Top Ten Songs of Barry Manilow

Okay, here it is in a nutshell. After years of hiding the truth from most people I know, I have decided to just come out with a full confession, get it all out in the open …

I like Barry Manilow.

It may not seem like much to you, but in some social circles, it can get you banned.

Whenever friends have visited me all these years, I always discreetly tucked away my Barry Manilow albums and sheet music, not wanting to experience the degree of ridicule typically focused on his fans. When people cracked jokes about how “hokey” his music was, I forced myself to laugh right along with them, hoping that I would not disclose my secret by forgetting myself one day and humming along when an easy listening version of “Mandy” came on in an elevator.

Being a Barry Manilow fan has never been considered by the mainstream to be “cool,”but I personally think he has written and sung some of the best modern song standards and it’s about time he got the kind of respect he is due for his work.

Barry Manilow was born on June 17, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. His birth name was Barry Alan Pincus, but he later changed his last name to “Manilow,” since this was his mother’s maiden name. He started singing at age 13 and learned to play the piano as well.

When he began his career, it was as a jingle writer for commercials, for such companies as Band-Aid and McDonald’s. Though these jingles are not used anymore, most of us old enough to remember can still sing most of them. His big break came around 1974, when he recorded an album with the hit song “Mandy,”.and things took off from there, as he made continuous hits.

I think Manilow’s appeal lies largely in the fact that he is more of a throwback to the singers of past eras, like Frank Sinatra.( After Sinatra’s death, incidentally, he recorded a tribute album to the legendary vocalist.) You can tell that his music has been tremendously influenced by Big Band artists that he obviously admires and he has even recorded an album- “2:00 A.M. Paradise Cafe”-that included jazz singers Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn and jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.

His popularity is making a comeback, as evidenced by his appearances on “American Idol,” and, since 2005, he has his own show at the Las Vegas Hilton. Since Vegas is where I reside, I am thrilled about the fact that Mr. Manilow is just one ticket’s purchase away.

I came up with a list of what I strongly believe are his Top Ten Songs. They have always remained my favorites and they are considered to be classics by all of those who love his music.

Any “Best of Barry” list should always include:

“Mandy”

“I Write the Songs”

“Looks Like We Made It”

“Ready to Take a Chance Again”

“Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again”

“Bandstand Boogie”

“Weekend In New England”

“I Made It Through the Rain”

“Can’t Smile Without You”

“Copacabana (At the Copa)”

Even my husband likes to rib me for liking Barry Manilow’s music, but that’s okay. I take it all in stride, knowing that there are others like me, some who have never been afraid to express their adoration for the “Manilow Man” and some who, like me, are finally getting the courage to admit our admiration.

Even if there are still folks who continue to diss Barry Manilow, it doesn’t stop his music from being great and it won’t stop those of us who are his fans from listening, (although I do think that my husband tried to throw out my albums once, but was unsuccessful when his efforts were thwarted by me!.)

Anyway, more power to you, Barry!

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