Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WELCOME BACK, BARRY MANILOW; Manilow Bringing Fans' Favorite Classics Back to the Big Stage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WELCOME BACK, BARRY MANILOW; Manilow Bringing Fans' Favorite Classics Back to the Big Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Szaroleta

Fans attending Barry Manilow's Thursday night concert shouldn't worry too much about having to sit through songs they don't know.

"I'm just doing as many of the hits as I can," he said last week in a phone interview from his home in California. "I'm one of those lucky guys that have enough to fill up a whole evening."

Manilow has lots of songs you know - he's put out 29 studio albums, four live albums, 15 compilations, four movie soundtracks and 57 singles (but, surprisingly, only three No. 1 singles).

And he knows that his fans are there to hear "Mandy" and "Copacabana" and "Daybreak." He said he learned that at a Frank Sinatra show he saw many years ago.

"I just couldn't wait for him to do all those great songs that my parents had played," Manilow said. "Then he would do his latest song and it wouldn't be that exciting. I think I'm in that place now, where the audiences really want to hear the songs they know. I'm happy to do it."

One thing you won't hear from Manilow is him trying to sound trendy with a hip-hop song.

"Oh, now, that's not for me," he said. "I kind of admire the people who know how to do that, but it's so far away from the kind of music that I like to write and perform that I couldn't even come close to doing anything like that."

The thing that's missing from a lot of modern music, he said, is melody.

"I listen to the radio periodically and there's no melody anymore," he said "There's a lot of great rhythm, but where did the melody go?"

A few acts - he cited Katy Perry and Adele as examples - have figured that out, he said.

"You give the audience some melody and you become hugely successful," he said. "I think the public is starving for melodies."

Manilow stops by Jacksonville as part of a short tour of Florida. He said he was watching weather reports last week, when temperatures were ridiculously cold in some parts of the Midwest, and he was glad he wasn't heading there. …

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