With music that seems timeless, the 66 year-old native New Yorker Barry Manilow, has signed a contract with Paris Las Vegas to perform 70 shows/year for two years. Not bad for a musician who broke into the business by singing jingles for commercials.
Barry Manilow’s Early Life
The singer was born June 17, 1943 to Harold and Edna Pincus. His father left the family when Barry Alan Pincus was two years old. At Manilow’s bar mitzvah, he adopted his mother’s maiden name, Manilow. He was raised in the Williamsburg portion of Brooklyn, a low-income neighborhood at that time.
In addition to his mother, Manilow credits his Russian-born grandfather with being a strong influence in his life. His grandfather noticed Manilow’s music talent early, prodding Barry Manilow along. At age 7, Manilow was taking accordion lessons and playing piano at a neighbor’s home. He was singing by age 13.
His grandfather would take the youth from Brooklyn to Manhattan, where Manilow would record his singing on an 45 rpm record for a small fee.
After graduating from Eastern District High School in 1961, Barry Manilow attended the New York College of Music and the Julliard School of Music.
Barry Manilow’s Early Music Career
While Manilow was attending the Julliard School of Music he was also working in the mailroom at CBS. From there, he became musical director for a CBS show; this lead to the lucrative opportunities to write jingles for such products and companies as McDonalds, Dr Pepper, State Farm Insurance and others.
In 1971 Barry Manilow met Bette Midler, becoming her pianist, arranger and music director. He was with Ms. Midler during her stint of singing at the infamous New York bath houses.
In 1972, Manilow signed with the recording studio Bell to record his debut solo album. Bell was going through a transformation period, one that would prove life-changing for the young singer. Clive Davis founded the record label, Arista, which was owned by Columbia Pictures, as was Bell Records.
Davis had his choice of recording any artist signed with Bell; it was Barry Manilow he chose to record a song originally titled “Brandy.” Davis changed the name to “Mandy” so as not to be confused with the group Looking Glass’s hit song “Brandy.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
Barry Manilow and Las Vegas
Barry Manilow and Las Vegas go together like a hand and glove. The musical showman is certainly in his element, performing to audiences in the somewhat intimate venue that Vegas provides to the artist and his audiences.
Beginning in 2010, Manilow has signed a contract with Paris Las Vegas to perform 70 shows per year for two years in its Paris Theater. Tickets for his shows may be obtained through Ticketmaster, with prices ranging from $95 to $250 a ticket.
Sources: Orange County Register
The Official Barry Manilow Website
The Biography Channel