Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Birthday to Barry Manilow! He Writes (and Sings) the Songs the Whole World Sings!

Barry Alan Pincus was born today, June 17, in 1943. He is better known as Barry Manilow, the singer-songwriter, arranger, musician and producer with a career that has spanned more than 50 years. His hit recordings include "Mandy," "Can't Smile Without You," "I Write the Songs," and "Copacabana (At the Copa)".

He recorded and released 47 Top 40 singles, including 12 that hit number one and 27 of which appeared within the top ten, and has released many multi-platinum albums. Manilow has been praised by entertainers including Frank Sinatra, who was quoted in the 1970s as saying, "He's next." In 1988, Bob Dylan stopped Manilow at a party, hugged him and said, "Don't stop what you're doing, man. We're all inspired by you."

As well as producing and arranging albums for himself and other artists, Manilow has written and performed songs for musicals, films, and commercials for corporations such as McDonald's, Pepsi-Cola, and Band-Aid, from the 1960s. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award (winning once) as a producer, arranger and performer a total of 15 times (and in every decade) from 1973 to 2015. He has also produced Grammy nominated albums for Bette Midler, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, and Sarah Vaughn. Manilow has sold more than 80 million records as a solo artist worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists.

Manilow married his high school sweetheart, Susan Deixler, in 1964. They were wed before a justice of the peace and then, on her parents' insistence, before a rabbi. Manilow later stated that he was in love with his wife and that his passion for a music career in addition to his lack of maturity put a strain on their relationship. He also later claimed to have fallen hard for Susan but that his friends thought the marriage was doomed because he rushed into it. He walked out on what he considered "the perfect wife" after just a year of marriage in pursuit of a "wondrous musical adventure." He also later claimed that the one thing he truly wanted more than success as a singer was for his wife to love him as much as he loved her. In 1966, Deixler had the marriage annulled. Manilow stated in 2017 that, despite his later long-term relationship with a man, he was in love with Deixler and his marriage ended because he wasn't ready to settle down and not due to any struggle with his sexuality at the time.

In 1978, Manilow began a relationship with TV executive Garry Kief (above with Manilow), who soon became his manager. The two married in 2014, after same-sex marriage became legal in California. They kept the relationship and his sexual orientation secret until the marriage made headlines in 2015. Manilow stated that he is very private and that he did not want his personal relationship with Kief to go public. The media began to publicize the event when a friend of Manilow's, Suzanne Somers, publicly disclosed the very small (20 to 30 guests who thought they were being invited to a lunch) private exchange of vows at Manilow’s home in Palm Springs. No official paperwork was filed but it was reported that Manilow and Kief exchanged wedding bands as a sign of their dedication. Manilow officially came out in April 2017, telling People that he had kept his sexual orientation quiet out of concern that it would disappoint his largely female fan base, but when his fans learned of the marriage, they were supportive.

1 comment:

Dov said...

His music is ok. However, "Fairy" Manilow as people called him did a great disservice to the LBGT community by denying to come out earlier. I know it was his choice and decision, but still.