21 Things Bet You Didn’t Know About Barry Manilow


  1. Arista Records exec Clive Davis recommended a song called “Brandy” to Barry.  Because a different song with the same title  “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass had become such a big hit, Barry’s song was changed to “Mandy” to avoid confusion.  It would go on to be his first hit
  2. “I Write The Songs” was written by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys
  3. “Can’t Smile Without You” was originally recorded by The Carpenters and also Engelbert Humperdinck with slightly different lyrics.  Engelbert told The Arena Guy that he should not have followed his producer’s advice to release a different song as his follow-up to “After the Lovin’.”  He recorded the song two years before it was a hit for Barry
  4. George Michael was sued by the writers of “Can’t Smile Without You” claiming the melody of his Wham! hit “Last Christmas” sounded like their song.  The suit was settled out of court and Michael was publicly cleared of all charges.
  5. Barry’s current album “My Dream Duets” debuted at #4 and became his 15th top ten album
  6. Bob Dylan stopped him at a 1988 party, gave him a hug and said “Don’t stop what you’re doing man.  We’re all inspired by you”
  7. Birth name:  Barry Alan Pincus
  8. Manilow was his mother Edna’s maiden name
  9. Worked as a commercial jingle writer, and wrote or co-wrote ditties for State Farm Insurance (“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”) and Band-Aid (“I am stuck on Band-Aid’s  cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me”)
  10. He also sang jingles for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi and McDonald’s (“You deserve a break today”)
  11. Performed as a pianist, arranger and musical director for Bette Midler on her performances at the Continental Baths in New York City (1971) and her first two albums.  He worked with her from 1971-1975
  12. First recordings were as a part of Featherbed, a group featuring studio musicians.  One of the four songs they recorded was an early uptempo version of “Could it be Magic.”  It flopped but would later become a hit off his first solo album after he rearranged it with a classical influence
  13. Barry appeared in an acting role on a 2003 episode of “Will and Grace” in an episode entitled “Fanilow’, which is a term used for fans of Manilow
  14. Known for his charitable generosity, the ‘Manilow Music Project’ made a contribution of $300,000 to restore the musical program and instruments lost in a Joplin, Missouri tornado that destroyed one third of the city, including its only High School
  15. When he lived in Bel-Air, it’s said the nearby Bel-Air Hotel regularly provided him room service at his home
  16. He liked his late 80’s Bel-Air neighbors Ronald and Nancy Reagan, but complained the Secret Service helicopters prevented him from sunbathing in the nude
  17. His 2011 album ’15 Minutes,’ which dealt with the ups and downs of fame, was inspired by Britney Spears and her personal struggles in 2007
  18. In 2009 Barry started MANILOW TV, a monthly video subscription service where once a month he would pick a different concert from his personal archives to show to subscribers
  19. “The Greatest Songs of the 50’s” album, a concept suggested by Clive Davis, debuted at #1 in 2006…making it the first time he had an album debut at #1
  20. His numerous tv specials routinely generated high ratings and collectively earned 14 Emmy nominations
  21. His hit “Copacabana” inspired a musical television movie and three musicals


  1. Barry’s concert on the HBO series “Standing Room Only” was the first pay television program to challenge the ratings of the network prime time specials
  2. His “Manilow Country” 2000 TNN special 2000 featured country music stars and was one of the highest rated specials in that network’s history
  3. Oprah Winfrey said Barry Manilow was one of the most requested guests ever on her show

BARRY MANILOW will be performing in concert Sunday, March 1 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.  Tickets go on sale Monday, November 24.


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