Barry Briefs - Archive 31

  • Dave Koz keeps Modesto spirits bright for the holidays - Modesto may not get that white Christmas of holiday lore each year, but it certainly seems content to have a jazzy Christmas instead. Since 2010, contemporary jazz saxophonist Dave Koz has brought his popular Christmas show to Gallo Center for the Arts four times. The last time was in 2015, and it returns again this year for a sold-out production Wednesday, Dec. 21.

    The smooth-jazz hitmaker and nine-time Grammy nominee celebrates the 19th anniversary of his successful Christmas tour. As in years past, Koz brings a revolving roster of stars with him on the road for the holiday extravaganza. This year's special guests are Jonathan Butler, Valerie Simpson and Kenny Lattimore. “We’re very honored and happy to come back to Modesto. I love the Gallo Center, and it has become a yearly tradition. Nothing makes me happier than seeing familiar faces,” Koz, 53, said in a phone interview with The Modesto Bee from the road in Florida recently.

    This year’s tour also has some notable production changes. For the first time, all four artists will be onstage together to start. And Koz has decided to go less high-tech, ditching the big screens that projected in the background in years past. “I feel like in our life now, we have our noses in screens too much. Whether television or iPad, we’re always staring at a screen. This time, there will be no distractions – no big screens,” he promised.

    He also said audiences can expect the show to be about 65 percent Christmas-themed and 35 percent artists’ own repertoires. He said picking the performers each year is one part inspiration, one part luck. “It’s a little bit crossing fingers and hoping it works out. Whatever makes for the best show will win. There’s really no ego; we all band together. And I love what it says to the audience,” he said. “These are four artists who could be doing their own show. But this is a microcosm of what life should be. With so much divisiveness and uncertainty, it feels like a nice opportunity to bring people together.”

    Koz himself is, of course, no slouch in the success department. The entertainer has had nine No. 1 albums on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album chart. His last Christmas album, 2014’s “The 25th of December,” spent eight weeks atop the charts. Over the summer, he toured with fellow jazz saxman David Sanborn and opened the U.S. and U.K. dates for Barry Manilow’s “One Last Time!” tour.

    Koz, who calls himself a “nice Jewish boy,” said no one is more surprised by the enduring success of his Christmas tour than him. “I feel so blessed and fortunate to have a tour that has lasted this long. We’ve created more of a feeling than concert for many years now. And people make it a holiday tradition,” he said. “I’ve watched kids come to the show, and they are now grown up and come with their kids. That’s the part that makes it special for us.” (The Modesto Bee, 12/14/2016)

  • Burnsville Music Teacher Surprised with $35,000 Worth of Donated Instruments - Music teacher Ann Bakken stood in front of her eighth-grade band class Thursday at Nicollet Middle School. With the students' complete attention, she raised her hands and motioned for them to begin playing. They may have sounded like an eighth-grade band, but in time she will have them in tip-top shape. This past fall, Bakken told the school's resource officer and friend, Beverly Price, that she was worried she would not be able to provide enough instruments to her students. "There was a time where there was two or three weeks we were practicing without drumsticks. Some of these kids had nothing for their hands and it just bothered me," she said. And a number of instruments she does have are 45 years old and in bad shape.

    Without Bakken knowing, Price contacted the Barry Manilow Foundation's "Manilow Music Project." The project donates instruments and materials to school music programs. "They came through with being able to provide Bakken with all the instruments she needed," Price said.

    At the school's band concert Dec. 1, Price surprised Bakken with new instruments worth $35,000. "It still makes me tear up because it's really cool. I'm really passionate about what I do and I want kids to be able to play if they want to play," Bakken said. Bakken says she's thankful to Price for helping her and the kids make sweet music. (KSTP ABC-5 Eyewitness News, 12/9/2016)

  • Christmas success surprises no one more than Koz - No one is more surprised than Dave Koz that nearly two decades later he’s still taking his annual Christmas tour on the road. "I can’t believe being a Jewish boy out there doing almost 20 years of Christmas touring," said Koz, calling from Jacksonville, FL ... The "Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2016," which comes to the Rock Hall City for a Dec. 10 show at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre, finds the saxophone player joined by guitarist Jonathan Butler, R&B-gospel crooner Kenny Lattimore and Ashford & Simpson’s Valerie Simpson.

    Considering the Christmas Tour was initially designed as a way for Koz and keyboardist David Benoit to deal with unexpected family deaths, it’s apropos Simpson is on the bill. "This is the first time Valerie has been out on the road since her husband passed away five years ago," Koz said. "She’s just a powerhouse. We’re talking about classics like 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,' and 'Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).' These are songs we can incorporate in our show giving it such depth that we really never had before."

    Koz said this year’s tour is mostly Christmas songs with a Hanukkah medley to boot. Also, there are a few new songs that based on the time of the year and recent events seamlessly fit the show. "It’s often really difficult to introduce new Christmas songs because people want to hear the songs they know," Koz said. "Occasionally we introduce new material and this year because of the passing of Leonard Cohen, Kenny is singing 'Hallelujah.' Now that’s not a Christmas song, but it feels like one. It’s a showstopper and a beautiful moment. We’re also doing a funky song called 'Silver Lining.' People who come to the show will get a nice mix of things that really set them up for a holiday feeling. Hopefully that’ll get them in that mood."

    When it comes to Koz’s Christmas wish, he admits Santa already came through in a big way. Not only did the Grammy Award-nominated artist spend the spring opening for Barry Manilow’s swansong tour, but this past summer he hit the road with David Sanborn. "I’ve had more of those dreams come true than any one person can rightfully claim in one lifetime," Koz said. "Whether it’s David Sanborn, being on the road and flying from gig to gig on Barry Manilow’s jet and hanging with him or making music with Stevie Wonder or meeting Nelson Mandela, I can go on and on. At this point, it’s all gravy."

    "Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2016" featuring Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Valerie Simpson. When: 8 p.m. Dec. 10. Where: State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Tickets: $10 to $69.50. Info: Call 216-241-6000 or 866-546-1353, or visit (News-Herald, 12/9/2016)

  • Dave Koz to Reunite With Original Christmas Tour Lineup for 20th Anniversary Concerts - Though his latest Christmas Tour is just underway, Dave Koz is already planning next year's trek -- which will mark 20 years since he first took the holiday package on the road. The saxophonist tells Billboard that to commemorate the anniversary he plans to reunite the original Christmas Tour crew of David Benoit, Peter White and Rick Braun in 2017. "A lot of very wonderful energy will be on that, kind of make it full circle," Koz says. "I never thought in a million years we'd be doing it this long. There's a familiarity thing that happens with this music; People hold on to these traditions and somehow we've become part of a lot of people's traditions. It's amazing. The most surprised person about this whole thing is me. I think it deserves to have a celebration of some sort, so next year will be very special."

    Koz is high on this year's Christmas Tour, too, of course, which features Jonathan Butler, Valerie Simpson and Kenny Lattimore on a 24-tour itinerary that wraps Dec. 22 in San Jose. Koz notes that it's the first time he's featured three vocalists, and in the contentious wake of this year's presidential election the shows seem to be providing a bit of balm to the crowds so far. "There's such a warmth and energy to these songs," Koz says. "They make people feel good, so innocent. Especially coming off this last couple months of just craziness and divisiveness, it's so reassuring. It does a lot of good for all of our hearts on stage to see people melting a little bit and letting their guard down and hopefully be a little kinder in the holiday season and the new year. We need more of that, common kindness."

    Koz, who's released three holiday albums, says his plans for the tour's 20th anniversary may also include some studio time. "I would love to go in the studio and record with the guys, maybe do a little retrospective and some new music," he notes. He's also planning to work on a new album of his own in the new year, although Koz hasn't "narrowed in" on what direction he'll take. Meanwhile, he's also still buzzing about being the special guest on Barry Manilow's One [Last] Time! Tour during the past couple of years, which brought new fans to Koz's own shows. "I just met up with some Manilow fans the other night in Naples," Koz says. "They were there and came backstage and said, 'We saw you with Barry in Florida. This is our first Christmas show and we won't miss any more in the future.' So touring with (Manilow) was an amazing experience for me. He went above and beyond to truly make his fans really aware of me. It was really sweet. I don't know if he'll ever do a big tour like that again, but I'm happy to play with him any time he wants." (Yahoo! News, 12/5/2016)

  • Dave Koz at Andiamo, 5 Things To Know - With 19 years of an annual holiday tour in his pocket, Dave Koz has become one of entertainment’s kings of Christmas. Not bad for a nice Jewish boy from Los Angeles. Nevertheless, the saxophonist has spent most of the past two decades gathering some musical friends and hitting the road playing seasonal favorites. The enterprise has outlasted the Smooth Jazz tag Koz and company once labored under and is now [just] an accepted, and expected, part of the annual December Christmas parade... Koz still carries warm memories about being on the road with Barry Manilow during his “One More Time! Tour last year and this. "I just met up with some Manilow fans the other night in Naples," Koz says. "They were there and came backstage and said, 'We saw you with Barry in Florida. This is our first Christmas show and we won’t miss any more in the future.' So touring with (Manilow) was an amazing experience for me. He went above and beyond to truly make his fans really aware of me. It was really sweet. I don’t know if he’ll ever do a big tour like that again, but I’m happy to play with him any time he wants." If You Go: Dave Koz Christmas Tour with Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Valerie Simpson. 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7. Andiamo Celebrity Showroom, 7096 E. Foruteen Mile Road, Warren. Tickets are $25-$175. Call 586-268-3200 or visit (The Oakland Press, 12/5/2016)

  • How Joni Mitchell's 'River' became a Christmas classic - Michael Ball, a British stage actor and singer, was watching a performance of traditional Christmas music at a London drama school several years ago when the students unwrapped Joni Mitchell’s "River." Ball said he was somewhat startled, given that the classic 1971 confessional isn’t really a Christmas song ... "River" is a bereft song about a broken romance and a woman who desperately wants to escape her heartbreak, saying repeatedly: "I wish I had a river I could skate away on." The despairing drama just happens to be set around the holidays.

    [Ball] recorded a version of "River" for his holiday album, "Christmas." At the time, he thought he was a maverick for placing the song alongside the likes of "Silent Night" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." As it turns out, plenty of artists have been dreaming of a very, very blue Christmas over the last two decades: "River" - originally featured on Mitchell’s melancholy 1971 masterwork, "Blue" - has become a seasonal favorite ... "We needed a sad Christmas song, didn’t we?" Mitchell said with a chuckle on NPR in 2014.

    "River" has long been a popular cover among musicians, more than 500 of whom have recorded it for commercial release. Countless others have performed it in concert ... Mitchell’s composition has been included on dozens of Christmas albums, from Barry Manilow’s "A Christmas Gift of Love" and Tracey Thorn’s "Tinsel and Lights" to Sarah McLachlan’s Grammy-nominated "Wintersong" and Megan Hilty’s new "A Merry Little Christmas."

    Various versions of "River" have become hits on the radio stations that play Christmas music and nothing else around the holiday, making Mitchell’s tune one of the rare "new" entries in the Christmas canon, alongside Mariah Carey’s "All I Want for Christmas Is You." "It’s the most beautiful, like, sad Christmas-time song I’ve ever heard in my life," country singer Ashley Monroe recently told A.V. Club. "Every time I sing it I kind of cry a little on the inside." "River" has become popular in Hollywood, too, featuring in the seasonally set movie "Love Actually," in a Christmas scene in "You’ve Got Mail," and in shows from "Glee" and "Ally McBeal" to "E.R.," which used McLachlan’s ethereal version of the song in a dark, holiday-themed episode...

    Mitchell told NPR in 2014 that the song is about "taking personal responsibility for the failure of a relationship." "And my generation is known to be a Peter Pan, narcissistic generation ... So it's really that aspect of our inability - 'I'm selfish and I'm sad.' People think that's confessional, but I'd say, in my generation, you think that that's a unique personal statement? ... No wonder there's so many covers of it!" (Washington Post, 12/7/2016)

  • The Holiday Albums That Topped the Charts Each Year Since 1987 - With Thanksgiving in the rear view, it's now socially acceptable for those who are so inclined to listen to nothing but holiday tunes from now until Dec. 25th. If for some reason you aren't already deeply attached to a particular set of holiday albums, consult our list to begin your holiday music education. PrettyFamous, an entertainment data site by Graphiq, pulled data from Billboard's Holiday Albums charts to find the holiday albums that topped the rest each yuletide season... Holiday Season '87-'88: "A Very Special Christmas" by Various Artists ... Holiday Season '88-'89: "A Fresh Aire Christmas" by Mannheim Steamroller ... Holiday Season '89-'90: "Merry Merry Christmas" by New Kids On The Block ... Holiday Season '90-'91: "Because It's Christmas" by Barry Manilow ... (, 12/6/2016)

  • Annenberg theater wows on opening night - Singer-Actress Megan Hilty has thousands of fans from her break-neck-speed career encompassing some 24 TV appearances on shows such as Bones, The Closer, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty; plus 10 films, including "Sally" and "Rules Don't Apply" ... And now, judging by last week's applause, Megan has won another 400 + fans who attended the sold-out Opening Night Benefit Concert at the Annenberg Theater in the Palm Springs Art Museum. The sponsors of this lavish event were also treated like stars, beginning with Annette Bloch, who was the Annenberg Theater Council and Diamond Row Sponsor. Close behind came Gold sponsors Donna MacMillan and Arlene Schnitzer & Jordan Schnitzer and Silver sponsor Harold Matzner...

    Megan Hilty is one of those performers who makes you feel like you've known her – and loved her – all her life. Between her oldies but goodies numbers like "Someone To Watch Over Me" she chatted intimately with the audience about her life .... "I wanted to be an opera star" ... "That handsome guitar player is my husband and the father of our little girl" ... and (explaining her slightly pudgy figure) I'm five months pregnant .... we only get pregnant when we're coming to Palm Springs." Her show-stopping numbers included "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend" and a magnificent arrangement of "Autumn Leaves" ... Barry Manilow [was] in the audience.

    It is a long-standing tradition for the Annenberg's opening to be held early in the evening, followed by a reception upstairs in the main gallery of the Palm Springs Art Museum ... A major topic of conversation this year was the Annenberg's "Take Your Seat" fundraiser which offers sponsors the opportunity to purchase the seats of their choice for $1,000 and have a name plaque on it, identifying it as theirs’ – forever! ... The proceeds of this program will be used for major renovations to the theater, its equipment, and décor. The Annenberg Theater is located on the ground floor of the Palm Springs Art Museum at 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. Information: 760-325-4490 or (The Desert Sun, 12/3/2016)

  • Dave Koz continues Christmas tradition at Plaza - Some might say it wouldn't be Christmas without Santa, but in El Paso, it's not Christmas until Dave Koz comes to town. The nine-time Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist’s annual Christmas Tour stop at the Plaza Theatre has become an El Paso holiday tradition over the last 10-plus years. "El Paso is like a second home for me," Koz said in a phone interview from California, where he, his band and his special guests were rehearsing for the tour, which kicks off Friday in Sarasota, Fla. The Dave Koz Christmas Tour returns to the Plaza Theatre on Dec. 13 ... In 2015, Koz celebrated his 25th anniversary as a recording artist. He continued that celebration into 2016 with two tours that were near and dear to him. The first was a tour that started in 2015 in which he opened up for and performed alongside one of his favorite artists, Barry Manilow. "As a monstrous Manilow fan, I got a chance to travel with him and really get to know him," Koz said. "He was kind enough to let me travel in his airplane (from show to show); it was so rock 'n' roll, you have no idea." Koz said that returning to an opening slot on a tour helped him get back to a space he hadn’t been to in a long time -- going out each night and giving his all in order to prove himself to an audience that was there to see somebody else perform. "For me it’s always been about trying to ... get more people into the tent; I don’t think any artist is ever done with that," Koz said. "The fans were open and kind and welcoming to us. Barry went out of his way to make sure (his fans) knew how important we were to him." Then Koz received another chance of a lifetime -- the opportunity to tour with his childhood hero, saxophonist David Sanborn. The duo hit the road together last summer for their Back to Back Tour, sharing the stage together on the road for the first time... (El Paso Times, 11/22/2016)

  • The 20 Best Daft Punk Songs - Daft Punk is one of the most influential musical acts of the last 20 years. Dance and electronic music defines the musical movement of our era. It's leaked into rock, rap and even country. It is the pop sound of the day, and Daft Punk has most certainly played a heavy hand in that sonic domination ... Pick any Daft Punk song or album from its 20-year history, and it sounds good enough to be released tomorrow. Daft Punk is conceptual, simple, cinematic, and timeless. Ranking this music is almost impossible, but here are Billboard's top 20 favorites ... #13 Daft Punk Song - "Superheroes": What even is this song? It's got a beat so heavy, it is sometimes reminiscent of hardstyle's affront. The arpeggiated synth comes in like piñata candy that rains in slow motion. There are ray-gun pew pews, space-travel noises. There really is no other song like this I can think of, simultaneously anxiety-inducing and balls-to-the-wall fun. It is like the soundtrack to an interstellar superhero final fight. I spent my entire childhood trying to figure out what these lyrics were saying. Turns out, it's Barry Manilow singing "something's in the air," from his 1979 deep cut "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed." One of life's great mysteries, finally solved. (Billboard via Yahoo!, 11/13/2016)

  • Antenna TV Nov. 16: Tonight Show from 11/29/1985 - Antenna TV is scheduled to broadcast a classic episode of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson from November 29, 1985 with guest appearances by singer Barry Manilow, actor Chevy Chase, actor Dan Aykroyd, and host David Letterman. (Antenna TV, November 2016)

  • Manilow magic at Mansfield venue - Copacabana is to be performed by New Youth Theatre on November 15-16 at Mansfield’s Palace Theatre. Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl... Barry Manilow’s Grammy Award-winning song you never forgot is now brought to life on stage. A love letter to the technicolor musicals of the 1940s, Barry Manilow’s Copacabana presents the story of Lola, as told through the eyes of Stephen, a present day aspiring songwriter whose imagination takes him back to a time when music and passion were always in fashion. He dreams of Lola, fresh off the plane from Tulsa, who arrives in New York with showbiz aspirations. Tony is a bartender/composer who falls in love with Lola and helps her become a Copa Girl. While performing, Lola attracts the amorous attentions of Rico, who abducts her and takes her to his rival nightclub in Havana. Tony, with the help of his Copacabana friends, must now rescue Lola before... well, even if you know the song, there are still a few surprises. The New Youth Theatre concept is simple. Children between the ages of 3-17 years are taught how to develop and improve their performing arts skills whilst rehearsing for a fully staged musical each term. This unique approach to musical theatre brings children of all ages together to enjoy learning new skills, have fun and be on-stage! To join the energetic cast call 01623 406284 or visit For tickets for this production of Copacabana, call the box office on 01623 633133.(Eastwood Advertiser, 11 November 2016)

  • Up and Out Plan Ahead ... Friday, Nov. 18 - Saturday, Nov. 19: West Burlington High School, 408 W. Van Weiss Boulevard, will present “Barry Manilow’s Copacabana” at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Door admission is $5. To learn more, call (319) 754-6567 or email (The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa), 11/6/2016)

  • Bette Midler’s 'The Divine Miss M Deluxe' - It’s been 44 years since Bette Midler released her debut album ... Midler has [an] edgier voice, as this deluxe reissue of her iconic The Divine Miss M debut record attests. It’s a voice full of emotion and humour and pain and longing and coquettishness and the album is suitably, wonderfully all over the place. Bette picked up the Divine nickname when she performed in the gay bathhouses of New York, with Barry Manilow accompanying her on the piano. A couple of years later this pint-sized sensation landed a record contract but, as Midler recalls in the new sleeve notes, the early recording sessions weren’t up to much. They were too polished so she went back and redid a lot of the tracks live, resulting in a record alive with Bette’s energy and emotion. Listened to now, in a masterful remaster, it still sounds fresh and iconoclastic, kicking off with a sultry "Do You Want To Dance" and ending with a chirpy "Friends." In between there are classics like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and ballads like "Hello In There" plus a bonkers cover of "Leader Of The Pack" that speeds up, slows down, speeds up again and races to a noisy finish. Like the album as a whole it’s a bit mad, full of passion and something only Bette could pull off. The two-disc set comes with single edits, demos, alternate versions, and a fabulously glittery sleeve. (Attitude, 10/22/2016)

  • Bette Midler Revisits Her Star-Making Songs - NEW YORK (AP) – Bette Midler is going back to the beginning of her career -- the divine beginning. The Grammy- and Emmy Award-winner is re-releasing a deluxe version of “The Divine Miss M,” her 1972 debut album that included the hits “Do You Want To Dance,” ”Chapel Of Love,” ”Friends” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” “They were the songs that launched me, really. They were the foundation on which I built my career,” Midler said. “I’m always happy to sing them because they’re friends. They’re old friends.”

    Midler made a name for herself in the early 1970s singing high-energy concerts downtown with Barry Manilow as her pianist. In vintage clothing and with her bawdy personality, she breathed new life into old songs and made torch songs scalding. “She was, and is, the most brilliant performer we have in my lifetime,” Manilow said. “When it came to the music, her taste in songs and her choices were so odd — what was on the radio those days was nothing like what she wanted to do. Her taste was very much my taste.”

    Midler and Manilow put together a solid hour of music and one night lured Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun to a swanky midtown nightclub to hear it. “The audience was so crazy that at the end of the show they carried her out on their shoulders,” Manilow recalled. Midler soon signed with Atlantic and released “The Divine Miss M” based on her act. She won a best new artist Grammy in 1973 and went on to get two more, plus four Golden Globes and three Emmys. This spring she returns to Broadway in a revival of the musical “Hello, Dolly!”

    She admitted to being a little shocked revisiting the platinum-selling album that made it all possible 44 years later: “It’s just unbelievable the way that time passes. And yet I still look fabulous. What can I say?” Midler was hands-on with the re-release by Rhino Records, including selecting the bonus disc of singles, outtakes and demos. There are five unreleased recordings, including “Mr. Freedom And I,” and an alternate version of “Superstar.” She recalled that recording the album was stressful because co-producers Joel Dorn and Manilow didn’t get along: “In those days, I was really caught between a rock and a hard place. I couldn’t really stand up for myself.”

    Dorn, who had produced Roberta Flack, was the first to take a crack at it. He threw out Manilow’s tried-and-true arrangements and started from scratch. When it was finished, Midler stopped by to play it for Manilow. “Sure enough, she sounded like Roberta Flack. She sounded beautiful and professional and boring,” said Manilow. “She was never boring. That’s the last word you would ever describe Bette Midler, especially in those days.” Manilow vowed to not let that album out -- “I was this young, punk musician but I believed so much in her,” he said -- and lobbied Ertegun to let him produce a handful of the songs his way. It was a bluff: He’d never produced an album.

    Manilow tried to re-create a live vibe in the studio, inviting an audience and stringing some lights. “I wanted to get that wonderful personality on this record,” he said. “No, she didn’t sound like Roberta Flack.” His tracks were melded with Dorn’s for the final album. “Over the years she has sounded much better on other albums. But this album was so special and so unique and so individual and the performances are so brilliant -- they’re funny and they’re moving, just the way it should be,” said Manilow. “I was glad that I fought for her.” (CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, 10/17/2016)

  • Copacabana at Drury High School - The high school fall theater season has begun. In addition to this Saturday's production of "Big Bad," at Wahconah Regional High School, here's a look at other recently announced shows in Berkshire County ... "Voices of Terror" [at] Taconic High School; Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" [at] Pittsfield High School; the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox; Seamus Heaney's "The Burial at Thebes" in the Tannery in New Lebanon, N.Y.... and Drury High School will present Barry Manilow's "Copacabana," on Dec. 1-3. Times and ticket prices to be announced. (Berkshire Eagle, 10/24/2016)

  • Things You Don't Know About Tyler Perry - Madea is back! Tyler Perry’s alter ego spends Halloween fending off ghosts, ghouls and zombies - and shrieking “Help me, Jesus!” - in his new flick, Boo! A Madea Halloween. The Atlanta-based filmmaker, 47, scared up 25 interesting facts about himself exclusively for Us Weekly! ... #21. I love Barry Manilow’s music, and he’s a fan of my OWN show, The Haves and the Have Nots... (US Magazine, 10/24/2016)

  • Property of legendary music artists to be auctioned - Julien’s Auctions, the world record-breaking auction house to the stars, has announced an extraordinary auction featuring a wide collection of property from the life and careers of some of the world’s most legendary and iconic artists of Rock n’ Roll. On Saturday, Nov. 5, Julien’s Auctions will offer collectors and fans the opportunity to bid on rarities that include property from Eric Clapton, Prince, The Beatles and much more ... The world was stunned on April 21, 2016 when they learned of the untimely death of Prince... Icons & Idols: Rock n’ Roll auction include Prince’s 1959 Gibson L48 guitar and two rare photos of Prince with the guitar ... Other incredible highlights of the auction include the only known Beatles “Hard Day’s Night” album that was signed on the front cover by all of The Beatles; John Lennon and Yoko Ono signed “Bed In” display photograph; Jimi Hendrix signed arrest documents ; Michael Jackson’s photoshoot worn sweater ... Barry Manilow back up singer’s costumes and albums (estimate: $800-$1,200) ... For more information, visit (Norwalk Reflector, 10/10/2016)

  • Bette Midler Expands Her Debut Album 'The Divine Miss M' - Bette Midler is going back to her beginnings and re-releasing her debut album The Divine Miss M(due October 21, 2016). The Divine Miss M was released in 1972 but it wasn't really the start of Midler's show business career. She had a non-speaking role in the 1966 film Hawaii and worked on in off Broadway including the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof from 1966 to 1969. In 1970, Bette started playing regularly at the Continental Baths in New York's Ansonia Hotel with piano accompaniment by Barry Manilow. Her following steadily grew and, in 1972, she was signed to Atlantic records for her debut album, The Divine Miss M. The album had four producers, Manilow, Ahmet Ertegun, Joel Dorn and Geoffrey Haslam. Manilow was also the music arranger and conductor. Among the musicians on the album were Cissy Houston, Melissa Manchester, Ron Carter, Thom Bell, Dick Hyman and Arif Mardin. The album included a mix of older standards (Am I Blue?, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy), early rock songs (Chapel of Love, Leader of the Pack) and more contemporary material (Hello in There, Superstar, Delta Dawn). The album was a major hit, going to number 9 on the Billboard 200 and being certified platinum. Three singles also charted, Do You Want to Dance? (1972 / #17 / #8 Adult Contemporary), Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (1973 / #8 / #1 AC) and Friends (1973 / #40 / #9 AC). The new edition of the album comes on two-CDs with the first containing a remastered version of the original while the second includes four single versions of songs from the album plus five demos, alternates and demos, four of which are songs that didn't make the album. There are also new liner notes written by Midler. (Vintage Vinyl News, 9/10/2016)

  • The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Aug. 25 - Clive Davis hosted a private dinner with guests such as Barry Manilow and LL Cool J in the Terrace Room at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles, to preview his upcoming documentary, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, on August 25, 2016. (Billboard Magazine, 9/17/2016)

  • getTV September 2016 Highlights - getTV gets you through the dog days of summer with a September lineup of cinematic favorites featuring award-winning dramas, side-splitting comedies, and beloved stars ... getTV continues its tribute to The Merv Griffin Show, putting the spotlight on some of the groundbreaking talk show's most classic episodes from the '70s and '80s every Monday at 10 p.m. ET beginning Sept. 12. This month boasts a trio of star-studded episodes, kicking off with singer-songwriter Barry Manilow in an early appearance (September 12); followed by The Golden Girls stars (September 19); and folk icon John Denver (September 26). (Sitcoms Online, 8/29/2016)

  • Clive Davis screens moving tribute to Whitney Houston - Music mogul Clive Davis assembled 100 A-list friends to screen scenes featuring Whitney Houston from his upcoming doc, "The Soundtrack of Our Lives." The "visibly moved group" watching at the Terrace Room of the Sunset Tower Hotel included Alicia Keys, LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, Tyler Perry, Brett Ratner, Penny Marshall, Barry Manilow, Kenny G, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Diane Warren. A source said the clips included early footage of Houston on "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1983, just two weeks after she was signed by Davis ... The film’s being produced by Scott Free Productions. "I was incredibly touched [and] gratified that the real Whitney Houston was finally being captured, as well as the magnitude of her talent and her career," Davis said of the screening... (Page Six, 8/25/2016)

  • You're missing the best of Rio 2016 if you aren't following the beach volleyball at the Copacabana - Is it the ultimate beach volleyball venue? Hawaii invented the sport but the Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro is the spiritual home of beach volleyball, the sexy sibling of the indoor equivalent. The volleyball venue majestically rises from the pristine sands, not far from the stately Hotel Copacabana Palace, where American singer Barry Manilow mused, in his 1978 hit song of the same name, "At the copa, Copacabana, The hottest spot north of Havana..." In Rio, the Copacabana is indeed a hotspot. The famed stretch of beach is very different from the bubble at the other clusters of Olympic activity, the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca, the Deodoro zone and the Maracana zone, semi-demilitarised vestiges of sporting prowess, with colourful draping, an army of volunteers and plenty of shuttle buses. (, 8/16/2016)

  • Rio landmarks: A tour of Copacabana Beach - Rio de Janeiro features a beautiful backdrop for the 2016 Olympics, including Copacabana Beach. Despite the games taking place in winter for Rio, the highs are still around 70 to 80 degrees. There's plenty of warmth to enjoy the sun, surf, and games on the beach. The name comes from a Catholic saint: Our Lady of Copacabana. The stone sidewalks along the promenade are famous for crest designs, street vendors canvas the walkways, and music constantly fills the air. If you get a couple of blocks away from the Atlantic Ocean you'll find true hole-in-the wall steakhouses. Beef seasoned so perfectly and then you wash it all down with water straight from a coconut. Once you've had your fill of food and the beach, you can crash at a wide range of places. Over on the far swanky-end of the spectrum, you'll find the Belmond Copacabana Palace hotel. It goes back to 1923 when it was just a quiet deserted beach. And legend has it, that spot is where Barry Manilow came up with his song about the New York night club. (WBIR 10 News, 8/15/2016)

  • Behind the scenes of the Copacabana Palace - You name it, it’s booked up for the 2016 Olympic games, including the world famous Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel. Legend has it [that it] was here that Barry Manilow came up with the idea for his famous song ("Copacabana (At The Copa)") about the New York night club with the same name. This swanky place in the sand dates back to 1923, when President Pessoa asked a businessman to construct a Palace in the quiet, deserted, Copacabana beach. However, [the] beach didn’t stay a secret for long, and neither did the hotel. The palace quickly became a symbol of Rio that all the rich and famous flocked [to]. That list includes royal family members, presidents, actors, models, and on and on. Famous people have been staying at the Copacabana Palace dating back to the likes of Gene Kelly and Orson Welles to more recent visits by Justin [Bieber] and [Miley] Cyrus ... Today, the hotel continues to strive to make every guest feel special with 241 luxurious rooms, amazing views, and services like a florist, spa, and salon right on site. Add it up and it’s easy to see why the pitch to the International Olympic Committee for Rio as a host city was delivered at this very hotel. Adding yet another chapter in the already impressive lore of Copacabana Palace. "It’s all about the history," Natal said. "We are a 93-year-old hotel. We are a landmark. We are so iconic and everyone dreams about coming to stay with us.” (WKYC-TV 3, 8/8/2016)

  • What to do in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympics - Nearly half a million tourists are expected to descend on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. In addition to runners, jumpers, swimmers, and gymnasts taking the stage, the city itself will be in the spotlight. While some of the Olympic stadiums and arenas may not be ready for the athletic events, Rio as a city is always ready to welcome visitors who are eager to explore the bustling town’s many historic and cultural. Rio has a lot to offer travelers from sun to sand to samba dancing to modern museums and charming neighborhoods filled with galleries and al fresco cafes serving traditional meals. Here’s what you need to see in between the games ... #4 - Copacabana Palace: If you can afford to stay at the historic Copacabana Palace hotel, which has housed everyone from real royalty (Prince Charles and Princess Diana) to pop royalty (Madonna, The Rolling Stones), you definitely should do it. The rest of us can stop in for a drink at the iconic hotel’s piano bar to sip a glass of wine or a caipirinha and ogle the hotel that inspired Barry Manilow, tolerated Orson Welles throwing a desk out its window, and once had Fred Astaire dance across its ballroom floor... (Paste Magazine, 8/5/2016)

  • HSL Lights Barry Manilow on Tour One Last Time - The very final leg of Barry Manilow’s "One Last Time" farewell tour saw the legendary singer play arenas in nine cities across the UK, culminating in a show stopping performance at London’s O2, with lighting equipment and crew supplied by Blackburn-based HSL. Manilow’s long term creative director, Seth Jackson, designed and specified the rig as part of an elegant and stylish design to help ensure the star’s incredible live touring performances would linger much longer in the hearts, minds and memories of his hugely enthusiastic fan-base as this seminal 'touring' element of his career comes to an end.

    Manilow is one of the most prolific and successful singer/songwriters and producers in the world with over 80 million records sold. He’s also among the best-selling artists of all time, responsible for classics like 'Mandy', 'Can’t Smile Without You', 'Copacabana' and numerous others. The final tour lasted over 18 month and encompassed 80 shows across all continents. The UK section of this was project managed on the road for HSL by Lester Cobrin and back at base in Blackburn by Sean McGlone, with Lester liaising directly with Seth and lighting director Nathan Alves.

    Right at the core of the lighting design was a straightforward principle: "One man in a spotlight". Backed by a ten-piece band and three singers, as Seth explained: “The show is essentially about Barry and his very loyal fans, and about saying goodbye with a highly personal show so hit-laden it is almost overwhelming!” The idea was to present a production design with clean uncomplicated lines that was warm and inviting and almost the antithesis of a ’concert’ aesthetic. So, no visible metalwork, no truss layering, no in-the-face video, etc. although Seth reckons that they may well have purchased every last piece of red velour draping available on both sides of the Atlantic!

    With Barry right at the heart of the show, a rear spot was required to create fabulous back-light and a front spot to illuminate his face for the legions of fans. Beyond that, the rig was relatively expedient. The workhorses of the show were Robe BMFL Spots. Seth reckons he could not have used this few hard-edged instruments without the incredible flexibility of the BMFL, which gave him an amazing tight beam one minute and a perfect gobo reaching across the stage the next. He also loves their incredible brightness. He used Vari*Lite VL3500 spots to frame the band with side lighting, and Clay Paky a.leda K20s with B-EYE lenses for colour washes and effects lighting, the latter using the prisms and rotating lenses for serious aerial impact, especially as backlight behind the band coming from below. A few more VL3500s were dotted around out front for keylight and finally a slew of Robe LEDBeam 100s on the downstage truss toned some of the drapes and were also great for wide, expansive beam looks.

    The show was run on a grandMA2 console, with Nate Alves doing the majority of the operating and Jason Workman doing a couple of stints. Barry then insisted Seth [take] the helm for the last run to finish what he started, which he was hugely excited to do after about five years. Admittedly a little rusty for the first night, he soon settled into his stride and really enjoyed delivering a fabulous and highly memorable show. Colour and style abounded at times when they let it loose, but for the most part it was kept clean and precise. Transitions between songs were crafted, not just a standard blue wash. “Barry has many moments with specific blocking, and multiple opportunities to use theatre craft rather than everything at full,” confirmed Seth.

    Challenges included limiting the inventory as they did, which meant that what every light was doing and what it was needed for next, had to be considered. “We could not just turn the big wash on, we didn't have one!” The other galvanising factor was Barry himself. Every day there is a new set list and the technical teams are expected to keep one step ahead of him at all times. Of the 25 or so songs performed each night, Seth had cues ready for at least 30 more! It was actually the first time that Seth had worked with HSL, although his relationship with Lester goes back several years and he commented: “It is a marvellous company.” He was looked after on the road by HSL’s crew of Steve Sinclair, Richard Griffin and Paul Makin, and adds that Nate Alves was absolutely instrumental to the whole tour taking shape and running as smoothly as it did worldwide. “Nate’s so much more than a programmer and being a designer himself and with our long history together we barely need to speak to communicate an idea and go ahead and achieve it.”

    Nate has had a bit more experience working with HSL over about the last seven years, and was delighted when the UK tour came up and they won the pitch. “The quality of prep and attention to detail throughout the gig on every job HSL has serviced for me has been of the highest level. As a designer/director who bounces between a few clients a year and doesn’t have a lot of lead time to get a show up and running, it’s a blessing to have a group of individuals looking after you who really care about the project as deeply as you, and are willing to always go the extra mile to see a job done right. I couldn’t imagine going across the pond now without meeting them on the other side!”

    One Last Time? Maybe not quite! “One Last Time” was apparently the final time that Barry Manilow intends to 'tour' a show, i.e., engage in live performance activity that involves a crew bus and moving from place to place. That does not exclude a whole load of other options! (Entertainment Technology News on Web, 8/4/2016)

  • Artists performing at the O2 Arena - Marc Anthony made his debut at London’s famed O2 Arena on July 10, the final stop on a brief tour through seven European cities during the summer. Ticket sales topped $1 million for the performance that was attended by 9,995 fans. Also among the artists performing at the O2 Arena this summer were veteran pop stars Lionel Richie and Barry Manilow, who both land on Billboard’s weekly touring tally based on ticket sales at the London venue. Richie’s three-night stand on July 2, 3 and 6, promoted by Marshall Arts, took in $3.6 million in revenue from 42,942 sold seats. Manilow played to a crowd of 11,096 at his June 23 concert with grosses totaling just over $1 million. The event, part of his One Last Time Tour, was the final stop on a seven-city trek through the U.K. during June. (, 8/4/2016)

  • Crooner Mark O'Toole Takes On Manilow - Celebrate a night of incredible music, sung by one of Las Vegas' greatest voices. Mark O'Toole invites you to A Night At The Copacabana, celebrating the sounds of an American icon Barry Manilow! ... Friday, August 5th at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nevada - (KTNV-13 Action News, 8/3/2016)

  • TEMECULA: Dave Koz's tour with David Sanborn is a way to say thank you - Growing up, saxophonist Dave Koz memorized every lick that David Sanborn played. Now, the pair will share the stage together on Saturday, July 30, at Thornton Winery in Temecula with stops in Long Beach, Thousand Oaks and San Diego to follow in August. Sanborn has always been the big inspiration for Koz. Koz himself is a beloved musician, logging chart-topping records and enormously successful tours. “I am a performer and I am an entertainer and I am who you see on stage,” he said. “We do a lot of different things. There is a relationship with the sax with you. Not every time you perform is going to be stellar, but on stage is where I feel most at home. When it’s a great night, there’s no better high. There’s no better feeling of connecting with audience.” One of those resonating moments happened grew from Koz touring with Barry Manilow for two years. The saxophone player started doing a version of “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen,” which ultimately appeared on his album “25th Century Collaborations.” “I could have played one of my songs like the 'General Hospital' theme. I knew I was playing in front of people who didn’t know who I was. I needed to give them an anchor,” Koz said. “I could always tell when I did 'Let it Go' that was the moment, the turning point and after that those people were with me.” That is the same whether or not he is touring in the United States or around the globe. “You can’t be oblivious because it is an organic situation we are responding to,” he said. “You get a humility about that in other countries. We expect them to be like us, but English audiences are different from China from Japan and South Africa.” Koz said he always tries to tour in new places and that’s how he sees the differences in audience reaction. He is back in Temecula, and with Sanborn by his side, performing some songs that are not part of the normal set list, and one of the reasons why was to push him out of his comfort zone. “The whole expressed purpose is to have a built-in mechanism to get me to do different things. If I was on my own, I’d do the same show and people would get tired and not come,” Koz said. IF YOU GO: Dave Koz. When: 7 p.m., Saturday, July 30. Where: Thornton Winery, 32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula. Admission: $95 general admission, $170 for reserved seat and dinner. Information: 951-699-0099. (The Press-Enterprise, 7/26/2016)

  • Las Vegas: Casino Concerts and Residencies - As the self-styled “Entertainment Capital of the World” Las Vegas has always been about far more than just glamorous casinos and weddings in the desert. And, although the Las Vegas Casino music shows were originally introduced to lure gamblers, they soon became attractions in their own right. More than just one-off concerts, they quickly developed into being full residencies with one performer playing for weeks or even months in the same venue presenting a highly polished and spectacular show. Two names forever associated with these long running performances are Sinatra and Elvis, but there have been many other huge name stars who have also made their mark on the strip ... Barry Manilow: Vegas runs through the veins of the master showman Manilow – so much so that he even has a home there. Over the years he’s put on over 1700 glittering performances featuring many of the 50+ hits that have made it into the Top 40 over his long and very successful career. A huge favourite with audiences from all walks of life, he has announced that his 2016 performances will be his last but, just like Sinatra and others before him, don’t be too surprised if in a year or two’s time he announces that he’ll be making a comeback treading the Vegas stage... (Net News Ledger, 7/26/2016)

  • Exit/In: Nashville’s rock temple still standing - Warner Hodges gets excited when Exit/In and its glorious history gets introduced into a leisurely, summer afternoon conversation. “It was the mecca of all meccas,” he says, referring to the club that evolved from its beginnings as a tiny listening room for storytellers and acoustic guitars into one of the nation’s best-known rock ’n’ roll clubs. Now celebrating 45 years of music on Elliston Place, Exit/In’s identity at birth was radically different than that of the large rock barn where Hodges says “everyone wanted to play if they couldn’t play Municipal Auditorium.” Owsley Manier, one of the original owners, says such friendly drop-in groupings happened all the time, because so many of the city’s musicians “hung out here all the time...

    Club co-founder Brugh Reynolds says that when he and Owsley Marnier designed the 200-seat listening room, it was done with the hopes that artists and audiences would mingle. Webb Wilder, who remains active as a rockin’ wandering troubadour recalls that the acts he saw as an out-on-the-town Peabody College student hooked him on what then remained a listening room. He recalls he visited the already famous club “it seems like on the very night I got here” in 1974. “It was this big-time club like nothing I ever saw. I went to the Exit/In and saw (R&B legend) Esther Phillips. Others he saw early on included “Emmylou Harris on her first major-label tour” ... “I saw Barry Manilow there,” adds Wilder. “I think I was there because we were just a bunch of Peabody students looking for a place to go and something to do.”

    Reynolds sounds baffled even today when talking about the guy who really didn’t write the songs that made the whole world sing. “One of the more interesting bookings was Barry Manilow, back in ’75, ’76. He wanted to play the Exit/In. We didn’t really want Barry Manilow because he was the essence of pop.” But Manilow’s camp was persistent. “Finally I told them that all we could pay was $500,” and he was told that was fine with the “Mandy” singer. He hadn’t planned on making much money. “He just wanted to play the Exit/In,” Reynolds explains. (The Nashville Ledger, 7/22/2016)

  • Sharon Hendrix Releases Her Retro-Summertime Fun 'Frazzelmatic' Video - After years of working just 20 feet from stardom Sharon "Muffy" Hendrix has stepped into the spotlight. Sharon as performed in over 8,000 shows throughout her successful career and has been singing backup on recording sessions and stages across the world with top names including Bob Dylan, Elton John, Tom Jones, Grace Slick & Starship, Olivia Newton-John, George Duke, Dusty Springfield, Freddie Hubbard, Natalie Cole, Harry Chapin, Mac Davis, Billy Cobham, Michael White, Shirley Bassey and so many other notable musical talents. In 1985 Sharon and Barry Manilow recorded the chart-topping duet, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" that appeared on his best-selling "Manilow" album. In 2010 they reunited for his residence at The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas and again in 2015 and 2016 she joined Manilow's "One Last Time!" farewell tour until the final performance at The O2 in London in June.

    Now with the globe-trotting behind her the industrious Ms. Hendrix is planning her solo career launch and working with producer Dan Voss Jr. creating new music for a future multi-genre album. That album will include some rock and pop, some blues and jazz and even a little bit of country as well her latest single, "FRAZZELMATIC" the retro-summertime fun track being introduced through a colorful and entertaining new video. "FRAZZELMATIC" features a talented group of veteran musicians, a supporting band she plans to tour with this coming fall and winter. Sharon's smooth vocal style slides in, out and over a contemporary beat spiced with exciting percussion, a classic horn section and a funky and infectious guitar groove. It's her homage to Top 40 radio, vinyl records and pop culture movie images reminiscent of a "Groovy, baby" time and place.

    Sharon Hendrix began her career as "Muffy" Hendrix singing in the church and school choirs and by the time she reached her teens was part of The Young Americans, an international touring company of 30 singers from all across the United States. Over the next two years Sharon toured the Far East twice, performed on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show and the Kraft Music Hall and worked on various TV specials and commercials. Sharon earned a music scholarship to Chapman University and received her show business degree on the Las Vegas strip on the stage with iconic superstar entertainers including Debbie Reynolds and Sammy Davis, Jr.

    When not working Sharon lives in southern California, she has three accomplished daughters and is a very proud grandmother. She maintains a rigorous daily work-out regimen that keeps her healthy and happy in mind and spirit and in the top condition demanded of adventurous, jet-setting entertainers and the seasoned veteran is not yet ready to stop. (Broadway World, 7/11/2016)

  • Mixing Manilow Through MLA on Farewell Tour - Veteran American sound engineer Ken Newman carried on where he left off in the States when Barry Manilow’s One Last Time tour arrived in the UK on its trip around the globe, with Martin Audio’s premier MLA providing the arena sound. Making his MLA debut with Delicate Productions’ system on the North American leg, the sound engineer was adamant that he wanted the same production rider in the UK, and his first port of call was Martin Audio rental partner, Capital Sound.

    Capital supplied the rig, but unlike the previous dates, the ten UK shows had the advantage of being run digitally. With MLA tech Russ Cunningham and PA/stage technician Nick Cook in support, the main PA comprised 11 MLA and an MLD Downfill each side, while the sidefill component started with hangs of 12 MLA Compact per side but increased to 16 for the larger 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London. Flown in the rig, between the main and side PA, were three MLX subs, mostly set at 45 degrees to the main rig, while a further 14 W8LM Mini Line Arrays acted as frontfills/outfills with four further MLX on the ground. This was pretty much an identical rig to the system Delicate had put out.

    After eulogising the system performance in the States Ken Newman was equally elated with the slightly supercharged production tools made available to him in the UK, including an uprated DiGiCo console which brought the best out of MLA. Speaking of his adoption of MLA, he said: "I didn't hesitate to use a new speaker system, even though it’s the end of an era for Barry Manilow. Although Barry did his first 'final tour' in 2004, and subsequently landed in Las Vegas where he stayed until 2011, it sounds like it's for real this time."

    The sound engineer had first been introduced to MLA by colleagues, Mark Frink and Harold Blumberg. "They had been telling me about this amazing new speaker system for a while," he said. "I attended a seminar on Multicellular Loudspeakers at the 2014 AES Convention and pursued the idea of using MLA for Barry Manilow's shows without even hearing the system." He heard it for the first time when Delicate was setting up a show at the LA Forum: "“I was able to experience the system using recorded music and it was better than I had expected, in terms of evenness of coverage. It brings every detail of the performance to every seat in the house, without making it uncomfortably loud for anyone." Which was crucial, as the importance of everyone in the venue hearing every single syllable that Barry says or sings had been stressed from the get go. "That being the premise, the MLA system sounded like a must have item!"

    Once the North American tour wrapped in Denver, Ken Newman quickly got to work on sourcing the same rider across the Atlantic. "It was vital that we continued with the exact same set-up as it had been very successful, both in terms of what the audience experienced and the fact that Barry had become very comfortable singing through it." Whenever he is supporting a tour in the US that goes to the UK, Jason Alt of Delicate Productions turns to Capital Sound. "It was therefore a huge relief when we learnt that we could use Capital’s MLA with the upgraded production," states Newman.

    Barry Manilow himself was equally relieved, as the engineer explained. "He always trusts my decisions, but when he was told that we might have to go with a different speaker system because of logistical reasons, he made it very clear that he wanted to stay with MLA because he had heard such great comments about how well it covered all the seats in a venue, even those very far from the stage. It was surprising to me that he had heard any comments from audience members and showed he is even more in-tune with his audience than I had previously thought!"

    A generic optimisation had been evolved with system tech Phil Reynolds on the North American leg: "Settings which worked both for audience coverage, maximum gain before feedback and Barry’s comfort level on stage." With Cap’s ace system tech Toby Donovan only available for the first show Russ Cunningham headed over from the States to run the entire tour. "Russ not only checked with our US MLA tech, Nate Lettus, but was extremely accommodating in terms of system design and implementation, and offered new optimisation curves based on what he saw me doing each day on the Lake processors. We implemented those curves and the system sounded even better than it had in the US."

    Another beneficial production 'tweak' was the decision to fly the subs, which was instigated by Ken himself. "For the 2015 part of the US tour, we had only ground subs, three per side in cardioid mode. I commented to Phil Reynolds that it would be nice if there were more subwoofer energy up in the side seats, so he suggested that the next time we went out, we should fly a few subs between the MLA and the MLA Compact clusters. So in 2016 the flown subs were added, and they greatly improved the coverage of sub-100Hz energy." Summing up, the sound engineer said: "Being able to run the system digitally was advantageous in terms of overall sound quality while the noise floor was simply non-existent. I feel Capital really spoiled me."

    Looking ahead, Ken Newman believes that while this may mark the end of Barry Manilow’s touring schedule one-off shows are a likelihood. "Of course I'll always prefer MLA systems for those shows, and if I’m fortunate enough to work with other artists, I'll certainly opt for MLA again, because I think its virtues are appropriate for all shows." (Entertainment Technology News On Web, 04 July 2016)

  • 'Celebrating Joan: A Tribute to Joan Rivers' at The Kennedy Center - Celebrating Joan: A Tribute to Joan Rivers, which left the audience of admirers howling last night (June 22) at The Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater, was an evening for “mature audiences” and fans of the late and great Joan Rivers. It was 'narrated' by Joan’s daughter Melissa and featured tributes by several generations of comedians, who knew and respected and loved Joan the person, the business woman, and the very blunt comedienne. The 90-minute love and laugh-festival inaugurated the new Kennedy Center’s District of Comedy Festival. The evening began with Melissa Rivers telling us crisply – and in so many words – that if we are offended by various remarks, jokes, and anything the special guests were going to say that we needed to lighten up. She also told us that her mother always wanted a big tribute (and a Kennedy Center Honor) but didn’t live long enough to see it happen. So when The Kennedy Center asked her to host a tribute she, of course, agreed. What a lineup! Former talk-show host Dick Cavett, improver Aubrey Plaza, actress Kelly Osbourne, singer Jordin Sparks, and stand-up comedians Bob Saget, Rachel Bloom, Louie Anderson, and Gilbert Gottfried were there ‘LIVE’ on the Eisenhower stage. Andy Cohen, Barry Manilow, Lily Tomlin, and John Waters chimed in with video tributes to a woman who was a great friend, and who they admired for her long career and brilliant and ‘blunt’ sense of humor. And her friendship... (DC Metro Theater Arts, 6/23/2016)

  • The time Simon Booker met Margaret Thatcher and Barry Manilow (together) - In the 1980s I worked on Michael Aspel’s ITV talk show Aspel & Company, helping to book the celebrity guests. At the height of the 1984 miners’ strike I somehow managed to book Margaret Thatcher and Barry Manilow on to the same show ... On the Sunday before the recording I called Manilow in Los Angeles. He had an idea. He wanted to perform a duet with Thatcher. The song was to be “We’ll Meet Again” and the studio audience would hold candles in the air. Would I promise to put the suggestion to the prime minister? My job was to make sure he flew in for the Thursday-night recording, so I said yes ... On the day of the recording he arrived early to rehearse his song ... The prime minister arrived with minutes to spare, just as Manilow emerged from his dressing room, immaculately coiffed, jacket collar turned up at an artful angle. I doubt she had any idea who he was but she bustled up to him and turned his collar down... (The Guardian, 19 June 2016)

  • Music Matters: Live music highlights for 2016 so far - So far, 2016 is turning into another great year for live music in Pensacola. As we reach the halfway point to 2017, here are a few memorable moments ... #1 - One last time with Manilow: After his Pensacola Bay Center concert in January, Barry Manilow peeked through the curtains to look at the crowd one more time. But the cheering crowd pulled the music legend back on stage for a final goodnight. After sharing his message on the power of music, Manilow said thank you to the fans who came out for his “One Last Time” tour and serenaded the faithful with his 1979 song “One Voice.” (Pensacola News Journal, 6/17/2016)

  • Remembering Joan Rivers - Joan Rivers’ legacy lives on through her daughter Melissa, 48, who has devoted much of her time to making sure Joan’s talent for comedy is always present in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere. The New York Times bestselling author will host “Celebrating Joan: a Tribute to Joan Rivers,” at the Kennedy Center on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. Presenters and performers scheduled to appear include Louie Anderson, Dick Cavett, Rachel Bloom, Kelly Osbourne, Aubrey Plaza, Bob Saget, Jordin Sparks and Jessica Williams. There will also be special video messages from Andy Cohen, Barry Manilow, Lily Tomlin and John Waters. The tribute is part of the Kennedy Center’s District of Comedy Festival, which runs June 22-25 ... "Celebrating Joan: a Tribute to Joan Rivers" -- Wednesday, June 22; 7:30 p.m.; Kennedy Center; 2700 F St., N.W.; Tickets $59-125. (Washington Blade, 6/16/2016)

  • Win tickets to see Barry Manilow's last ever show in Liverpool - Barry Manilow arrives in Liverpool this week for his farewell tour - and the ECHO has a pair of tickets to give away so you can be there as he bows out. The legendary, award-winning American singer songwriter is at the Liverpool ECHO Arena on Friday, June 17 as part of his 'One Last Time' tour. Manilow, who first had a hit back in 1975, said: "It's my way of thanking everyone for their years of support - one last time." To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, worth £120, CLICK HERE! (Liverpool Echo, 14 June 2016)

  • Unmissable Music Legends Coming to Liverpool - Liverpool is no stranger to musical legends (Did someone say The Beatles?!) and the city is set to rock with a whole host of big hitters coming to town in the next 6 months [including] Barry Manilow [will] take the reins at the Echo Arena on June 17th with his One Last Time Tour. Barry has been seriously busy knocking out over 400 concerts in Las Vegas and says he can’t wait to see UK audiences dancing in the aisles. Booking info available at (The Guide - Liverpool, 11 June 2016)

  • Essential Barry Manilow playlist ahead of One Last Time tour in Newcastle - He is without a doubt a music legend and Barry Manilow’s Geordie fans are rejoicing as the iconic singer has chosen Newcastle to be one of the calling points on his One Last Time tour. Yes, the man who has given his army of followers plenty of fantastic memories over the years thanks to hits like Mandy, Could it Be Magic, Can’t Smile Without You and everyone’s guilty pleasure Copacabana is on his way to Tyneside.

    And now as he gets ready to bow out from life on the road, he’s set to whip his Metro Radio Arena into a suitable frenzy on Sunday night. “It is my way of thanking everyone for their years of support…one last time!” said Barry.

    If you’re a big fan but still not quite in the grip of Manilow Mania, we’ve come up with a playlist honouring the man himself which should do the trick: Copacabana, Mandy, Can’t Smile Without You, I Write The Songs, Could It Be Magic, Bermuda Triangle, Weekend in New England, I Made It Through the Rain, One Voice, The Old Songs, This One’s For You, New York City Rhythm, Bandstand Boogie, Looks Like We Made It. (Chronicle Live, 10 June 2016)

  • Win a pair of tickets for Manchester Arena’s Summer of Icons season - This competition offers the winner and a friend the chance to see Barry Manilow, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Don Henley, Lionel Richie and The Who. Manchester Arena's Summer Of Icons season is almost upon us. And to celebrate, we have teamed up with the city centre venue to offer the chance to see all five acts live - for free. Some of the industry's biggest names will descend upon Manchester over the next month and you could be there to see them all. Kicking off with Barry Manilow on June 15 and finishing with Lionel Richie on June 29, it's a month packed with pop royalty - and you can be there for it all. Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Don Henley and The Who complete the line-up. For a chance to win a pair of tickets to each of these gigs, CLICK HERE. The competition closes at midday on Monday, June 13. (Manchester Evening News , 09 June 2016)

  • 7 shows to see in the next 7 days - Here’s our round-up of shows in the North East over the next seven days ... #1 - Veteran US crooner Barry Manilow is bringing his farewell tour to Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on Sunday, June 12. This will be Manilow’s fifth visit to the venue, following previous shows there in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. Tickets to see the New York-born 72-year-old – best known over here for singles such as Mandy, a No 11 in 1975, and Let’s Hang On, a No 12 in 1981, along with his 1982 concert album Barry Live in Britain, his only UK No 1. – cost £19.75 to £100.75. Dave Koz will be supporting... (News Guardian, 09 June 2016)

  • Summer Of Icons Competition - To celebrate a whole summer of icons performing at Manchester Arena, we're offering the chance to win 2 tickets to see Barry Manilow perform at Manchester Arena! [Click Here for your chance to] Win 2 tickets to see Barry Manilow perform at Manchester Arena! (Manchester Arena, 01 June 2016)

  • Reasons why this will be the best June in Manchester ever - We're picked out the most unmissable events in the month ahead. June looks like it’s going to be Manchester’s biggest month yet with so many outstanding events happening around the region in the coming weeks ... There’s an eclectic range of artists on the way. Coldplay are at the Etihad (June 4-5), swiftly followed by AC/DC on June 9. Meanwhile, over at the home of rivals Manchester United, pop mega star Rihanna holds court on June 29. Also in Manchester at the city’s Arena venue, we’re in for shows from Barry Manilow (June 15) and Lionel Richie (June 28). Pretty sweet, huh? (Manchester Evening News, 31 May 2016)

  • Gary Barlow surprised fans in Bristol ... when he staged an undercover performance in the city centre. But the Take That crooner won't be winning any prizes for his disguises, as to conceal his identity from the crowd he wore - a paper Gary Barlow mask. As he set up his piano and microphone in the busy shopping area, the flimsy piece of cardboard was the only thing keeping his true identity a secret. The father-of-three gently played a few opening chords on the piano, before throwing off his mask and launching into a rendition of "Could It Be Magic," Take That's 1992 version of the Barry Manilow track. Bank Holiday shoppers could not conceal their excitement at the singer's presence in Bristol's Cabot Circus. (The Sun, 30 May 2016)

  • Fun things to do in Liverpool in June 2016 - If you’re wondering what you’ll do to keep yourself entertained in June, worry not. The biggest question is how you will fit it all in. As the city gears up for a fabulous summer, there are loads of things to do in Liverpool from watching the very best in tennis, or going overboard with activities on the waterfront to getting your groove on with fabulous festivals. To make life a little easier for you, we’ve put together a list of fun things to do in Liverpool in June ... #16 - Enjoy the music of Manilow: Barry Manilow has announced that he is going to “hit the road” and perform concerts across the world ONE LAST TIME and he’s arriving in Liverpool at the ECHO Arena on Friday, June 17. Could it be magic? There’s every chance it will be as Mr M. arrives with his band of 13 musicians and singers to perform favourites like "Copacabana," "Mandy" and "Can’t Smile Without You." (Liverpool Echo, 30 May 2016)

  • Iconic hotels that have inspired songs - There are some hotel names you just know, whether you’ve ever stayed there or not. These iconic spots can be famous for a variety of reasons: they are super luxe or popular among the stars, they figure prominently in films or were the sites of important historic events. Which is perhaps why many of the world’s most iconic hotels have inspired, or at least been mentioned in, beloved songs. And in some cases, beloved songs have even led to the increased popularity -- or even existence -- of various hotels ... #1 - Copacabana Palace: Rio’s Copacabana Palace, which dates back to 1923, is a historic Art Deco hotel just off the beach. Perhaps Barry Manilow’s most famous song, Copacabana was first thought up by Manilow and fellow songwriter Bruce Sussman when they were both staying at the hotel, which has a striking, all-white palatial facade. The song was released in 1978... (USA Today, 5/25/2016)

  • Enter to win a pair of tickets to Barry Manilow! - Barry Manilow's mega hit song, "Mandy," debuted #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1975! Anybody who enters the contest named Mandy (will need to show proof of ID) will be given a chance to win a pair of tickets to attend Manilow's ONE LAST TIME! concert at Bellco Theatre on May 6 or 7. If your name is Mandy, enter your info HERE. Winners will be contacted via email by Thursday, May 5 with tickets to the show! (Westword, 4/28/2016)

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