Free tickets to Barry Manilow at Germain Arena: Just donate musical instruments for kids" by Charles Runnells
Barry Manilow got things started with his plans to donate a Yamaha keyboard to Dunbar High School. Now the pop icon wants Southwest Florida residents to step up, too, and donate more musical instruments to the school. And here’s the bonus: If you donate, you’ll also get two free tickets to Manilow’s Feb. 20 show at Germain Arena (while supplies last).

Manilow kicked off the charity drive last week with a press release for his Manilow Music Project. “I’m thrilled to once again bring the gift of music to these kids,” Manilow said in the release sent by Germain Arena. He couldn’t be reached for further comment through his publicist.

The Manilow Music Project has conducted musical-instrument drives all over the country to help schools with their music programs. Dunbar High’s principal, Carl Burnside, said he was excited to be selected as a beneficiary of the Manilow Music Project. “The gift of music is a very powerful one,” he said in the press release. “I am extremely appreciative that students of Dunbar High will benefit from Mr. Manilow’s mission of highlighting the importance of music programs in schools.”

Donations can be dropped off at the Germain Arena box office between now and Feb. 20. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Anyone who donates a new or “gently used” instrument will get two free tickets to the Feb. 20 show (valid for pre-selected seat locations on a first come, first served basis).

Tickets for the Germain Arena concert are $55-$247 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. Learn more about the Manilow Music Project at manilowmusicproject.org.

January 31, 2018 Rare Houston"Houston Show Choir to sing alongside legend Barry Manilow at upcoming high school benefit concert" by Danielle Husband
This weekend, the Houston Show Choir will take the stage alongside music legend Barry Manilow as the star performs in town. Thirty-two lucky members of the 70-person choir will sing backup for Manilow at his Friday concert.

Join the Grammy-winning crooner on three of his famous hits, the group will don black choir robes as they perform: “We’re doing, ‘I Write The Songs,’ ‘Copacabana’ and ‘It's a Miracle,'” music director Jen Young said in an interview with KHOU. “From what I can gather, the whole stage is going to go black, and we get about 17 seconds to get everybody on stage in our choir risers, behind everything else. So, we’re this extra dimension that comes in for these big final three songs.”

The all-volunteer, unpaid choir members said they are rehearsing hard for the opportunity, preparing to make Houston proud. But this isn’t the first time the choir performed with Manilow; he first worked with them in 2016, when they delighted him with their background vocals.

Manilow’s concert is also reportedly helping a local school recover from Hurricane Harvey, thanks to the Manilow Music Project: Kingwood High School, part of Humble ISD, sustained extensive damage in the storm, prompting Manilow to raise funds and [donating musical instruments] to help students get back on track with their music studies.

Fans who donated a new or gently-used musical instrument received two free tickets to Manilow’s upcoming concert, while fans who couldn’t donate an instrument could buy concert tickets through a special link. For each ticket sold through the link, $20 went to the foundation to help the high school. Manilow takes the stage at the Smart Financial Center in Sugarland on Friday, February 2nd.

January 28, 2018 KHOU-TVHouston choir to perform with Barry Manilow
Grammy award-winner Barry Manilow will be in concert in Sugar Land this Friday. The music legend will sing his greatest hits with the help of the Houston Show Choir. Thirty-two of the choir's 70 members will participate in the February 2, 2018 concert. This weekend, the group rehearsed at a middle school in The Heights. "Big deal! Huge deal! International Superstar," gushed music director Jen Young. "Huge deal!"

The Houston Show Choir is a volunteer-based, unpaid singing group. Members range in age from 20 to 71-years old. "There are a few in this choir that were probably born well after he was more than famous," said 62-year old member Rhonda Cold-Thrailkill.

Friday, the group will wear black robes and have only 17 seconds between songs to enter the stage at the Smart Financial Center. "We’re doing, 'I Write The Songs,' 'Copacabana' and '[It's A] Miracle,'" said Young. "From what I can gather, the whole stage is going to go black and we get about 17 seconds to get everybody on stage in our choir risers, behind everything else. So, we’re this extra dimension that comes in for these big final three songs."

The Grammy-winning Manilow first found the singing group two years ago when he needed a local choir to boost his performance in 2016. They sang so well, the choir was asked to return for this year's performance. They're the only local musicians singing with Manilow. "We actually get to meet him when we’re on stage with him," said Young. The group will rehearse with Manilow's band Friday ahead of the performance. "I would just like to be able to shake his hand and say thanks," said Young. "Thanks for your contribution to music and the musical world."

January 27, 2018 Chronicle Live"When Barry Manilow brought a little piece of the Copacabana to Newcastle: American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow played to a sold-out Newcastle Arena on this night 20 years ago" by David Morton
Whatever your taste in music, it’s hard to deny Barry Manilow has knocked out a decent pop tune or two. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943, the singer-songwriter’s career has spanned more than five decades and he’s sold more than 70 million records. Working early on as a musical arranger for the likes of Bette Midler, Manilow’s first UK hit, Mandy, reached number 11, in early 1975. And on this night 20 years ago, the 54-year-old was stepping out in concert at Newcastle Arena.

A Chronicle reviewer was at the sold-out venue which, for a short while anyway, became a little piece of the Copacabana. We reported: “On a freezing cold night, Barry Manilow soon warmed the hearts of his adoring fans with a super performance. “The new-style Manilow - all high-tech gadgets and new songs - was preaching to the converted, but they loved it. From the opening number, reminiscing Barry ran through 20 years of hits from his major albums through to the latest in remixed versions of Could It Be Magic, the big hit for Take That. A light interlude came when Manilow pulled two people from the audience to perform Bermuda Triangle, and he followed this up with It’s A Miracle and one of his best known songs, Mandy. After a one-minute break, he returned to perform Can’t Smile Without You. Manilow praised all of his fans for attending and had a quiet word for their escorts when he said leading into the final finale: ‘For those who were dragged here, this will be agony’. But even those who were forced into going must have appreciated the professionalism of the man who continues to write the songs that makes the whole world sing, and who entertained for more than two hours.”

Two decades down the line, and today at 74, Barry Manilow last performed in a high-profile show late last year at Los Angeles Forum called A Very Barry Christmas.

January 26, 2018 Fox 26 NewsBarry Manilow giving back to Humble ISD
KINGWOOD, Texas (FOX 26) - Pop music icon Barry Manilow is bringing his Manilow Music Project to Kingwood High School, which was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The legendary singer-songwriter plans to donate a Yamaha keyboard to launch a local music instrument drive.

Manilow also wants the public to participate in his project. Anyone who donates a new or gently used musical instrument will receive two free tickets for his February 2 concert in Sugar Land at the Smart Financial Centre.

$20 of every ticket sold through www.humbleisd.net/khs/manilow will be donated back to support Kingwood High School Fine Arts. “I’m thrilled to once again bring the gift of music to these kids,” said Manilow. Donated instruments will benefit Fine Arts Education in Humble ISD.

The box office at Smart Financial Centre will be the drop off point for the instrument drive now through February 2. Hours are Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On show day February 2, the box office will be open an hour into the show. “Fine arts are an essential part of education,” Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “Barry Manilow’s donation of a piano keyboard to Kingwood High School touches our hearts and shows that the ravages of flooding will not stop the music. Humble ISD is honored that a true legend -- one of the world’s best-selling artists -- cares for students.”

January 26, 2018 KPRC Click2Houston"Barry Manilow brings music project drive to Kingwood HS for Hurricane Harvey relief" By Cynthia Capers
KINGWOOD, Texas - Pop music icon Barry Manilow is leading by example in hopes others will follow as he brings his Manilow Music Project to flood-ravaged Kingwood High School. Kingwood School was left devastated after Hurricane Harvey hit in August.

Manilow plans to donate a Yamaha keyboard to launch a local music instrument drive. "I’m thrilled to once again bring the gift of music to these kids," Manilow said. He said anyone who donates a new or gently used musical instrument will receive two free tickets for preselected seats, on a first-come, first-serve basis, for Manilow's concert on Feb. 2 at Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land.

Additionally, $20 per ticket sold through Humbleisd.net will be donated to support Kingwood High School Fine Arts. "Fine arts are an essential part of education, " Humble Independent School District Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said. "Barry Manilow's donation of a piano keyboard to Kingwood High School touches our hearts and shows that the ravages of flooding will not stop the music. Humble ISD is honored that a true legend, one of the world's best-selling artists, cares for our students."

The box office at Smart Financial Centre will be the drop-off point for the instrument drive now through Feb. 2. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Monday through Friday.

January 25, 2018 Sarasota Magazine"That Manilow Magic! Barry Manilow Comes to the Van Wezel: The singer makes his Sarasota debut on Feb. 16, at the Van Wezel Foundation’s annual gala" by Kay Kipling
Barry Manilow (“Mandy,” “Copacabana,” “Ready to Take a Chance Again”) makes his Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall debut Feb. 16, as part of the Van Wezel Foundation’s annual gala, which raises funds to support the hall’s education programs. The cause dovetails with Manilow’s own aims to put musical instruments into schools with his Manilow Music Project. No longer on the road regularly, Manilow makes special appearances like this one; we chatted with him about the show business career he never expected to happen the way it did.

Sarasota Magazine (SM): After such a long career and so many hits, what keeps you motivated to perform?
Barry Manilow (BM): I haven’t got an answer for that. I’ve always been a self starter; I’ve always been able to just create out of thin air. It doesn’t seem to me it’s ever going away.

SM: You don’t ever have writer’s block?
BM: Sometimes writing is a little more difficult than others. But I’ve never been a guy that waits for the phone to ring. I always am able to create, and there’s usually enough interest from record companies or TV shows to want me to do albums or TV specials. And the audiences are still coming. I don’t understand it, but I’m glad and grateful.

SM: Did you know from early childhood that music was it for you?
BM: Yeah, but I didn’t believe it, because I come from nothing, Brooklyn, New York, no money. When you come from that background, you don’t take a chance; you’ve got to get that Friday paycheck. As soon as I got out of high school, I got a day job; then I went to college and did music in the evenings. I was playing piano for singers, arranging music for singers, and I started making more money as an arranger and piano player than the day job. So I quit the day job and went into the music world.

SM: There was no background in your family of music?
BM: No, but they knew that I was a musical kid. They had no money, so they stuck an accordion in my hands. Every Jewish and Italian kid in Brooklyn had that. I knew how to read music, so it was easy to switch to piano later. But I never wanted to be a singer. I was going to be a songwriter, an arranger, a producer. I wanted to be in the background. But in that era, the early 1970s, the singer-songwriters like Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, were becoming popular, and record companies were looking for their version of singer-songwriters. I started to send demos of the songs that I wrote to record companies. I couldn’t afford real singers, so I sang on my own demos. And I got a record contract from those demos, which was a big laugh for all my friends. When I told them I got a record deal, they said, “Doing what?”

SM: Did it take you a while to get used to thinking of yourself as a singer?
BM: Oh, yeah. I was more comfortable in the recording studio, because I had already done two albums as a producer/arranger for Bette Midler. So I knew how to make my own albums, and I had a great co-producer, Ron Dante. But in order to promote an album, you have to go out on the road and sing and get up on a stage and be personable with the audience... and I was terrible. But from the very first show, something happened, they connected with me and I connected with them, and it took off. I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t really understand it now. I know I’ve gotten better at it, gotten more comfortable on stage. But back then I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t throwing tomatoes.

SM: What musicians have you learned the most from?
BM: My musicians have taught me more than anybody. These guys are inspiring, because they are true musicians; that’s all they think about and all they live for. But as a performer, Bette was my role model. When I started I tried to be Bette, and that’s probably why I was terrible, because nobody can be Bette. So I tossed that idea out. I had to trust that I just had to be myself up there.

SM: How would you describe your style?
BM: Anything that makes people feel. I always know I’m wrong if I don’t get goosebumps from a melody I’ve written, or even if it’s another person’s song. If it doesn’t make me feel something, no one else will feel it, either.

SM: Tell me about your current album.
BM: It’s a tribute to New York; half originals, half standards. I always knew I’d do this album. This Is My Town. I’ve lived in California now longer than I lived in New York, but when you come from New York, you are always a New Yorker. I talk fast, I walk fast. I have to slow down a little bit when I’m in the middle of the country.

SM: Was there a specific moment where you thought, “I’ve made it, this is success”?
BM: No. I’ve never felt that. Yes, I’ve had lots of hit records but... do people think like that? I don’t. I’m always thinking of the next one.

SM: What are you particularly proud of?
BM: That I stayed the same guy I was when I started. I started older than most people; “Mandy” was No. 1 when I was 28 or 29, so I’d already had a career. It was thrilling, but I was an adult. I remained the same guy, and I think that’s rare. It’s tempting to change, and there’s a lot of pressure for a young person. I did American Idol three times, as a judge and mentor. I remember there was this young girl, and they were putting so much make-up on her and she was wearing Versace, and I thought, what is she in for? I was hoping that she didn’t win, and could go back home and grow up.

SM: What other interests do you pursue?
BM: I’m shallow. That’s all I do. I’ve got my dogs, I’ve got my partner, I’ve got a beautiful life. But I’ve been on the road for so many years I haven’t had time to collect stamps or cars or do any of that.

SM: Were you pleasantly surprised by the public response when the news of your marriage came out?
BM: When Garry and I met in 1978... then, I wouldn’t have had a career. But these days you come out and nobody cares. By the way, I’ve always been out. Everybody’s always known about Garry and me, even the public, I’m sure. I’ve never hidden that I’m a gay man. The fans, the people who’ve supported me all these years, they care about me. So when they read that I was happy and that I had somebody in my life, they were happy for me.

January-March 2018 Desert Charities News"Q&A with Barry Manilow" by Mary Guinane
Desert Charities News (DCN): 1. You've chosen many charities to receive funds from the benefit concerts, is there a personal connection you could share that inspired you to choose one or two of them?
Barry Manilow (BM): The Manilow Music Project all began when a friend's daughter wanted to learn how to play the saxophone and the school didn't have one. When I dove into finding out why they didn't have the instrument, I learned that because of budget cuts all the middle schools around the country are running out of instruments. And that's how the Manilow Music Project was born. We got instruments to all the schools in the Coachella Valley, but we were helped tremendously by Brian the Music Director at the Palm Springs High School. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for him and for the school because they were the first. Barbara Sinatra's Children Center, Desert AIDS Foundation, Guide Dogs of the Desert and Desert Cancer Foundation all have personal connections.

DCN: 2. How would you spend your favorite day out and about in Palm Springs?
BM: I rarely leave my gorgeous home. It's big with lots of acreage and my own recording studio. People who visit me for the first time always say, "Why would you ever leave here?" I always answer, "I DON'T!"

DCN: 3. You've inspired other musicians, who inspired you to get on stage?
BM: Nobody ever inspired me to perform on a stage because I never wanted to! I was going to be a musician, arranger, conductor or songwriter when I was younger. So the thought of performing on a stage was terrifying to me. Everyone I knew understood this. But there HAVE been people who have inspired me over the years: My stepfather, Willie Murphy, introduced me to great music. But most of all, it's my band - really, my band who inspires me the most. They are true musicians; totally committed to their craft and all of them decent people.

DCN: 4. Was there a something specific that inspired you to give back to Palm Springs?
See answer 1.

DCN: 5. You've given so generously to many schools, have you heard of students pursuing a musical career after receiving an instrument from those donations?
BM: I've received many thank you notes from young students and I would hope some of them have decided to pursue a career as musicians.

DCN: 6. Do these benefit concerts feel different than regular concerts for you?
BM: There's a feeling of gratitude coming from the audience to me and from me to them that is beautiful and a little different than in my usual concerts.

DCN: 7. If you only got to sing one song ever again, which would you choose?
BM: My song "Could It Be Magic" based on the Chopin Prelude in C Minor because it was one of the first professional songs I wrote.

DCN: 8. Any funny snafus you can share that have happened behind the scenes during one of the benefit concerts?
BM: During the last Gift Of Love concerts, the ... organization were planning on bringing out a Porcupine and an Eagle to show the audience how they had saved their lives. During the rehearsal the Porcupine freaked out. Wouldn't come out of his cage and when they got him out he spun around and around and then tried to run away. I guess it was stage fright! So they took him home. All for the best. But we kept the Eagle.

DCN: 9. If you could have any singer alive or dead join you on stage at the McCallum in December, who would you invite?
BM: Frank Sinatra. Judy Garland. Lady Gaga.

DCN: 10. What motivated you to make Palm Springs home?
BM: Peace. My life is so loud and energetic. I needed a place where all the noise goes away when I get home. Palm Springs is paradise for me.

DCN: 11. What can readers do to best support young musicians today?
BM: First, get your children a music teacher. See if playing an instrument turns them on. Then, try and go to concerts that have young musicians. Donate whatever you can to those organizations that showcase young musicians.

DCN: 12. Which of the song lyrics you've written resonate the most with you personally?
BM: One Voice is the one I always come back to. I wrote the song in a dream. It's about how it takes just one person to make a difference.

DCN: 13. In your opinion, what's been the most profound change in the music industry during your career?
BM: The ability to write and record songs on computers using the amazing music machines that are available. The sound of music has changed entirely because even young musicians who are just starting out can write and record pretty good sounding songs.

DCN: 14. What advice would you give to an aspiring musician still in school?
BM: Learn to read music. Because even if you don't become the next superstar, you'll always be able to work if you can read music.

DCN: 15. If there's ever a "retired" Barry Manilow, how will he spend his time?
I can't even say the word "retired"! They'll be carrying me out and I'll be yelling, "Wait! I've got one more idea!!"

DCN: 16. Is there one performance in your career you could go back and enjoy again, which one would it be?
BM: First time playing Carnegie Hall. My grandparents were there. I'll never forget it.

When Where Articles/Reviews
December 23, 2017 The Desert Sun"Barry Manilow's 'Gift Of Love' was a neighborly event" by Trudy Tedder
"Good neighbors make a huge difference in the quality of life." - Robert Fulghum. I agree! And so does Barry Manilow. At his recent benefit concert, Manilow made repeated references to the joys of performing "at home" in the Coachella Valley.

This was the 4th year that Manilow has performed a series of five sold-out "Gift Of Love" concerts at the McCallum Theatre, benefitting 25 local charities. Good neighbor indeed! Over $500,000 was raised in support of ACT for MS, AAP-Food Samaritans, Angel View, Animal Samaritans, Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley, Cancer Partners, California CareForce, College of the Desert Foundation, Desert AIDS Project, Desert Arc, Desert Cancer Foundation, The Desert Symphony, The Girlfriend Factor, Guide Dogs of the Desert, JFS of the Desert, The Center, The Manilow Music Project, Martha's Village & Kitchen, McCallum Theatre Institute, "Paws and Hearts" Animal Assisted Therapy, S.O.S., Tools for Tomorrow, United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire, and The Well in the Desert.

During each of the 5 concerts, a different charity came on stage with Barry and told about their organization, what they do and how they help the community. Please visit the individual charity websites for more information on how you can volunteer or donate or BOTH.

December 13, 2017 The Desert Sun"Barry Manilow brings snow and holiday cheer home to the desert with charity shows" by Xochitl Pena
The first of Barry Manilow’s five holiday shows at the McCallum Theatre kicked off with a winter wonderland of fun that included glow sticks, a sing-a-long, streamers and some of his most iconic songs. The show opened in dramatic fashion, the red velvet curtain slowly gliding back to reveal an elaborate stage with more than a dozen Christmas trees, lots of fake snow and a huge crackling fire. Then Manilow, wearing a red sequin tuxedo jacket, walked on stage to a fanatical roar from the crowd and opened the show with “It’s a Miracle.”

Tuesday was his fourth “Gift of Love” benefit concert series which were also held in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The benefit shows raise money for 25 charities and includes five holiday shows over the course of six days, wrapping up on Sunday. “So glad to see all of you. So glad to do this again,” said Manilow to the full house. “And I’m so happy to be home where I live. I live right around here. There’s nothing like being home around the holiday season for me.”

Manilow, one of the best-selling adult contemporary recording artists of all time, has a home in Palm Springs with his long-time manager and partner, Garry Kief. The hour-and-a-half show was a mixture of pop hits and Christmas songs. His set list included “Christmas is Just Around the Corner,” “Somewhere in the Night,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells,” “Looks Like We Made It,” and “I Made it Through the Rain.” When he sang “(There’s no place like) Home for the Holiday’s” he had some fun by changing the lyrics to include places like “Indio,” “Palm Desert,” “Desert Hot Springs,” and “Palm Springs.”

He also sang the Frank Sinatra ditty “Violets for Your Fur,” which he said he found on one of the Rat Packer’s older albums, but not before sharing a few words about the popular crooner whose birthday was Tuesday and also lived in Palm Springs. “Everybody loves Sinatra. He and Barbara lived here for years. We even named a street after him in Rancho Mirage. I’d be happy if they named a drive-way after me in Temecula,” he said garnering lots of laughs from the audience.

Manilow also had his signature white grand piano on stage, which he utilized for his songs “Even Now,” “Weekend in New England,” and “Mandy.” His elaborate rendition of "Mandy" though, also included an an outfit change into a white tuxedo blazer and an accompanying video of himself in 1975 sitting at an identical piano. So his 2017 self sang "Mandy" with his 1975 self.

“No one does arrangements the way Barry Manilow does arrangements. And no one can crawl into a song the way Barry can crawl into a song,” said Alan Silberlight from Pennsylvania who has been to more than 500 Manilow shows and met his wife Linda on a Manilow internet chat site. “It’s his showmanship, the sincerity, the honesty, the way he presents himself. The way when he sings you feel like he’s talking to you,” said Silberlight of why he is such a fan. “His music speaks to my soul,” added his wife Linda Silberlight.

The audience was filled with hardcore Manilow fans, equipped with glow sticks passed out prior to the show, who waved them in the air during such iconic songs as “I Write the Songs” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).”

Manilow has brought so many people together with their love of his music, many of whom travel from across the globe to see him perform. And lots there on Tuesday, like Chris Olson from Long Beach, planned to attend all five “Gift of Love” Shows. “I came to all five shows two years ago and I love it because it’s Christmas music. I just love the Christmas season,” she said.

The show winded down with Manilow, now dressed in a black tuxedo with tails, on stage with young children and Santa, who all helped with a Christmas medley of “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Feliz Navidad,” and “White Christmas,” which also included a scene-setting snow shower inside the theater. Then to end the show, he brought out the Washington Charter Children’s Choir, dressed in their holiday best, to help him sing “Because It’s Christmas.”

Manilow concerts in the desert. What: Barry Manilow's “Gift of Love” holiday concerts. When: 8 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sunday. Where: The McCallum Theatre, 73-000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert. Tickets: $90-$400. Information: (760) 340-ARTS.

Charity beneficiaries: ACT For MS; AAP-Food Samaritans; Angel View; Animal Samaritans; Barbara Sinatra Children's Center; Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley; California CareForce; College of the Desert Foundation; Desert AIDS Project; Desert Arc; Desert Cancer Foundation; The Desert Symphony; Gilda's Club Desert Cities; The Girlfriend Factor; Guide Dogs of the Desert; JFS of the Desert; The LGBT Community Center of the Desert; The Manilow Music Project; Martha's Village & Kitchen; McCallum Theatre Institute; "Paws and Hearts" Animal Assisted Therapy; S.O.S.; Tools for Tomorrow; United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire; The Well in the Desert.

December 13, 2017 SouthFlorida.com"Barry Manilow among acts playing South Florida casinos" by David Raterman
Fans of classic rock and pop and standup comics have lots to look forward to at South Florida casinos... The various organizers must have had my sister Lisa in mind. Barry Manilow [was one of] her early crushes ... Barry Manilow will perform at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com) on Feb. 21. Lisa loves all his songs, but her favorites are “Looks Like We Made It” and “Even Now.” Tickets cost from $65 to $180.
December 9, 2017 Las Vegas Review-Journal"Manilow at Westgate: Could this be the magic?" by John Katsilometes
It’s dot-and-cross time for Barry Manilow, as he maps out his anticipated return to Las Vegas and residency at Westgate. For the first time in detail, Manilow described his talks with Westgate officials to the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California (his adopted hometown). “It looks better and better,” he said, mentioning his manager, Garry [Kief]. “Garry’s up to dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. It’s that close.”

Westgate owner David Siegel confirmed he’s pursuing Manilow. “We’re in talks,” he said in a text message Saturday. “No deal yet.”

Manilow is expected to visit the Westgate this week and meet with Siegel and other hotel reps. The 74-year-old pop superstar has an opening in his schedule Thursday and Friday as he breaks from holiday benefit concerts at Palm Desert, California’s McCallum Theatre.

Westgate’s interest bringing Manilow back to its property was first reported here in mid-August. Manilow headlined at the old Elvis Presley showroom from 2005-[2009], when the hotel was branded Las Vegas Hilton. He moved to Paris Theater for two years, closing in December [2011] as “Jersey Boys” moved into the hotel.

In his interview with the Desert Sun, published Saturday, Manilow described his “dream” residency. He would perform two weekends a month and fly in from Palm Springs on Thursdays and do the show Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, then return home on Saturday night. “I’m doing one-nighters now and again, but I can’t keep my band if I’m just going to do that,” he said. “So, when this offer came in, it sounded like a way to keep my band together and I have great memories of working at the Hilton, or what they’re calling it now, the Westgate. I would do it because it’s only two weekends a month and that would keep the band working,” he added. “For me, two weekends a month is a dream.”

Whether Manilow’s dream is reality will likely be sorted out by Christmas, if not sooner.

December 8, 2017 The Desert Sun"Barry Manilow hoping for Las Vegas residency after giving desert his 'Gift of Love'" by Bruce Fessier
Barry Manilow has given up his old life of one-nighters. And it has nothing to do with his much publicized marriage of three years ago. Manilow, 74, gave up doing long concert tours of one city after another primarily because he wanted to spend more time at his expansive, sublime Palm Springs home. He released an album devoted to his native metropolis earlier this year, titled, “This Is My Town: The Songs of New York.” But Palm Springs is the town he looks forward to returning home to after being in New York.

“My life is high energy,” he said between meetings with his writers and music directors for his upcoming "Gift of Love" benefit concerts. “And when I come home, I want what’s here. Everybody will tell you the same thing. It’s peace. That’s what it offers all of us, especially those of us who are on the road. I’m a very fortunate guy. I come home to this beauty and this magnificence.”

Manilow still loves to perform and he’s not likely to quit as long as the fans who have made him arguably the best-selling adult contemporary recording artist of all time still clamor to see him. But now there are more ways to experience Manilow than possibly ever before. They start with his fourth set of "Gift of Love" benefit concerts since 2009, featuring five holiday shows in six days beginning Tuesday at the McCallum Theatre. He elaborated on his omnipresence in an interview covering the following variety of topics:

The “Gift of Love” shows: “I actually put together a real bona fide Christmas show,” he said, “and it’s a real production, much bigger than the production I go on the road with. When that red curtain opens, I think that it’ll be a gas because it’s a beautiful, beautiful Christmas set. It will be a lot of the pop hits and a handful of the Christmas stuff. I’ve got three Christmas albums (not counting a 2012 holiday compilation LP) and those songs are great live, so, a mixture of both. We have little children and high school kids and then the choir at the end of the show.”

Desert Sun (DS): How hard is it to narrow the list of recipients of your concert proceeds to 25 Coachella Valley charities?
Barry Manilow (BM): "Garry (Kief, his husband and manager) and I work on it real hard. It starts off with a lot of names, and it’s hard to not use every one of them. I have a team of people who do the hard work. Then they give me a list. But they’re familiar to me by now. There’s a whole bunch of animal charities that really speak to me. But I can’t do too many of the same kind of organizations, so I pick the ones that I think need us – little charities here and there that are struggling. Those are the ones I like to pick."

DS: You just did concerts in Chicago and New York and you have a show at The Forum in Los Angeles on Dec. 20.
BM: "Yeah. That’s the first time I’m doing a Christmas show outside of here, and they’re big. If it works, if somebody comes to see it and they enjoy it, then I’ll probably do more next year around the country."

A Las Vegas residency at the Westgate Hotel: “It looks better and better. Garry’s up to dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. It’s that close. I didn’t want to stop performing because I really enjoy when I do it. But I had to get away from going from city-to-city and hotel-to-hotel and being away from home for weeks at a time. I was done with that. I’m doing one-nighters now and again, but I can’t keep my band if I’m just going to do that. So, when this offer came in, it sounded like a way to keep my band together and I have great memories of working at the Hilton, or what they’re calling it now, the Westgate. I would do it because it’s only two weekends a month and that would keep the band working. For me, two weekends a month is a dream.”

DS: Would you commute to work from Palm Springs, as you tried to do the last time you were at the Hilton?
BM: “For a while, I took a private plane home every night. Then I saw the bills. So, we would leave on a Thursday and do the show Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and come home on Saturday night. That’s what I’ll do again. It’s really easy. It’s a 20-minute flight and I’m on the stage having a ball with my road family. The audiences there are great night after night and they give us a great big Las Vegas suite. Sometimes I bring the dogs. I have nothing but good memories of my experiences there.”

DS: Would you be in the Elvis Presley suite?
BM: “Yeah, the Elvis suite! It was all pink. And it was huge on the top floor and the roof of the Hilton. You could see the whole of Vegas from every window. It had a Jacuzzi that said it would only seat 46 people. If you bring 47 people, the cops come out. They had a lawn on the roof of the Hilton and the rooms were ridiculously big. I made one room into a recording studio. I just had the greatest time there. We were there for five years. They created a little bar for us. The band and I would go up on Friday nights. They called it Frank’s Friday because of Sinatra, and that’s when we’d all hang. A lot of famous people came to see our shows during those years. But Fridays were really great.”

Places he’d still like to play: “The only one – and I did it twice – is Carnegie Hall. I don’t know why we never go back there. When we get to New York, we always do, I don’t know, a Madison Square Garden kind of place. I’ve done Radio City a lot and the legit houses. Those are great, too. But Carnegie Hall is so special. I did that when ‘Mandy’ came out and my grandparents were still alive, back in the ‘70s, and they got to see me – their grandson, at Carnegie Hall! That was really, really great.”

DS: You once said you thought Palm Springs needed a singer’s showcase-type nightclub. Now Suzanne Somers is trying to buy the Plaza Theatre to use as a showcase for her talents. What are your feelings about that?
BM: “I wish her luck. I think she’s a wonderful performer. I love the shows that I’ve seen her do. She sings better than anybody would imagine. She’s funny as hell. She’s beautiful up there. If she could find a place that she could do a show as much as she wanted, she would be so happy and these audiences would be very happy, too. If she can get that place, good luck, man. It would be wonderful for Palm Springs. She’s just great live. People think of her as an author, which she is. But they don’t know how wonderful she is an entertainer.”

DS: Could you see yourself dropping in and doing a show or at least a few numbers with her once in a while?
BM: “Who knows? We’ll see what happens.”

On ManilowTV.com: “We’ve been doing this for a long time. I have taped audio or video of everything I have ever done and the only reason I do it is so I can learn from my mistakes or give my notes to my lighting people or my band. I learned that from Joan Rivers. Before I met Bette (Midler), I had an act with a girl singer. We were opening for Joan at a club called the Upstairs at the Downstairs in Manhattan. When I was playing her on, she would go on the stage with a little cassette machine. She would hit the record button and then she would do her show and she would listen to it and make corrections and add stuff. So, I did the same thing when I began to perform. I took a cassette machine and gave it to my audio guy. When I got a video camera, I did the same thing. Well, I’ve done this since the '70s and I have everything. So that’s what ManilowTV is. We just dig back into the archives of these performances of 40 years and we put it on ManilowTV. I think people have been enjoying it.”

On Manilow radio: “I had my own channel on iHeartRadio. I had three years of that and I took that very seriously. I didn’t play my concerts. I played my favorite songs. I (now) have a BBC radio series. I’m on my third year of it and it’s all about songwriters. It’s very successful in Britain. It’s called “They Write the Songs.” I do 10 episodes a year and I just finished 10 episodes. It’s fun and funny and kind of informative.”

On his recordings: “In the early days, (the critics) really were very brutal to me. In Britain, they call it “the tall poppy theory.” That means they cut down the tallest poppy. That do that to everybody. I was on the road for about a year promoting my first album, which had 'Could It Be Magic' on it, 'I Am A Child,' and it got great reviews. I would get to these little clubs and get great reviews for the show, too. Then 'Mandy' came out and went No. 1 and, as soon as the sold-out signs went up, I could do no right. I’m telling you, terrible reviews. Because I’m a human being, I would feel bad and I would pull the covers over my head and I would go into self-pity for one afternoon, and that would be it. I’d go back because I like what I do. The audiences were still loving it. I certainly wouldn’t be doing anything differently because of a review or two. I do what feels good.”

DS: I like your most recent album, “This Is My Town: The Songs of New York.” “Lonely Town” reminds me of Sinatra and you have a great blend with Mel Torme on “Brooklyn Bridge.”
BM: “I loved doing it. It took me over a year to create this one. Bruce (Sussman, his lyricist) and I had a great time writing the original stuff. It was choosing the standards (to complement the originals) that was the hard part because I didn’t realize how many great songs there were about New York. That’s why I wound up doing a long medley at the end of the album and I put “Uptown” and “Downtown” together. I didn’t want to leave anything out. I could have done five albums of New York songs, written by some great people.”

DS: Do you have another album planned?
BM: “I’m thinking about it. They take so long for me and they mean so much. I never just phone it in. Every single album I’ve made, I just dive in. This month is filled with Christmas and then if we hit Vegas, that’s going to be another exciting, creative experience."

DS: Do you think that could happen by summer?
BM: “I think it could be sooner than that. Garry will kill me for talking too much, but, if it happens, it will happen sooner than summer. It all depends on if he can work out all the deals. He’s telling me it’s getting very close.”

Manilow concerts in the desert. What: Barry Manilow's “Gift of Love” holiday concerts. When: 8 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sunday. Where: The McCallum Theatre, 73-000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert. Tickets: $90-$400. Information: (760) 340-ARTS.

Charity beneficiaries: ACT For MS; AAP-Food Samaritans; Angel View; Animal Samaritans; Barbara Sinatra Children's Center; Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley; California CareForce; College of the Desert Foundation; Desert AIDS Project; Desert Arc; Desert Cancer Foundation; The Desert Symphony; Gilda's Club Desert Cities; The Girlfriend Factor; Guide Dogs of the Desert; JFS of the Desert; The LGBT Community Center of the Desert; The Manilow Music Project; Martha's Village & Kitchen; McCallum Theatre Institute; "Paws and Hearts" Animal Assisted Therapy; S.O.S.; Tools for Tomorrow; United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire; The Well in the Desert.

December 8, 2017 Chicago Tribune"Red Rose Children’s Choir help Barry Manilow bring holiday cheer at Allstate Arena" by Alan Parikh
Thirty children from the Red Rose Children's Choir of Lake County and the Lake County Boys Choir received the holiday gift of a lifetime when they were selected to perform in Barry Manilow's holiday concert, "A Very Barry Christmas", at Allstate Arena on December 5. The children sang three songs with Mr. Manilow to a packed crowd, including the finale, helping him take his final bows.
December 4, 2017 Broadway WorldBarry Manilow Comes to the Majestic Theatre
The pop music icon Barry Manilow will take the stage at the Majestic Theatre (224 E. Houston St.) in celebration of his newest album, This is My Town: Songs of New York on January 31, 2018 at 7:30PM. Fans will be in for a treat when they hear Manilow perform his greatest hits like "Copacabana" and "Mandy" as well as songs from his new album. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 8 at NOON.

Manilow has sold over 85 million albums and has 50 Top 40 hits. Do not miss the chance to hear the legend in person on January 31! Tickets ($59.75 - $249.75) for Barry Manilow will be available In Person at the Majestic Theatre Box Office, online at ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 800.745.3000. All tickets subject to applicable service charges and fees.

Barry Manilow's unparalleled career encompasses virtually every area of music, including performing, composing, arranging, and producing. A Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Manilow has triumphed in every medium of entertainment. With worldwide sales exceeding 85 million, Barry Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time.

For more information, visit manilow.com or majesticempire.com.

December 4, 2017 News 4 San AntonioBarry Manilow set to perform at the Majestic Theatre in January
The Majestic Theatre is getting some Copacabana love this January as pop music icon Barry Manilow will be stopping by to perform. Tickets will go on sale this Friday starting at $59.75. The show is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. You can get your tickets in person at the Majestic Theatre Box Office, online at ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
December 4, 2017 San Antonio Current"Barry Manilow Will Play Majestic Theatre in January" by Chris Conde
With a career that speaks for itself – one that includes selling more than 85 million albums and securing 50 Top 40 hits – the legendary Barry Manilow doesn’t need much introduction. On tour with his latest album This is My Town: Songs of New York (released back in April) the “Copacabana” and “Mandy” singer will be playing the Majestic on Wednesday, January 31 just in time for us to recover from holiday bills. Tickets ($59.75-$249.75) go on sale this Friday, December 8 at noon and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
December 1, 2017 Palm Springs Life"Barry Manilow Headlines Festive December Holiday Calendar" by Emily Chavous
“I like the people here,” Barry Manilow once told Palm Springs Life. It’s clear the people of Greater Palm Springs like Barry too. Whenever he appears on our cover, the issue disappears from stands quicker than a loaf of monkey bread from the coffee table on Christmas morning. Maybe it’s a neighborly love. Manilow moved to the desert full-time 20 years ago, maintains an active philanthropic agenda, and has become a paragon of the LGBTQ community.

Since the 1970s, the 74-year-old has sold more than 80 million records, positioning himself among an elite group of all-time best-selling artists. He launched his A Gift of Love concert series in 2009 as a way to demonstrate support for our valley. This year’s benefit includes five shows at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert contributing a portion of proceeds to 25 area charities. “I wish I could do this in every city where I perform,” he shared with editor Steven Biller in his 2012 interview for Palm Springs Life. “But I live here, so I can do more ... This is my way of saying thank you.”

When Where Articles/Reviews
November 14, 2017 Bradenton Herald"Barry Manilow makes his Van Wezel debut in February" by Marty Clear
Barry Manilow is coming to Sarasota. The singer/songwriter/showman, who is still filling large venues after a nearly half a century of hit making, will entertain fans on Feb. 16 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

Earlier this year, Manilow, who’s now 74 years old, released a new album titled “This is My Town: Songs of New York.” At the Van Wezel show, fans can expect to hear songs from that album, plus a lot of Manilow’s hits, which include “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs” and “Copacabana.”

The Manilow concert is the featured performance of the 17th Annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala. Gala tickets (which include cocktails by the bay, live and silent auctions, an elegant dinner, Golden Circle seating for the Manilow performance, a drawing for a 2018 Jaguar XE and an exclusive after-party) start at $600 and go as high as $1,200 for VIP tickets. Tickets for just the concert start at $56.

Details: 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $56-$256. 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.

November 13, 2017 Broadway WorldBarry Manilow Makes His Van Wezel Debut
GRAMMY, TONY, and EMMY Award-winning musician and music icon Barry Manilow will take the stage at The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday, February 16 at 8:30PM in celebration of his latest album, This is My Town: Songs of New York. Fans will be in for a treat when they hear Manilow perform his greatest hits like "Copacabana" and "Mandy" as well as songs from his album on the intimate Van Wezel stage. This show is the featured performance of the 17th Annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala.

Barry Manilow's unparalleled career encompasses virtually every area of music, including performing, composing, arranging and producing. A Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Manilow has triumphed in every medium of entertainment. With worldwide record sales exceeding 85 million and 50 Top 40 Hits, Barry Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time.

Tickets are $56 - $256 and go on sale Friday, November 17 at 10AM. Purchase at VanWezel.org, the Box Office, or by calling 941-953-3368.

Van Wezel Foundation Gala -Don't miss out on one of the most spectacular events of the season which includes cocktails by the Bay, live & silent auction, an elegant dinner, Golden Circle seating for the Barry Manilow performance and an exclusive after-party! Gala reservations begin at $600 and a VIP ticket option is being offered once again this year for $1,200. Various sponsorship and other underwriting opportunities are also available. In addition, this year's Gala will also include a chance drawing for an all-new 2018 Jaguar XE sponsored by Wilde Jaguar Sarasota. For additional information on gala reservations and sponsorships visit www.vwfoundation.org or contact the foundation office at (941) 366-5578.

November 13, 2017 Tampa Bay Times"Barry Manilow coming to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota" by Jay Cridlin
Early in 2016, Barry Manilow said in an interview that he was ready to get off the road, and a show coming up at Amalie Arena might be his last in the Tampa Bay area. Emphasis on might. "Come back in two years, and who knows?" he said then. Two years later, right on schedule, Manilow is coming back.

The pop songwriting legend will return to Tampa Bay on Feb. 16 for a show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. It'll be the featured performance for the annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala - but tickets for the show alone, surprisingly, are not black-tie expensive, starting at just $56. Not too bad for the ageless pop idol who wrote "Mandy" and "Copacabana." (If you want access to the gala, tickets start at $600 and include premium seating and an after-party.) Click here for all the details.

Here's what we wrote about Manilow's 2016 tour stop at Amalie Arena: "After briefly reminiscing about all his trips to Tampa ('We've been friends for a long time. Thanks for coming tonight. Thanks for all the years.'), he veered into an a cappella intro to I Made It Through The Rain that started out all kinds of shaky. But by the end, once again, the band's massive chords kicked in and rattled around the rafters, and those diehards leaped up once again, proving once again there's no hole a good Barry Manilow song can't get help you escape."

November 13, 2017 Herald-Tribune"Barry Manilow to make Van Wezel debut: The pop star will be the featured performer for the 2018 Van Wezel Foundation Gala" by Jimmy Geurts
A legendary pop singer making his debut at Sarasota’s landmark venue will be the featured performer at this season’s Van Wezel Foundation Gala. Barry Manilow plays Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Feb. 16, with tickets on sale 10 a.m. Friday.

Manilow’s best-known songs include the 1970s hits “Mandy,” “Copacabana” and “Can’t Smile Without You.” Throughout his decades-long career, he has won two Emmys, a Grammy and a Tony. This year he released the album “This is My Town: Songs of New York,” which features both New York City-centric originals and standards. Before that, he released “My Dream Duets,” which received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

The Sarasota concert costs $56-$256 and reservations start at $600 for the gala, which includes Golden Circle seating for Manilow’s performance, dinner, cocktails, an after-party and more. Tickets can be purchased at vanwezel.org, by calling 941-953-3368 or at Van Wezel’s box office at 777 N. Tamiami Trail. For more information on gala reservations and sponsorships, visit vwfoundation.org or call 941-366-5578.

When Where Articles/Reviews
October 6, 2017 The Morning Call"REVIEW: Barry Manilow's PPL Center concert: 'It's a Miracle'" by John J. Moser
ALLENTOWN — It was no coincidence that Barry Manilow opened and closed his concert Friday at Allentown’s PPL Center with his 1975 hit “It’s a Miracle.” The depth and breadth of Manilow’s career does, indeed, seem like a miracle: He has produced 50 Top 40 songs, making him the most successful adult contemporary artist ever, and his hits-laden set list showed it.

It may be even more of a miracle that Manilow, at 74, still is out performing those songs with the vigor he showed Friday. For nearly the entire 21-song, 85-minute set, he stood at the front of the stage, mic in hand. Dressed in a open-collared shirt and burgundy suit coat and backed by a full orchestra and three background singers, he played such favorites as his gold hit “Can’t Smile Without You,” which became an audience sing-along - or more, precisely, audience-led, since they sang louder than Manilow did.

He even occasionally danced slightly with those background singers. His No. 1 gold hit “Looks Like We Made It” was surprisingly rich and stirring. And his early hit “Could It Be Magic” started as a piano-and-voice piece and morphed into a disco hit.

Because it was such a hit-laden show, nearly all of the songs were from the 1970s, when Manilow’s sound was so popular that he literally couldn’t miss: His first 14 albums went gold or platinum. Only four of Friday’s songs were from the 1980s: “The Old Songs,” “Somewhere Down the Road,” his 1982 cover of the Four Seasons’ “Let’s Hang On,” and “I Made It Through the Rain.”

But as if to show he can resonate with new music, Manilow in the middle of the concert sang the title track from his new album, “This is My Town,” which debuted at No. 1 on the pop chart in April. It was very show-tune - not in a bad way; Manilow does that type of bombast well. He followed with two other of the disc’s songs - its surprisingly thumping, muscular cover of the Drifters’ “On Broadway” and "New York City Rhythm.”

[On] “I Am Your Child,” his voice was impassioned. The slower “Weekend in New England,” one of the few times he sat all night behind the piano, [was] nicely impassioned. He even sang part of the slow, tender “Somewhere Down the Road” a capella... “Every time we come to this area, we have a great time,” he said. Later, he recalled playing the Allentown Fair — which also delighted the crowd.

In fact, some of the night’s best songs were lesser hits. “Somewhere in the Night” was better and more stirring than remembered, and Manilow sang it strongly — reaching for a big ending note. “Even Now,” a lesser hit from 1978, built and soared to a big end. The crowd was enrapt. “Wow! you make me feel like Justin Bieber!” he said.

Manilow wound down the main set with what has become his signature song, his 1974 breakthrough No. 1 gold hit “Mandy.” It, too, was slow and impassioned, with a snippet of “Could It Be Magic.” Then he sang his 1978 gold hit “Copacabana (At the Copa)” before closing the night with a brief reprise of “It’s a Miracle” [and] the song with which Manilow closed the main set, [his] 1975 hit “I Write the Songs” — the song that became his second No. 1 and second gold record. With Manilow again behind the piano, and with a red-robed, 20-member choir backing him, it turned into another crowd sing-along - a joyful one.

“Oh my music makes you dance / And gives you spirit to take a chance / And I wrote some rock 'n' roll so you can move,” Manilow sang. “Music fills your heart / Well, that's a real fine place to start.” It is, indeed. And after a 45-year recording career, Barry Manilow still is writing, and more importantly performing, the songs.

October 6, 2017 Broadway WorldBarry Manilow to Bring 'A VERY BARRY CHRISTMAS' to Chicago, NY and LA
Pop culture icon Barry Manilow announced today that for the first time ever he will be performing his special holiday concert in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

These spectacular shows are scheduled to take place in December at The Forum in Los Angeles, Allstate Arena in Chicago and NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. Manilow's A VERY BARRY CHRISTMAS concerts will feature his hit songs and holiday favorites. His past holiday concerts have surprised audiences with a children's choir, Santa Claus, and even snow!

Holiday concerts are scheduled for the following dates:

  • Chicago Dec 5th - Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
  • New York Dec 7th - Uniondale, NY - NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles Dec 20th - Inglewood, CA - The Forum

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, October 13th at 10 AM (local time). Visit www.manilow.com/tickets for more details including pre-sale information.

Having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, Barry Manilow is one of the world's all-time bestselling recording artists. He's had an astonishing 50 Top 40 singles including 12 #1s and 27 Top 10 hits and is ranked as the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines.

October 5, 2017 The Morning Call"Barry Manilow, coming to Allentown's PPL Center, still writing the songs" by John J. Moser
In 2015, singer Barry Manilow did a tour he called One Last Time!, a clear indication he was giving up touring. Yet here it is, late in 2017 and the singer of such iconic adult pop songs as “Mandy,” “Copacabana” and “Looks Like We Made It,” will play Allentown’s PPL Center Friday, Oct. 6 in a concert that is among two dozen he expects to do this year.

“We’re doing like three shows a month, maybe four shows a month - every few weekends,” Manilow says in a phone call from his home in Palm Springs, Calif., where he lives with his manager-husband [Garry] Kief. “You know, I like performing, I don’t want to stop that. I just had to get off the road, meaning, the road where it keeps you on the road for weeks at a time, you don’t come home for weeks at a time. You go from city to city, hotel to hotel. I had to stop that. But I don’t mind performing. You know, I certainly like doing the job.”

Doing that job has made Manilow, 74, a legend. Billboard magazine says he is the No. 1 Adult Contemporary artist of all time. In a recording career of nearly 45 years, he has had 50 Top 40 hits. Twenty-five of those songs hit No. 1, including “I Write the Songs,” and "Even Now." Manilow has sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, making him on of the best-selling solo artists of all time. Thirty-two of those discs sold gold or platinum.

While he has slowed down on touring, his recording output has continued. His most recent disc, “This is My Town: Songs of New York,” was released in April and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop chart. “I’m surprised that I’m still able to make an album, so let’s start right there,” Manilow says with a laugh. “Because, you know, I’ve been doing this for a long time and the people that I began with way back in the ’70s are either retired or dead. And I’m still making albums and running around the stage and it doesn’t seem like anything’s changed.... I always figure, ‘Well, this is the last album.’ And then it isn’t the last album. I got the next one, and then there’s the next one. I’m just one of the lucky guys whose career is still flourishing and I do still have an audience that seems to be interested in what I have to say.”

Manilow knows his audience has gotten older, and the public’s buying patterns have changed. So while he once could count on anything he put out being a hit -- incredibly, his first 14 albums from 1973-85 went gold or platinum -- his more recent albums have been thematic releases.

He says the idea to do thematic albums came after his hit “Read ’Em and Weep,” which was No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for seven weeks in 1984. “After I had that big run, 10 years of singles and albums that had singles on them, I thought, ‘You know, I don’t [know] how to top myself after this,’” he says. “And anyway, I think the radio started getting bored with me, and I started getting bored with me. I had to do something, so I told Clive [Davis, founder and president of Arista Records] I just have to do something different for the next album, and he said, ‘I think you’re right.’”

The next album Manilow released was 1984’s “2:00 AM Paradise Cafe,” a collection of jazz songs that also went platinum. “I had a batch of great jazz musicians and it was a wonderful experience, and every album after that always had an idea to it,” he says. “It was either a big band tribute [1994’s ‘Singin’ with the Big Bands’] or another one was a Broadway album called ‘Showstoppers’ [in 1991] and then there was [2006’s] ‘The Greatest Songs of the Fifties’ and ‘[Greatest Songs of the] Sixties.’ Every album had an idea to it.”

Manilow’s previous album, 2014’s “My Dream Duets,” used technology to have him singing with late musicians such as Louis Armstrong, John Denver, Whitney Houston and Sammy Davis Jr. The disc gave Manilow his 15th Grammy Award nomination - he has won just one, for Pop Male Vocal Performance for “Copacabana” in 1979 - and his highest-charting disc in nearly a decade. “It’s a technical marvel,” Manilow says. “We found a company that was able to take the orchestras off these classic records and just leave me with the vocals, and so I was able to rearrange the songs and make all these songs into duets. And you listen to that album, it sounds like I’m standing right next to, you know, Dusty Springfield. It’s an amazing sounding album.”

The theme for the new disc brought him back to his native New York; he was born in Brooklyn. “It made sense for me to do a tribute to my hometown,” he says. “I always had the idea about making an album that paid tribute to New York.” At first, he says, he wanted “to make it a small jazz album, for a little combo. But when I looked at the standards that I had the choice of singing -- because I wanted to do half standards and half originals -- well, they really didn’t fit into a jazz album with a small combo. You can’t do ‘Downtown/Uptown’ with that kind of approach. So it turned into a bigger album than a little jazzy album.”

Then, Manilow says, he started considering songs of different music genres. “Which is exactly what New York is,” he says. “New York is, as you know, a melting pot of different styles. You know, there’s Broadway and city stuff and jazz. Well, that’s what this album is. I do think it represents New York very well, because it’s all different styles.”

That ability to sing a breadth of songs has not only helped Manilow extend his career, but gave him success on Broadway, television and in film. In 1977 he won a Tony award for his “Barry Manilow on Broadway” - his concert series that pre-dated Bruce Springsteen’s runaway hit this year by 40 years. That same year, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special: Comedy, Variety or Music for “The Barry Manilow Special,” then a second in 2006 for his “Barry Manilow: Music and Passion.”

In 1978, his song "Ready to Take a Chance Again" from the Goldie Hawn film “Foul Play” was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. “It’s overwhelming,” he says. “I hear what you just said and it just doesn’t sound like you’re talking about me, because, you know, I keep my nose to the grindstone. I just don’t look up. You know, I don’t look up. I just keep going. I keep writing and having another project - the next one, and the next one. And I don’t look back. I just stay focused on what I’m doing right now. So when you mention all of that that was in my past, it sounds like you’re talking about somebody else. I just never think like that. Uh, it’s an amazing career. It’s been an amazing ride - I can’t believe it actually happened to me.”

That wide-ranging career this year won Manilow an Icon Award at the 65th annual Broadcast Music Inc. Pop Awards, in recognition of his “prodigious musical legacy and an unparalleled career encompassing the worlds of Broadway, Film, TV and popular culture.” “It means a lot because one of the most important things of what I do is writing,” he says. “That’s really what I always wanted to be. My first love is arranging music - that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be Nelson Riddle. I wanted to be David Rose. I wanted to be Don Costa. The guys behind the singers.”

And that’s what Manilow did for many years, producing and arranging albums for artists including Bette Midler and Dionne Warwick before releasing his debut disc in 1973. “But my second love, of course, is writing. And when BMI gave me the Icon Award, that is a writer’s writer’s award, and it was a very, very important one for me,” he says. Manilow also was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Manilow says in retrospect, it’s a miracle to him not that he’s still out performing concerts, but that he became a performer at all. “I never wanted to be a singer or a performer or the leader of a band,” Manilow says. “I mean, I never went after that. So not only is it fantastic that this actually happened, it’s a miracle because I never went after it."

“You know, most singers, you ask them about it, they always wanted to stand on a stage and sing. Or they always wanted to be in the paper; they wanted to be a star. That wasn’t me. It never dawned on me that that would even be a career for me. I was always happy being in the background -- you know, writing jingles or arranging songs for other people. So this career of that -- you hear that expression ‘you chose your career’? Well, my career chose me,” he says with a laugh.

DETAILS: Barry Manilow, When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6. Where: PPL Center, 701 Hamilton St., Allentown. How much: $19.75-$149.75. Info: www.PPLCenter.com, 610-347-TIXX

October 4, 2017 The Morning Call"What singer Barry Manilow, coming Friday to PPL Center, remembers about playing Allentown Fair" by John J. Moser
Barry Manilow, who plays at Allentown’s PPL Center on Friday, hasn’t played the Lehigh Valley in 17 years, and hasn’t played in Allentown in more than 23 years. But in a recent phone call to promote his upcoming show, the singer says he remembers his concerts at Allentown Fair in 1993, when he sold out the fair’s grandstand, and again in 1994.

Manilow, 74, who with 50 Top 40 hits according to Billboard magazine is the No. 1 Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, will hit the PPL Center stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, at $19.75-$149.75, remain available at www.PPLCenter.com, 610-347-TIXX or at the PPL Center Box Office at 701 Hamilton St.

He’s promoting his latest album, “This is My Town: Songs of New York,” which, released April 21, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop chart. But he also will perform his greatest hits, such as "Copacabana" and "Mandy."

Manilow last played the Lehigh Valley in May 2000 at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena. But in the telephone call, Manilow says he remembers playing Allentown Fair. “Allentown has always been good to me,” he says. “Haven’t played it very much, but I did a couple of state fairs there, and that was a wild, wild ride. They were great. They were great fun. They set the stage up near the throw-up rides. That was always fun. You could hear people screaming and throwing up as I was singing the ballads. It was always fun,” he says with a laugh.

Manilow also says he remembers fondly shows in Wilkes-Barre, though after a career of nearly 45 years, the timing eludes him. “Those shows I’ll never forget,” he says. “They were always wonderful. So I’m looking forward to it.”

DETAILS: Barry Manilow. When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Where: PPL Center, 701 Hamilton St., Allentown. How much: $19.75-$149.75. Info: www.PPLCenter.com, 610-347-TIXX

October 3, 2017 NJ.com"'I'm one of the lucky guys': Barry Manilow" by Natalie Pompilio
Barry Manilow says he doesn't have a favorite among the songs he's written, at least not a consistent one. But if pressed, at this moment, his choice would be "Could It Be Magic." he said in an interview with New Jersey Advance Media. "Because it's from the very first album, which I released in 1821," joked Manilow, 74, referring to his self-titled 1973 debut record. "It was based on a Chopin prelude. The prelude begins the record and then it goes into the song I wrote based on it and it lasted for eight minutes. Eight minutes.... When i listen to it, i think, 'That was a pretty brave thing to do and that was a great song.' But ask me next week and I might have a different answer."

With 47 Billboard Top 40 singles to his credit, Manilow has many songs to choose from. When he performs at the Prudential Center Oct. 5., expect selections from his latest album, "This is My Town: Songs of New York," and many of his greatest hits. "We're doing all of them, all the way through, starting with 'It's a Miracle' and ending nearly two hours later with 'I Write the Songs.'" he said. "I'm one of the lucky guys who has a catalogue of songs that can fill up two hours on stage."

Anyone who brings a new or gently used instrument to the Prudential Center box office will receive two free tickets to the show. The instruments will then be given to local public schools as part of the Manilow Music Project, the non-profit the singer started in 2008. Since then, the organization has collected thousands of instruments and donated them to hundreds of schools. Manilow often donates a piano to the schools as well.

After more than four decades on the road, Manilow said he no longer tours. Instead, he performs, sometimes one weekend a month, sometimes twice. After his Garden State show, Manilow will perform in Allentown and then end this spate of East Coast appearances.

Despite famously not writing one of his biggest hits - "I Write the Songs" - Manilow is credited with more than 400 other songs, including "Can't Smile Without You." In May, he was honored with a BMI Icon Award. "I was very honored," he said. "t was important to me because one of my favorite parts of my career is song writing and when BMI honors you, that means you've made it as songwriter, that you've written enough songs and they've been popular enough to actually have been noticed."

His latest album, an ode to his hometown of New York City, five original compositions and includes a virtual duet with the late Mel Torme. Among the other songs is "NYC Medley," which has Manilow tackling everything from "New York, New York" to "Empire State of Mind." The album immediately landed in the Billboard Top 40 chart, the 26th Manilow album to hit that mark.

The variety of styles on the new title harkens back to the days when Manilow called himself a "musical misfit." "The 'My Town' album is filled with different musical styles. One song is a bit of a Broadway type of a song and the next song is R&B and the next one is pop and I thought, 'It's like New York. New York is filled with different styles and different people.' I think that's a perfect way to pay tribute to the city."

BARRY MANILOW: Prudential Center. 25 Lafayette St., Newark. Tickets: $19-300, available online at www.prucenter.com. Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.

October 2, 2017 NorthJersey.com"Barry Manilow writes the songs - and sings them, too" by Jim Beckerman
Wampum, Bitcoin, credit cards -- all money by another name. And now Barry Manilow has come up with his own form of currency. Have any unused musical instruments -- new or in good condition -- gathering dust in the house? Bring them to Newark's Prudential Center on Thursday Oct. 5, and you can exchange them for two tickets to his show. "Just bring them to the arena, they'll have someone to collect them, and we give them two tickets," Manilow says. "[Sometimes] we get between 75 and 100 instruments a night, and it's great. And I feel great about doing it."

The Manilow Music Project, now in its 10th year, is all about putting instruments into the hands of public school students who might not be able to get them otherwise. Manilow himself donates a piano to each city he visits. "We collect as many instruments as we can, and then we give them to the schools that are running out of them," he says. "Because they're running out of everything. Music and arts are always the first thing that goes. Certainly in the public schools... As a musician, when I heard that, it killed me."

This admirable project is one of several legacy gestures that Manilow, 74, is making in a storied career that is now -- apparently -- on the verge of winding down. He's already announced that he won't be doing extended tours anymore. This Prudential appearance is a one-off. "No more touring for me," he says. "We are doing one-nighters, because I don't want to stop. We're doing I guess three shows a month... But I did want to get off the road. No more touring, no going from city to city, being away from home for weeks at a time."

His new album is another summing-up gesture. Manilow, who came to fame in the 1970s with such monster hits as "Mandy," "Can't Smile Without You," "Copacabana (At the Copa)" and "I Write the Songs" — that one, ironically, not written by him — was born in Brooklyn. He studied at City College of New York and the New York College of Music, and came to prominence in the 1970s as the musical director for Bette Midler in venues like New York's Continental Baths.

His new album is a tribute to the town that gave him his start. "This Is My Town: Songs of New York," released in April (Decca Records and Stiletto Entertainment), features a mix of originals and less-obvious covers like Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town" from the musical "On the Town." "I've always wanted to do a New York album," Manilow says. "I come from New York. I'm a New Yorker. It made perfect sense."

Another legacy gesture was perhaps less intentional, though it ultimately turned out well. On April 5, Manilow officially came of the closet in an interview with People Magazine, garnering headlines nationwide and causing fans to tweet -- and shrug. "Every article was followed by a batch of comments, and every comment was positive," he says. "Not one negative. I expected that. I know these people. These people care about me. And they couldn't have been happier to find out that I was in a relationship for so long, and happy. That's all they care about."

The few critical comments were mostly along the lines of, "Why did it take him so long"? And in fact, it might have taken him longer. His hand was forced, he says, by The National Enquirer, which broke news of his 2014 marriage to his longtime partner and manager, Garry Kief (they've been together 40 years), at Manilow's Palm Springs, Calif., estate. "If the Enquirer hadn't done it, I still wouldn't have done it," he says. "But it was too late, so of course we had to go with it."

Not that he has any qualms, or embarrassment, about making the news public, he says. But privacy has always been extremely important to a guy who gets so little of it. "I don't like the public knowing what my dogs' names are," he says. "It's the one little piece of the pie I have. It's the only thing that's kept me sane for all these years of being in the public eye. … It's my private life, thank you very much, and you can't come in unless I invite you in. Wouldn't you feel the same way? Anybody would. So that’s me. I never came out [for that] reason. Now that it's out there, and everybody's happy for me, that’s great."

Fans -- "Fanilows" they're sometimes called -- are really more interested in his songs, he says. "It's always 'Copa,' 'Can't Smile Without You' is number two, 'Mandy' and 'I Write the Songs' -- those are the biggies," he says. "But I'm one of those lucky guys who has a catalog of songs that can fill up nearly two hours on a stage, and most of these songs the audience is familiar with. That's an amazing thing to say."

Familiar doesn't cover it. Often as not, Manilow's audience knows every word of his biggest hits. And they're not shy about singing along. "It was surprising the first time I heard that," he says. "I understand now, that’s part of the fun. How many people can say they’ve written or recorded songs that ten thousand people know? It's an amazing thing. I couldn't be prouder."

Indeed, you may not know you know some of Manilow's songs. In addition to his career as a pop hitmaker, Manilow also wrote, or sang, many of TV's best-known ad jingles. "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there," is one of his. So is "Stuck on Band-Aid." And he gave voice to the wonders of McDonald's by singing "You Deserve a Break Today."

Jingle writing, he says, was his pop music university. It taught him to think it terms of hooks. "I like writing melodies you can remember," he says. "When I got into the jingle world, that's what they wanted. But what I learned was how to do that within 15 seconds, 30 seconds... When I got into pop music, well, writing a hook, you still have to write a hook that is 15 seconds, or 20 seconds, in any pop song. They call it a hook because it hooks you. When you finish listening to it, you can sing it back. That's what the wanted when I was writing jingles, and frankly that's what they want on the radio with a pop song. And having done that for four years, when I got into pop music that was very valuable."

WHO: Barry Manilow. WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 5. WHERE: Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette St., Newark. 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. HOW MUCH: $27 and up.

October 2, 2017 The Morning Call"Get two free tickets to Barry Manilow's show Friday at Allentown's PPL Center" by John J. Moser
If you can't smile without Barry Manilow but don't have tickets to his concert Friday at Allentown's PPL Center, we're about to tell you how you can get a pair free. All you need is an old music instrument. Manilow, who Billboard magazine says is the No. 1 Adult Contemporary artist of all time with 50 Top 40 hits such as “Mandy,” "Copacabana" and “Can’t Smile Without You,” will play PPL Center at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Tickets, at $19.75 to $149.75, are available at www.PPLCenter.com, 610-347-TIXX or at the PPL Center Box Office at 701 Hamilton Street.

But Manilow, through his Manilow Music Project, will give a pair of tickets to anyone who brings a new or gently-used band or orchestra instrument to the box office before the show. “If they can bring down instruments that they’re not using anymore – they’re just collecting dust in the attic or the basement – bring it down before the show, between now and then, and we give them two free tickets to the show,” Manilow said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Palm Springs, Fla., to promote the show. "Then we collect them, we fix them up, we take them to the school district, and they give them to the schools that are running out of instruments.”

Dan Fremuth, director of public relations for PPL Center, said he confirmed with the tour that if someone brings an instrument as a donation, they indeed will get two tickets to the show. Manilow said he does a similar drive in every city in which he plays.

He says the idea started in Palm Springs, where “a friend of mine came to me like 10 years ago and said did I have access to a sax, ‘cause she’s a saxophone player, and the school was running out of saxophones and she was really hoping that she could get one. I said, ‘The school is running out of saxophones?’ And when I looked it up, all the schools are running out of instruments because of budget problems. You know, the first thing they do is cut music and arts out of the schools and it’s awful. And so, as a musician, I said I got to do something. And so that’s why I formed the Manilow Music Project, and we’ve been doing this for a long time, collecting instruments or doing benefits with that in mind. And then in every city that we go to, we collect – sometimes we get a hundred instruments back. And I hope that they’ll come along with me and just give us as many instruments as we can collect.”

Manilow’s concert is promoting his newest album, "This is My Town: Songs of New York," which, released April 21, hit No. 1 on the Pop Album chart. He also will perform his greatest hits, such as "Copacabana" and "Mandy." It is the first time the singer has performed in the Lehigh Valley in more than 17 years. He was last here in May 2000 at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena. He played to a sold-out grandstand at the Allentown Fair in 1993, and played the fair again in 1994.

Manilow, 74, has had 47 songs that hit the Top 40 on various charts, ranking him as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time according to Billboard magazine. Twenty-five of those songs hit No. 1, including “I Write the Songs,” and "Looks Like We Made It."

When Where Articles/Reviews
September 29, 2017 WFMZ-TV"William Allen Chorale practices to sing with Barry Manilow" by Jaccii Farris
They're preparing for one of the most exciting moments in their young lives EVER. "I got an email from out of the blue from Barry Manilow's tour manager," said William Allen Chorale Director Brandon Remp. That's right, the Grammy winning, Vegas headlining, 47 Top 40 single making legend Barry Manilow. Anyway, Barry's people reached out to the William Allen Chorale. "And were like, we need a choir to sing with Barry when he is coming to Allentown and I said that's awesome," said Remp. Yeah it is.

For the past few weeks, Remp has been getting the students ready for the Oct. 6 concert at the PPL Center. "I just think it's going to be amazing to be there and performing. I've been to concerts but I think that being on stage for one is going to be a totally different dynamic," said chorale member Anna Tjeltveit. "Everyone's excited about it my parents are thrilled about it you know," said chorale member Josie Latorres.

Some of the students were a little unfamiliar with Barry, but say their families are sharing their love for the man who makes the whole world sing. "One of his records that they gave to me they want me to try to get it signed for them," said chorale member Joshua Roth. This is the second time Barry has asked William Allen to sing with him. The last time was at the 1994 Allentown Fair.

"So would you say that you are now a '[fanilow]'?" asked reporter Jaccii Farris. "Um, I wouldn't necessarily say that I am a '[fanilow]', he has some good music that I can bump to," said chorale member Delacey Lora.

The students say they really enjoy Manilow's music and will listen to it long after their performance. "I'm sure it's going to be an experience being in front of all those people, and working with the legend like Barry Manilow that the students will never forget," said Remp.

September 28, 2017 Boston Globe"Manilow can’t smile without you, 'Fanilows'" by Lauren Daley
Barry Manilow is “pretty sure” this happened: Bob Dylan walked up to him at a party, hugged him, and whispered in his ear: “Keep doing what you’re doing. We’re all inspired by you.” “Either he was stoned or I was stoned, but...” Manilow, 74, recalls with a laugh. Of course, maybe all that matters is Manilow believes it happened. “The only way I could keep going were the people who kept telling me not to listen” to the critics, he says.

Manilow is refreshingly unscripted: You hear his sense of humor, his keen self-awareness, his penchant for self-deprecation. He’s also almost painfully aware of his critics (“I really wasn’t very good. The audiences were so kind to me, though,” he says of his early days) and grateful to his devoted tribe of “Fanilows” who helped turn a jingle writer from Brooklyn (“I am stuck on Band-Aid, ’cause a Band-Aid’s stuck on me” and “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”) into an international adult [contemporary] superstar, whose hits include “Mandy” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).”

We caught up with the Emmy, Grammy, and Tony winner for a wide-ranging interview, as he readies to sing old favorites and new tracks off his latest record, “This Is My Town: Songs of New York” at TD Garden Tuesday. He expects this show in Boston to go over a lot better than his first one, 40-plus years ago at Paul’s Mall.

Boston Globe (BG): Tell me about your new album. What sparked the idea for this love letter to New York?
Barry Manilow (BM): I always had an idea to do a tribute to New York. I always knew it was going to be half standards and half originals. The hard part was choosing the standards. I went on Google just to see songs about New York, and there must’ve been 500 songs.

BG: What are your first memories of music growing up?
BM: I was raised by my grandparents and my mother — this was not a musical family, but they all knew I was musical, even when I was very young. They had no money, they were barely putting food on the table, and the best they could do was put an accordion in my hands, and [get me] an accordion teacher. I was good at it, I didn’t mind it, and the best thing is I learned to read music. The beginning of my knowledge of music was when my stepfather Willie Murphy came into my life. He brought a stack of records with him that may as well have been a stack of gold. Those records were the beginning of my musical adventure. Whatever I was feeling when I would play those records, I wanted to keep that feeling forever. I was only 13. But I knew it.

BG: And you started out writing jingles.
BM: [To work as] a performer and singer and a guy who makes records — it never dawned on me that that’s where I’d end up. I was happy doing everything in the background. I was happy playing for other singers; I was happy arranging and conducting for other people. I was doing real well writing jingles. They still play a few of them, even 40-something years later. I only got $500 for “State Farm is there.” [Laughs] Because they buy you out. Nobody expects it to last more than a month.

BG: Then you started accompanying Bette Midler.
BM: She was just one singer I was playing piano for and arranging for, but of course she was the best of all of them. It was so obvious she was brilliant. I went on the road with her for no money. For the first few years we were all broke, going from city to city in a little Volkswagen. And [then] it just exploded, the way everyone thought it would for her. In the meantime, I’d started to write songs of my own, with my collaborators, and because I had no money to hire a bona fide singer, I sang my own demos. And I wasn’t bad -- I wasn’t great, but I wasn’t bad. Those were the years, in the early ’70s, when singer-songwriters were really the thing -- James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, all the record companies were looking for that. Bell Records offered me a record contract, which was crazy because I wasn’t a singer. I told Bette, “I think I got a record contract.” She said, “Doing what?” [Laughs] I said, “Singing.” She said, “You don’t sing!” So I made the first record, and you’ve got to go on the road and promote it. So I put a band together, and went on the road [in 1974]. I actually played in Boston, I played in a terrible place called Paul’s Mall. My God, they hated me at Paul’s Mall. That was the first gig ever, ever as a performer. I mean, yes, I agree, I was terrible. I called my manager and said, “I can’t do this. I can’t go anywhere else.” He said, “Just go one more place, in Philadelphia.” I said, “OK, I’ll go to Philadelphia.” And from Philadelphia on, everything turned better. Audiences liked me. But I’ll never forget Paul’s Mall. So I went on the road as a performer, and the records started to sell. Then we did “Mandy,” and my life exploded into a million pieces.

BG: You must’ve been blown away by the success of that.
BM: It was a confusing, terrifying, and exciting time.

BG: You’ve said there was an era where you felt hated?
BM: The critics were after me, oh my God. I really wasn’t very good. The audiences were so kind to me, though. When I was at the piano, I was fine, but when I got up and tried to be funny, I was terrible. But [fans] didn’t mind; they were saying, “Keep going, we like what you’re doing.” Critics couldn’t stand it. As soon as I had that number one record, oh my God, they tried to annihilate me. I’d pull covers over my head and go into self-pity. And then the band, the record company, my family, then all these strangers would tell me, “Keep going, there’s something happening.” The only way I could keep going were the people who kept telling me not to listen [to the critics].

BG: You got a lot of support from your fans when you came out about your marriage [to longtime manager Garry Kief in 2014].
BM: Man, did I. We’ve been together about 40 years, and I was a little nervous about how people would react, but gee, it couldn’t be more positive. The fans I have, they care for me. It’s deeper than I would’ve ever thought. They really care about me. When they read that I wasn’t alone with a dog all my life, that I had someone with me for 40 years, and we’re two guys, and we’re still together, and still happy, they couldn’t have been happier.

BG: Do you have any other memories of Boston that are better than Paul’s Mall?
BM: After [that], all those shows we did in every area of Boston were wonderful, wonderful. I played at the Wang Center, that was beautiful; we’ve played theaters, outdoor places, indoor places, I’ve played Boston so many years. And whenever I get to “Time in New England” [from the song “Weekend in New England”], forget about it. I have to repeat that line four times before I can move on. [Laughs]

BARRY MANILOW: TD Garden, Boston, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $25, www.livenation.com

September 15, 2017 Rome SentinelRFA choir group to perform with Barry Manilow
Rome Free Academy’s a cappella choir group, Fermata Nowhere, will perform three songs with singer Barry Manilow during his concert appearance Saturday at Turning Stone Resort Casino Event Center, the school district announced. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and students are expected to perform with Manilow at 9 p.m., the district announcement added. The students will join Manilow on stage for for the songs “Copacabana,” “I Write the Songs,” and “It’s a Miracle,” the district said.

The choir group -- one of several choir groups at Rome Free Academy, is directed by Michelle E. Rushford, who said “what a wonderful experience this is for these students. We are so excited for this opportunity to sing with Barry Manilow for a second time.” Students in Fermata Nowhere also performed songs on stage with Manilow during his March 2016 concert appearance at Turning Stone.

In addition to the songs the RFA students will perform, Manilow has an extensive catalog of pop songs in a career that has spanned more than 50 years. Manilow has recorded 47 singles that have reached the Billboard Top 40 charts, including 12 that hit number one. Manilow is reported to have gotten his “big break” in the business as a performer with Bette Midler in the early 1970s.

September 13, 2017 Bucks County Courier Times"Looks like Barry Manilow made it back to Philadelphia" by Marty Franzen
All kinds of music are offered to fans this week... Here are highlights ... Barry Manilow’s career has spanned five decades so far, with the singer-songwriter-pianist selling more than 80 million records worldwide. He has resorted to releasing theme albums over the last 10 years, covering individual decades and topics like favorite dream duets, Christmas, love songs and night songs.

When Manilow plays the Wells Fargo Center, at 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Friday night, he will showcase his latest themed CD “This is My Town: Songs of New York.” Among the tunes concertgoers might hear are “New York City Rhythm/On Broadway,” “Lovin’ at Birdland,” “On the Roof,” “I Dig New York” and “The Brooklyn Bridge.”

Casual fans shouldn’t worry about being left out, as Manilow will fill most of his set with hits like “Daybreak,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Let’s Hang On,” “Mandy” and “I Write the Songs.” You see, he has so many hits, he has to play as many as he can. For the record, Manilow has notched 47 top 40 singles — 27 of them top 10 and 12 of them No. 1 hits. He can’t play all of them, but he does put a lot of energy into his shows.

For the doubters out there, consider that when Bob Dylan met Manilow, he hugged him and told him to keep doing what he was doing. That might explain Dylan’s recent Frank Sinatra-styled albums. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.75 to $249.75. Call 800-298-4200.

September 13, 2017 Newsday"Barry Manilow’s Nassau Coliseum concert to feature Uniondale show choir" by Janelle Griffith
They’ve covered Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. And Wednesday, the Rhythm of the Knight Uniondale Show Choir readied itself for the “Copacabana,” rehearsing some of Barry Manilow’s biggest hits at their high school on the eve of his concert at NYCB Live’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, for which the group will serve as closing act.

Thirty-five members of the nationally ranked show choir sang Manilow classics including “Copacabana,” “It’s A Miracle,” “Let Freedom Ring” and “I Write the Songs” — all of which they will perform Thursday alongside the music legend. The group will ditch its signature sparkly sequin outfits for red robes for the routines that were choreographed by a member of Manilow’s team. Included in their performance is the “Carlton” — a dance popularized by a 1990s television show a bit closer to their time: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Thursday night will mark the second time the students, ages 14 to 18, will share a stage with the 74-year-old musician. In May, show choir director Lynette Carr-Hicks was contacted by Manilow’s camp about partnering for a show that same month at the Coliseum, after his people watched videos of the group on YouTube. Manilow is gifting Uniondale High School a new Yamaha piano and 117 tickets to the Coliseum show for the families of the performers and faculty. “Barry isn’t their time, but when they heard ‘Copacabana’ they were so excited,” said Carr-Hicks, a Uniondale school district teacher and former Broadway performer. “They said, ‘Oh that’s him.’ I always try to introduce them to good music.”

Uniondale High School senior Sebastian Irizarry said despite his age, he was already familiar with Manilow’s music, thanks to his grandmother, when he learned the choir had landed the first gig. “Sometimes she would play it around the house while we were cleaning on Saturdays,” said Irizarry, 16, a fourth-year show choir member. “So I grew up listening to him.” His favorite Manilow song is one Carr-Hicks said all of the students recognized. “I love ‘Copacabana’ so much,” Irizarry said. “It’s such an upbeat song, you’ll never forget the lyrics. It’s so catchy.”

September 13, 2017 The Inquirer"Barry Manilow reveals the Philly nightclub he played with Bette Midler that inspired him to go solo" by A.D. Amorosi
Don’t call what Barry Manilow is doing at the Wells Fargo Center a “tour.” The singer, songwriter, pianist and arranger gave up the road’s long slog in 2015 when he married his manager, Garry Kief, turned 72, and decided his 50-year career — writing and producing commercial jingles, playing piano for Bette Midler at New York’s Continental Baths, selling over 80 million records worldwide — should slow down.

Yet, he’s dropped a new album, This Is My Town: Songs of New York that hit the Top 10 upon release, is readying another record, and continuing his instrument-giving Manilow Music Project, in which he trades musical instrument donations for free tickets to his show (drop off any instruments to the Wells Fargo Center box office through Friday, or call 800-298-4200 for more information). “Bring them down to the Wells Fargo,” Manilow says. “We’ll fix them up, and give them to a school that need them.”

The Inquirer (TI): So you got married, took a break, but it didn’t wind up as much of a break. Did you get bored?
Barry Manilow (BM): Yes and no. A new album was part of the plan, as were one-off shows — maybe a weekend or two — as I never want to stop performing. I just wanted to get off the road and hotels. I’ll never do that again.

TI: Throughout the time that you were a touring artist, you never had a chance to sightsee. Now, that you’re chilled, have you gone anywhere?
BM: No [laughs]. I just didn’t feel like leaving home. Getting those suitcases out, emotionally, kills me. And I never got to truly enjoy my home until now. I can live my life now.

TI: Age is a number. From the Rolling Stones and the Who to Tony Bennett and Marilyn Maye: They maintain, carry on, create and have aesthetically rewarding careers. Is there a career you’ve watched grow up gracefully that acted as inspiration?
BM: You’re right about age as I just can’t seem to connect with that number. Luckily, nothing has changed about me. Not my hair, my weight. I’m still skinny, the hair is full and I have all this music in me. Projects galore are set to follow. I feel like I’m 35, so I’m not getting old. Not yet.

TI: Concerning the New York album, Did living in San Diego make you yearn for the NYC you remembered?
BM: Well, that was my beginnings, and so exciting, realizing that I could have a career in music. When I got out of Brooklyn as a piano player, then going form gig to gig and recording studios in fast cabs for another company I had to jingles for — so thrilling.

TI: What gave life to this new album then, because it is not the pop sound of our youth or yours?
BM: When I slowed having pop hits, the albums that followed Read ‘Em and Weep were … well I couldn’t keep doing records that just had 10 love songs. I would bore myself with that. I had to find a concept that turned me on. 2 A.M. Paradise Café, Showstoppers, they all had these big ideas to them. Since I always wanted to pay tribute to my hometown, I ran the idea by Danny Bennett [Tony’s son, who runs the Verve label] and he loved it.

TI: You wrote and/or co-wrote nearly all the songs on the new album. After the thousands already out there, how does one write an original song about NYC?
BM: When I looked up New York songs on Google I had to stop at 10 pages, because I did want to make the new album half my songs and half others. And there are amazing, legendary songwriters who’ve tackled the subject. I just kept it personal. I loved Coney Island, because that was my coming up. I stuck to my experiences and came up with “On the Roof.” Sometimes, I work with a lyricist [Bruce Sussman], but the ideas are mine, so only two New York guys could’ve come up with “This is My Town.”

TI: Because you are a quote-unquote pop legend, people forget how talented an arranger you are. You really sink your teeth in here, as the arrangements subtly merge bop, Broadway and orchestral music. What are you looking to do, as they don’t sound like anyone else?
BM: It’s an amalgamation of all the styles I’ve loved. Big band, jazz, Tin Pan Alley pop — I think that I’ve put all of that into my arrangements. I can’t do rap and you won’t hear hip hop, because that isn’t me. You’ll always get big modulation, strings where they’ll surprise you, you’ll always get a grand finale, because that’s the Broadway stage in me.

TI: “The Brooklyn Bridge” has you sampling Mel Torme’s voice, but using your arrangement on his version of the track. Sinatra did it before him. What’s your relationship with that tune, and Torme too, as you guys worked on Paradise Café together?
BM: Right. Sinatra did it as a ballad and Torme bopped it up. I was trying to re-arrange it, but couldn’t hear it without Mel. I put my own stuff underneath, but it was very close to his — I couldn’t make it better. He was great, one of the few encouraging people when I came out of pop, into jazz. He was the guy who told me ‘It’s about time, Barry,’ when I mentioned doing jazz.

TI: You were a behind-the-scenes musician at your start. When did you realize that you could be out-front?
BM: Seriously, at the old Bijou Café in Philly. I was playing for Bette who was the greatest entertainer ever, and was just starting to sing out, first doing openers for Bette’s tours. I couldn’t figure what to do with my legs, I was terrible. But during the end of our run there, I did “Could It Be Magic” and a commercials medley and the audience was so welcoming. After that, I got confidence. I learned on the job. But Philly was crucial.

TI: We have to discuss your Philly instrument-gifting program, the Manilow Music Project.
BM: Whenever I play, I donate a piano, and then during my show, I’ll ask the audience if they have any old instruments gathering dust [and donate to those in need]. As a musician, I can’t stand seeing kids without instruments.

Music: Barry Manilow. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. Tickets: $19.75-249.75. Information: 800-298-4200, WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com

September 12, 2017 Newsday"Barry Manilow encouraging instrument donations in exchange for Coliseum show tickets" by Frank Lovece
Pop singer Barry Manilow is donating a new Yamaha piano to Westbury High School, launching a local music-instrument drive as part of his longtime Manilow Music Project to benefit music education.

“One of my friends said that his daughter was really interested in learning how to play the sax, but her school didn’t have a sax,” Manilow, 74, says on how the project began, about a decade ago. “He said, ‘Yeah, the high school is running out of musical instruments.’ And I couldn’t believe it, of course, but after that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I looked it up and most of the public high schools around the country, because of budget cuts, are all running out of anything to do with music -- music stands, band outfits, sheet music -- because the first thing that goes is music and art. So I thought, ‘I’ve got to do something.’”

Manilow, who plays the renovated Nassau Coliseum on Thursday, regularly donates a piano at places where he tours “and I ask the audience if they have any instruments that are just collecting dust in the attic or the basement to bring them down to the arena. Then we fix them up if they’re broken and give them to the school districts and they distribute them,” he says.

Anyone who donates a new or gently used instrument will receive two free tickets to the concert. A Coliseum spokeswoman said people were encouraged to donate at the box office in advance of the show, daily from noon to 5 p.m. “No refunds will be granted if they’ve already purchased tickets, but they have the option of claiming two more free tickets,” she said.

“Once [school budgets] start cutting sports equipment, you will hear the biggest scream coming from everybody,” notes the singer-songwriter, who donated a piano to the Uniondale school district when he played the Coliseum in March 2015. “But the arts -- I don’t know whether people realize how important it is to young people. I speak to principals and teachers and ... sometimes I’m told that [some students] would drop out if there wasn’t a music class. It’s really important -- it’s not just playtime. They turn into better human beings.”

Manilow, a Grammy, Tony and Emmy Award-winner, recently released his 31st studio album, “This Is My Town: Songs of New York,” featuring both original and existing compositions. Raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee -- who actually retains a bit of borough accent in his speaking voice -- still considers himself a New Yorker. “Listen, when you come from New York, like I do, it’s always there,” he says. “I will always be a New Yorker, even though I [have] lived on the West Coast longer than I lived on the East Coast. I am a New Yorker: I talk fast, I walk fast, I think fast. I’m always fighting,” he adds metaphorically, “for a seat on the subway.”

September 12, 2017 Billboard"Melissa Manchester & Barry Manilow Shine On 'For Me and My Gal' Duet: Video Premiere" by Alex Vitoulis
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress, Melissa Manchester released her 21st studio album, The Fellas, on Friday (Sept. 8) via Long Run Entertainment. Manchester sounds vibrant and in top form as she sings her way through the set that pays homage to male singers influential to her. The album is Manchester's "tribute to several of the great men singers who rocked my world and informed my soul," the artist tells Billboard, noting that she has wanted to record such a set since she released her female companion album Tribute back in 1989.

Manchester, always very passionate about giving back and cultivating the musicians of tomorrow, has also long been very involved with teaching and mentoring the students at Citrus College, in Glendora, California, and enlisted current students, alums and a few faculty members to bring this album to fruition. "I was invited to be an honorary artist in residence by Ben Bollinger, the former head of the visual and performing arts division of Citrus College," Manchester says. "I'd enlisted the help of the Citrus Singers to back me at a concert I gave there several years ago. In 2013, I recorded my 20th album, You Gotta Love the Life, at their state-of-the-art studio, which also doubles as a teaching studio for their audio engineering students. The professor, Tim Jaquette, was my engineer. Among the luminaries who performed on that album with me were Dave Koz, Al Jarreau, Joe Sample, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder. I was asked if I could think of a project that would incorporate the Citrus Blue Note Orchestra, made up of students, alumni and faculty. That is how The Fellas came to be."

One of the songs on the album, "For Me and My Gal," finds Manchester singing with Barry Manilow. She says she "asked [her] dear friend if he would consider singing a duet on The Fellas. He came up with the scrumptious idea of paying tribute to Gene Kelly in a duet of 'For Me and My Gal.' We both loved the original version, sung by Kelly and Judy Garland, from the film of the same name. Peter Hume did a wonderful orchestration. "Singing with Barry is always a treat as he is a consummate musician," Manchester continues. "We've known each other for so long. We were there at the beginning of each other's long, enduring careers and we are still devoted friends."

Manilow originally introduced Manchester to Bette Midler, which led to her becoming one of the founding members of Midler's backing singer/dancer group, the Harlettes, helping set the groundwork for her international stardom. Says Manilow to Billboard, "I jump at any chance to sing (or just be) with my dear friend Melissa. She has one of the greatest voices and singing styles in music today. And she's a wonderful songwriter. I loved being a part of creating and singing 'For Me and My Gal' with her."

Billboard is proud to present the exclusive debut of the video for this special collaboration of "For Me and My Gal" by these two icons.

When Where Articles/Reviews
August 14, 2017 New Jersey StageBarry Manilow To Perform In Newark
The pop music icon Barry Manilow will take the stage at Prudential Center in Newark, in celebration of his newest album, “This is My Town: Songs of New York” on October 5 at 7:30pm. Fans will be in for a treat when they hear Manilow perform his greatest hits like “Copacabana” and “Mandy” as well as songs from his new album on the Prudential Center stage. Manilow has sold over 85 million albums and has 50 Top 40 hits.

Manilow's unparalleled career encompasses virtually every area of music, including performing, composing, arranging and producing. A Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Manilow has triumphed in every medium of entertainment. With worldwide record sales exceeding 85 million, Barry Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time.

Prudential Center is located at 25 Lafayette Street in Newark, New Jersey.

August 5, 2017 Orange County Register"Barry Manilow takes fans to emotional heights in Forum show" by George Paul
Hordes of women over 40 howled like teenagers and were easily reduced to tears. Who could cause such a commotion? Yes, Barry Manilow was back in Southern California for a sold-out Forum gig. It was originally scheduled on Mother's Day, but postponed due to the veteran singer's sprained vocal cords.

The average age of "Fanilows" in Inglewood actually skewed much older. No surprise there: Barry Manilow's successful run on the Billboard pop singles chart began in 1974 (adult contemporary radio hits continued throughout the '80s). Since then, he's put out more than a dozen concept albums that continue to resonate with longtime followers. During the 2000s, a "Greatest Songs" series of love songs and standards all went gold or platinum.

Last spring, Manilow released "This is My Town: Songs of New York," a great musical love letter to his hometown of Brooklyn and surrounding areas. Manilow mixes impressive originals such as "Coney Island" and "Lovin' at Birdland" with covers made famous by The Crystals, Petula Clark, The Drifters, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Jay-Z & Alicia Keys(!) and others.

On Friday, an electronica mashup of Underworld's "Born Slippy" and past Manilow hits served as a festive introduction. Then the 95-minute show kicked off in standard fashion with the jubilant "Daybreak."

Although the affable entertainer, now 74, stopped doing large scale tours in favor of sporadic live appearances, he said onstage that watching news channels such as CNN "where everybody is so angry" all the time made him realize "people need uplifting music again. So I'm back reporting for duty." Supported by a large band that included horn and string players, plus three backing singers, Manilow was in fine vocal form throughout and managed to hit all the high notes.

He introduced the ballad "Somewhere in the Night," by lamenting how music on the radio today often lacks melody. In a recent interview, Manilow admitted "Can't Smile Without You" was one of his least favorites to do live, but he seemed to have fun with it here.

Much of the arena was up and dancing for a vibrant "Bandstand Boogie" (the theme to Dick Clark's American Bandstand TV show from 1977-87). The sleek title track from "This is My Town" and "On Broadway/New York City Rhythm" were standouts and the only newish songs played. The latter featured an anecdote about Times Square and whimsical rotating piano/keyboard turns by Manilow and his band.

Alone at the keyboard, Manilow did the quiet, emotionally resonant ballads "I Am Your Child" and "All The Time," where he recalled early days making the NYC piano bar rounds and "feeling like a misfit." Back at the black grand piano, the ultra-dramatic "Even Now" and its sustained vocal note whipped the crowd into a frenzy. A snappy "duet" with Judy Garland seen on the screens for "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" (heard on 2014's Grammy-nominated "My Dream Duets") worked well.

What followed was the usual sturdy hit parade, including a romantic "Weekend in New England" (prompting loud female squeals), an upbeat take on The Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On" (on which Manilow palled around with his singers) and "Somewhere Down the Road" (capped by a moving a cappella bit).

Manilow introduced "Could it Be Magic" by explaining how it was inspired by Chopin and his thoughts on Donna Summer's dance hit version. Toward the set's end, Manilow belted out his dramatic showstoppers "I Made it Through the Rain," "Mandy" (with the now standard 1975 Midnight Special TV clip accompaniment) and "I Write the Songs" (driven by swelling orchestration and assistance from the Los Alamitos Show Choir) with ease. "Copacabana (At the Copa)" brought everyone to their feet again for the party time finale.

Barry Manilow. When: Friday, Aug. 4. Where: The Forum, Inglewood.

August 1, 2017 WJBD RadioBarry Manilow performing at New York City benefit for Italian-American organization this fall
Barry Manilow has signed on to perform at the Columbus Citizens Foundation's 73rd annual gala, scheduled for October 7 at the New York Hilton in New York City. The fundraising event will honor Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio, while benefiting the foundation's Italian-American Student Scholarship Fund.

The gala is traditionally held in advance of New York's Columbus Day Parade, which this year will feature the theme of "A Celebration of Italian-American Authors." Riggio, who will serve as the parade's Grand Marshal this year, chose the theme, which also will be incorporated into the gala. "It is an honor to have renowned performer Barry Manilow as this year's Gala entertainment,” says Columbus Citizens Foundation president Angelo Vivolo. "The Gala holds high significance in the celebration leading up to the Columbus Day Parade, and to have legendary singer Barry Manilow perform shows the importance of the Foundation and its goals."

The Foundation's scholarship fund helps support outstanding students of Italian descent that are seeking a quality education and are in need of financial assistance. Tickets to the gala can be purchased by emailing gala@columbuscitizens.org.

When Where Articles/Reviews
July 31, 2017 PR NewswireGrammy, Emmy & Tony-Award Winner Barry Manilow to Perform at Columbus Citizens Foundation 2017 Gala: Manilow to Honor Barnes & Noble Founder Leonard Riggio to Benefit Italian-American Student Scholarship Fund
Pop music legend Barry Manilow will perform at the Columbus Citizens Foundation 73rd Annual Gala on Saturday, October 7 at the New York Hilton. The Gala will honor Leonard Riggio, the Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble, and will benefit the Foundation's Italian-American Student Scholarship Fund.

The theme of this year's Columbus Day Celebration and parade is "A Celebration of Italian-American Authors." Mr. Riggio, the parade Grand Marshal, created the theme to recognize the achievements of Italian-American writers. The black-tie Gala will incorporate this theme and feature Mr. Manilow as the guest performer.

All proceeds from the Gala will be used to support the Foundation's mission of providing quality education to students of Italian descent who have academic ability but need financial assistance.

Having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, Barry Manilow is one of the world's all-time bestselling recording artists. He's had an astonishing 50 Top 40 singles including 12 #1s and 27 Top 10 hits and is ranked as the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all-time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award in every decade since the 1970s and, in addition to winning the Best Pop Male Vocal Performance Grammy in 1979 (for "Copacabana"), is an Emmy, Tony and American Music Award winner three years in a row.

"It is an honor to have renowned performer Barry Manilow as this year's Gala entertainment," said Foundation President Angelo Vivolo. "The Gala holds high significance in the celebration leading up to the Columbus Day Parade, and to have legendary singer Barry Manilow perform shows the importance of the Foundation and its goals."

Mr. Manilow will be a part of a program that pays tribute to Grand Marshal Riggio, Italian-American authors, and this year's honorees, Tom Iovino, CEO of OHL America, and Dr. Laura Forese, Executive Vice President and COO of New York-Presbyterian.

Tickets are still available for this exceptional evening. Please email gala@columbuscitizens.org for further details.

ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929. For more information, contact jwilson@columbuscitizens.org

July 28, 2017 Starts at 60The Atlanta concert was a hit with fans
Two years ago, Barry Manilow’s ‘One Last Time’ concert series was thought to be the end of the musician’s touring career but it seems absence has made the heart grow fonder. The 74-year-old singer-songwriter was in top condition despite having to cancel two US concerts earlier this year due to “sprained vocal chords.” Fans were gushing about Manilow’s prowess with songs old and new as he sang the hits from his latest album, This is My Town: Songs of New York. Manilow’s July 27 concert in Atlanta was nearly sold out; an impressive feat for a musical sensation after 40 years in the business.

[For] any youngsters in the audience, Manilow joked that he “was the Justin Bieber of the ’70s.” While songs from his new album went over well with the audience, they couldn’t get enough of the classics, including "Weekend in New England" and "Somewhere Down the Road." Manilow’s tour of the US will continue, with the musical sensation heading to Chicago this weekend.

July 28, 2017 Atlanta Journal Constitution"Concert review: Barry Manilow returns to Atlanta with loose, fun show" by Melissa Ruggieri
There’s a snarky line from Judd Nelson’s character in “The Breakfast Club” directed at a school official: “Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?” It’s meant to be an insult, of course. Another jab at the eternal un-hipness of Manilow because...why, exactly? Oh, right. Because at the height of his popularity in the ‘70s and ‘80s, his style of soft rock was a snicker-inducing contrast to the punk, prog rock and flutterings of New Wave music of the era. Looks as if four-plus decades later, someone is still having the last laugh.

Manilow’s music has endured because – as he pointed out at his nearly sold-out Fox Theatre show on Thursday – it contains an essential element absent in much of current music: melody. It also still has the ability to provoke zigzagging emotions – the cheery cheesiness of “Can’t Smile Without You,” the throbbing excitement of “New York City Rhythm,” the deep melancholy of “Even Now” – and Manilow knows it.

Two years ago, the 74-year-old musician embarked on his “One Last Time!” tour, ostensibly his final bow on the road. But people’s feelings change – which is maybe why you shouldn’t put the word “last” in the anything – and Manilow had reasons to return to the stage for sporadic dates.

In April he released a new album, a love letter to his Brooklyn roots christened “This is My Town: Songs of New York.” He also publicly confirmed his longtime relationship (and marriage) to Garry Kief. And, as he noted at the start of Thursday’s two-hour hit parade, he thought people might want a break from all of the “yelling and hollering” about our divided country.

Indeed, Manilow seemed looser and happier, even moving more fluidly across the stage during the perky “Bandstand Boogie” and casually slipping a hand in his pants pocket while singing “Looks Like We Made It.”

He clowned with his expert 10-piece band and three backup singers during a Latin-styled jam on “New York City Rhythm,” spoke passionately about his Manilow Music Project (“Music will change a young person’s life,” he said, a point that cannot be emphasized enough) and humble-bragged through deserved ovations after hitting show-stopping notes at the close of “Even Now” and “I Made it Through the Rain.”

Manilow is a practiced showman, and for those who have seen him before, there are plenty of well-worn, self-deprecating staples. “I was the Justin Bieber of the ‘70s – ask your mother,” he quipped, again (but yes, it’s still amusing). There was the expected joke when the cover of his first album was shown on a video screen about it being released “in 1821.” And fans still seem to relish the clip of a very, very young Clive Davis introducing Manilow on “The Midnight Special,” his shaggy hair falling over his eyes as he croons “Mandy,” which leads to current Manilow sneaking back onstage to pick up behind the piano for the second verse.

But the presence of fresh material allowed him to make a few tweaks to the show. The new album’s title track, “This is My Town,” bursts with the kind of simple, yet heartfelt, lyrics that make the song well-suited for a NYC tourism campaign. He also, as he does on record, meshed the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil classic “On Broadway” with “New York City Rhythm,” for a fulfilling valentine to his hometown.

Fanilows accepted these new additions graciously, but saved their deepest swooning for the vivid songcraft of “Weekend in New England” and a tender “Somewhere Down the Road” (one of the few times during the show that Manilow’s voice cracked). Then, of course, the green glow sticks that the audience waved sporadically throughout the show erupted in full illumination for “I Write the Songs,” which featured the Gwinnett Young Singers adding a layer of lushness, and the giddy, goofy fun of “Copacabana.”

So, was this Manilow’s true victory lap? If so, he went out proving once again that it’s not only hip to be square, but it makes for quite a respectable career.

July 26, 2017 Broadway WorldA Fanilow Gets a Surprise Proposal with the Help of Barry Manilow!
Music legend Barry Manilow stopped his DC concert last night at the MGM National Harbor to help make a very special memory for the newly engaged Bob and Jennifer. Check out the surprise proposal below!

Having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, Barry Manilow is one of the world's all-time bestselling recording artists. He's had an astonishing 50 Top 40 singles including 12 #1s and 27 Top 10 hits and is ranked at the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all-time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines.

He has been nominated for a Grammy Award in every decade since the 1970s and, in addition to winning the Best Pop Male Vocal Performance Grammy in 1979 (for "Copacabana"), is an Emmy, Tony and American Music Award winner three years in a row. Barry Manilow was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and has his own Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1978, five of his albums were on the best-seller charts simultaneously. He most recently appeared on Broadway in 2013's MANILOW ON BROADWAY. He previously appeared in BARRY MANILOW AT THE GERSHWIN in 1989.

July 24, 2017 The Morning Call"Singer Barry Manilow to perform at Allentown's PPL Center" by John J. Moser
Grammy, Tony and Emmy Award-winning pop singer Barry Manilow will perform at Allentown’s PPL Center — the first time the singer has performed in the Lehigh Valley in more than 17 years, it was announced Monday. Manilow will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

The singer is promoting his newest album, "This is My Town: Songs of New York," which, released April 21, hit No. 1 on the Pop Album chart. He also will perform his greatest hits, such as "Copacabana" and "Mandy."

Tickets, prices of which have not been announced, will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. July 28 at www.PPLCenter.com, 610-347-TIXX or at the PPL Center Box Office at 701 Hamilton Street. Tickets and general information are also available at www.barrymanilow.com.

Manilow last performed in the Lehigh Valley in May 2000 at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena. He played to a sold-out grandstand at the Allentown Fair in 1993, and played the fair again in 1994.

In a recording career spanning 44 years, Manilow has released 31 studio albums, six live albums, 17 compilations and four soundtracks. Thirty-two of those discs sold gold (more than 500,000) or platinum (more than 1 million), including his first 14. From 1975-78, he had three straight albums – “Tryin' to Get the Feeling,” “This One’s for You” and “Even Now” – all sold triple-platinum.

In all, Manilow has sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, putting him in the Top 62 best-selling solo artists of all time. Twenty-six of those albums have charted in the Top 40, with 15 hitting the Top 10. His [1977] album “Barry Manilow Live” and 2006’s “The Greatest Songs of the Fifties” both hit No. 1.

Manilow, 74, has had 47 songs that hit the Top 40 on various charts, ranking him as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time according to Billboard magazine. Twenty-five of those songs hit No. 1, including “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” and "Looks Like We Made It." Five of his singles sold gold, with the last being "Copacabana (At the Copa)” in 1977.

Manilow has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, with nods in every decade since the 1970s, and in 1979 won for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance for “Copacabana.” His most recent nomination was in 2016 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “My Dream Duets.”

In 1977 he won an Emmy for Outstanding Special – Comedy, Variety or Music for “The Barry Manilow Special,” and a Special Tony Award in 1977 for “Barry Manilow on Broadway.” From 1978-80, Manilow won three straight American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2006, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for “Barry Manilow: Music And Passion.”

Manilow's career encompasses virtually every area of music, including performing, composing and arranging and producing albums for other artists, including Bette Midler and Dionne Warwick.

Manilow also has written songs for musicals, films and commercials, including famous jingles for State Farm Insurance ("Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there") or Band-Aid ("I am stuck on Band-Aid, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!") and the"You Deserve a Break Today" campaign for McDonald’s. Manilow won two Clio Awards in 1976 for his work for Tab and Band-Aid.

July 24, 2017 WFMZ-TV 69 NewsBarry Manilow to play Allentown's PPL Center: He's touring in support of his newest album
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The PPL Center will host pop star Barry Manilow 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Manilow is touring in support of his newest album, "This Is My Town: Songs of New York." Tickets will go on sale to the general public 10 a.m. Friday at the PPL Center box office, online at the PPL Center website or by phone at 610-347-TIXX. Tickets and information are also available at the Barry Manilow website.

Manilow is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has more than 50 Top 40 songs.

July 24, 2017 Philadelphia Patch"Win Tickets To See Barry Manilow In Philly: Find out how to win tickets to see the pop artist here" by Max Bennett
Barry Manilow is heading to Philadelphia in September and you can win two tickets to see the pop artist. Manilow will be performing at the Wells Fargo Center Sept. 15 and NBC10 and LiveNation are giving away two free tickets to the show. All you need to do is enter your full name, email, phone number, zip code, and age on the form provided by NBC10.

Winners will be announced after Aug. 10 on NBCPhiladelphia.com.

You can enter to win now through Aug. 2 and entrants must be at least 18 years old. Enter to win online here.

If you don't end up winning, you can still purchase tickets to see Manilow here. Tickets range from $19,75 to $249.75.

July 21, 2017 Fairfax County Times"A grand concert for Barry Manilow" by Keith Loria
Everyone has a favorite Barry Manilow song. For some, it’s the love ballad, “Mandy.” Others enjoy the up tempo of “Copacabana” or the fun chorus of “Can’t Smile Without You.” With more than 50 hits to his credit, including 12 that reached No. 1, the pop singer is truly one of the legends of our time.

Not that it was the career he expected. Manilow was born in Brooklyn and began playing the accordion as a child, which is how he learned to read music. At 13, he switched to piano and was introduced to a wide array of music by his new stepfather, Willie Murphy. “He brought with him a stack of albums that may have well been a stack of gold,” Manilow said. “He introduced me to great Broadway albums and great classical albums, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle – and for a 13-year-old kid to hear that for the first time, it was a life-changing moment for me.”

Manilow attended Julliard and in the ‘60s, quickly made a mark for himself in music, writing everything from Off-Broadway musicals to Madison Avenue jingles, including lending a voice on campaigns for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and McDonald’s. “I wound up working with a lot of singers in New York when I began. I was a piano player, an accompanist, an arranger, and a conductor,” Manilow said. “That’s what I was going to do with my life. I had never, never thought about singing.”

It was meeting Bette Midler in 1971 that would change his course in life and help both of their careers rise to the stratospheric level of where they are today. Manilow was the Divine Miss M’s pianist, conductor and arranger and co-produced her first two albums. It was from her that he said he learned to perform and do a show.

He released a self-titled album in 1973, and a year later its follow-up, “Barry Manilow II,” contained the hit single “Mandy,” which would set in motion a pop career that he never envisioned. “I never wanted to be a singer or performer; all I cared about was being a musician,” he said. “When I wound up with a No. 1 record, it was crazy. I exploded into a million different pieces and as thrilling as it was, it was terrifying also and I wasn’t ready for it.”

While “Copacabana” is his most popular song, it’s a tune that was never expected to gain any traction. “Clive [Davis] hated the song and didn’t want to put it out. It was a novelty song and we didn’t think it could possibly be a single because ‘Barry Manilow doesn’t have dance records’ and Clive was pushing the ballads,” Manilow said. “Out of nowhere, ‘Copa’ exploded off the album without any help from the record company and it turned out to be the biggest record of my career.”

Over a career that’s spanned more than 50 years, Manilow has sold more than 80 million records and that number continues to grow. His latest release, “This Is My Town: Songs of New York” climbed to No. 1 upon its release, showing his musical power is as strong as it’s ever been. The album contains half new songs, half standards, but all with the theme surrounding the singer’s birthplace, evoking the spirit and energy of New York City. “I’ve had that idea for a long time, as I’ve always wanted to do a tribute to my hometown,” he said. “I looked titles up on the internet and I was very surprised at how many really good New York songs there were and I tried them all. It took me months, arranging the ones that felt good, and the best ones wound up on the album.” One of the songs was a medley of tunes that includes “New York State of Mind,” “New York, New York,” “The Sidewalks of New York,” “Native New Yorker” and of course the “Theme from New York, New York.”

Last year, Manilow completed his “One Last Time” tour, which the 74-year-old said would be his final full-length concert tour. But he did promise that it didn’t mean the end of performing live – just that it would be a more pick-and-choose sort of thing. On July 24 and 25, the singer is keeping to his word, and will play two shows at the Theater at MGM Nation Harbor. “I’ve realized what the audiences want today,” Manilow said. “I’m doing as many of the hits as I can possibly squeeze into the show. I’m a lucky guy, who has a catalogue that can fill up an evening of music and most of them are familiar songs.” That means to expect songs like “Weekend in New England,” “It’s a Miracle” and “I Write the Songs.”

“The biggest reward is being able to see the audience. If you saw what I saw, you would not stop performing, either,” he said. “These people are so happy and having such a great time singing these songs and listening to me do my cornball jokes and playing my music, that they do forget the craziness going on out there in the world. That’s the part that keeps me coming back.”

Barry Manilow, Theater at MGM National Harbor. 7:30 p.m., July 24 and July 25. Tickets start at $45.

July 19, 2017 The Washington Blade"Two-night-stand with Barry Manilow" by Keith Loria
In 2015, news that Barry Manilow was married to Garry Kief, his manager and partner of now 40 years, broke in several publications, and any fears the singer had about what it would mean to his career and how his fans would react were quickly put to rest. With performances scheduled at the Theater at MGM National Harbor, July 24-25, Manilow took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about his shows, his storied career and the headlines asserting that he was gay.

Washington Blade (WB): What were the emotions you felt once you decided to come out? Was there a sense of relief once you saw how your fans reacted?
Barry Manilow (BM): Over the years, they have told me and showed me how much they care about me, not just the music. I’ve felt that from the very beginning. I have been in a loving relationship for 40 years and I would have been very surprised if they didn’t cheer and weren’t happy for me, and of course they did. They reacted just as I had hoped they would. I never saw one negative response. Everyone was very happy for me.

WB: You and Garry have been together for almost four decades now. At a time when many couples don’t last, especially those in the public eye, what’s the secret to your long-lasting relationship?
BM: Respect and privacy. We’ve been together going on 40 years and it’s a great relationship, just like any marriage. I grew up around people who were not really in love, with lots of arguing and screaming and I never really saw people respect and love people. Surprisingly enough, this worked out. Garry manages me and I do my work, he does his work, and we’re in great shape. We’ve both handled ourselves as gentlemen and we’re very proud of each other.

WB: Last year you announced your “One Last Time” tour, retiring from touring but promising not to give up on performing. You’re sticking to your word by playing gigs here and there, including your shows next week at National Harbor.
BM: I always said I would do one-nighters. I have no plans to retire. I’m doing weekends now and then. I had to get off the road. It keeps me away from home for weeks and sometimes months at a time and I’ll never do that again. Shows like these, I’m totally fine with doing. The band and I may need to do an extra-long sound check, but we’ve worked together for so long and know all the songs so well, it’s no problem.

WB: What can you preview about what fans can expect from the performance?
BM: For many years, I was able to do album cuts and special material and little by little, as the years went by, I could tell the audience wants the songs they grew up with, or that their parents played for them and whenever I tried to do anything else, I could feel that they weren’t as happy as when I did the big hits. I’m doing as many of the hits as I can possibly squeeze into the show.

WB: What was the genesis behind your latest release, “This Is My Town: Songs of New York,” and as a New Yorker yourself, how important an album was this for you?
BM: I like to make albums that have ideas to them. The days of me doing 10 love songs that have nothing to do with one another, I stopped doing that years ago. I did a Big Band album, I did a show tunes album, I did a decades series and I always wanted to do a tribute to my home town of New York. There were so many great songs that I decided to do a medley of a handful of them because I loved them all but didn’t have enough space for everything.

WB: What is your songwriting process like? What inspires you to write?
BM: If I started to chase the trend machine, it would drive me nuts. I do what feels good. I write a melody and then send it to my brilliant lyricists and then we talk it through. Or, we do it together. I’m one of these guys who work on demand. I work when I have a project. I’ve tried the other way — writing a song for no reason at all, and I love them all, but they wind up in my trunk and I never use them because they don’t fit on the next album. I stopped doing that.

WB: Your stepfather, Willie Murphy, had a big influence on your music career. How did he help shape your musical tastes?
BM: He brought with him a stack of albums that may have well been a stack of gold, because I didn’t know much music. I was raised by my grandparents and my mother, and my mother was into the pop music of the day on the radio, which didn’t really turn me on, and my grandparents were into the old Russian folk songs. When Willie Murphy came into my life with that stack of albums, there was music — great Broadway albums and great classical albums, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle — and for a 13-year-old kid to hear that for the first time, it was a life-changing moment for me. I didn’t know music like that existed.

WB: Are there still musical goals out there that you want to experiment with and try?
BM: Always. The well hasn’t run dry yet. I always have the next idea. I have three ideas in the pipeline now. That’s how I keep young and energetic. You will never find me sitting in front of the TV set. It’s my suggestion to all those people who are getting on -- don’t just sit and watch TV, figure out something to do and do it.

WB: What is it that keeps you coming back to the stage time and time again?
BM: Garry’s told me, “You can’t cure cancer but you can make them forget about it for 90 minutes.” That’s what I’m seeing out there. These people are so happy and having such a great time singing these songs and listening to me do my cornball jokes and playing my music, that they do forget the craziness going on out there in the world. That’s the part that keeps me coming back.

Barry Manilow. The Theater at MGM National Harbor. 101 MGM National Avenue. Oxon Hill, Maryland. July 24-25. 7:30 p.m. $76-309. mgm.theaternationalharbor.com

July 19, 2017 CBS Philly - KYW NewsradioBarry Manilow at the Wells Fargo Center
Live Nation Presents Manilow Live in Philadelphia! Don’t miss Barry Manilow performing songs from his latest album “This is My Town,” live at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, September 15th! For tickets and more info visit: ComcastTIX.com

Up to five KYW Insiders will win a pair of tickets to the show!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER
July 7, 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer"Barry Manilow announces fall date at Wells Fargo Center" by Nick Vadala
He writes the songs that make the whole world sing, and this fall, Barry Manilow will bring those songs to Philly. Manilow, 74, is scheduled to play the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 15 in support of his latest album This is My Town: Songs of New York. According to a release, Manilow will play hits including “Copacabana” and “Mandy.”

Released in April, This is my Town features original tracks mixed with covers of songs celebrating New York City, Manilow’s hometown. The album also features [songs] from New York-oriented musicians including Billy Joel, Leonard Bernstein, and Alicia Keys.

Tickets for the Wells Fargo Center date go on sale to the general public starting July 14 at 10 a.m. via the Wells Fargo Center website and box office, as well as Manilow’s official website. According to the Wells Fargo Center site, tickets will run between $19.75 and $249.75.

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