Catching Up - Why Barry Manilow?

Last weekend I had the stomach flu which somehow by Monday night had caused me to have a heart attach (Pericarditus). After a few days in the hospital and many wonderfully bizarre yet cool tests it seems I have a very healthy heart.

So I have been stuck unexpectedly at home the last few days and have been working on recording my vinyl to digital format.  The last couple of days that has meant a lot of Julie Andrews and Barry Manilow.  Needless to say this, paired with a rather forced awakening of awareness of my mortality, has caused me to be a bit nostalgic.


Barry Manilow used to be a BIG thing for me in the seventies.  I speak in the past tense because I never thought he was a "great" singer but he was emotionally true and pure.  He certainly knew how to mope with the best of the time and yet there was always an up side.  These qualities seemed to fade in the mid-eighties as he contented himself doing albums of other people's hits.  I also like him best in the cabaret style with just him and a piano with little else.  Full orchestration and production just seem to overpower him.

My first vinyl album purchase was Barry Manilow "Live" and I played it constantly.  I don't think my family appreciated it as much as I did.  Though I think they liked it better than the groups that came after once I got a taste for New Wave and Punk.

From playing piano for Bette Midler in the gay bath houses of New York City to their mutual rise to fame and popularity, I think Barry Manilow has had quite a career.  I wish him the best and hope that maybe he will try and write a new album of songs embracing his history and celebrating the love he has found in his recent marriage.  Something honest and from the heart like his music used to feel.


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