June 17th is the 77th birthday of Barry Manilow! E was born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, the son of Edna Manilow and Harold Pincus. In the 1960’s, Barry worked as a pianist, producer, and arranger. He also became a commercial jingle writer and producer, writing, among others, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”, and “I am stuck on Band Aid, ‘cause Band Aid’s stuck on me”. He also sang many other famous jingles, such as “You deserve a break today at McDonalds”.
Barry was signed by Tony Orlando to Columbia/CBS music, and recorded 4 tracks as Featherbed. He also accompanied artists for auditions and performances. Bette Midler then signed Manilow as a producer for her first 2 album, and her musical director as her career took off. His own first album came out in 1973, and, with Clive Davis running the Bell label, Barry scored his first Number One Hit in January 1975 with “Mandy”. That began a string of hit singles that lasted well into the 80’s, as Davis moved him to his Arista Records.
On Wayback Wednesday, we celebrate Barry’s birthday with perhaps his most romantic song, the Top 10 hit “Weekend In New England”, which debuted on the charts in December, 1976. Happy Birthday Barry Manilow…and may you continue to thrill audiences for many years to come.