Today, I took part in another episode of Completely Damaged Radio at Montgomery County Community College. I had such a wonderful time on the show back in December that I jumped at the chance to do it again.
This time around we talked about pro wrestling, Barry Manilow, James Patterson, Bruce Springsteen, and all things DDP Yoga, including the upcoming DDP Yoga Retreat. Check out the show (above), and enjoy!
On Valentine’s Day Barry Manilow released one of the most romantic albums you’ll ever hear: Night Songs II. It’s the cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day that we all needed. Back in 2014 Barry Manilow released one of his greatest albums: Night Songs. Met with universal praise, Night Songs was nominated for a Grammy award and fans wanted more. Fast forward six years, and Barry Manilow is back with Night Songs II. This time around you can expect 13 songs, one of which is a bonus track that’s exclusive to the CD-version of the album, all lovingly arranged and masterfully sung by the incomparable Barry Manilow. I love that Barry is comfortable enough in his own skin that he continues to record, produce, and release whatever makes him happy. Most artists aren’t that brave. They simply keep repeating the same old music over and over again, or they merely try to imitate their past. Not Barry. He continues to evolve, explore, and create some of the most compelling music of his substantial and diverse career. Having so much music to enjoy makes being a fan of his immensely satisfying. There’s always something new to anticipate and experience. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at each of the tracks on Night Songs II.
From June 18 through June 30, Cats, the award-winning and record-breaking Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is in Philadelphia. I had the opportunity to see the show and it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I love cats (my wife and I have two that we adopted), and I love musicals. I also adore Barry Manilow’s interpretation of the signature song from this show: “Memory.” However, I found this show to be one of the weirdest musicals I’ve ever seen.
Last Saturday I met Meat Loaf. No, not the dinner entree. The iconic singer who won a Grammy for “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and sold more than 80 million albums throughout his diverse and prolific career. The first step was getting a professional photo with Meat (that’s the name he likes to go by), which you can see above. I came up with my outfit the day of the event and I think it turned out great. Thankfully, my hair was behaving too. As for the photo itself, it’s perfect and everything I hoped it would be. But let’s get into what it was like to meet Meat.
Barry Manilow is a class act. He and his team care about the fans on a level unlike any other celebrity I’ve met, and they go above and beyond across the board. A perfect example of this is my recent trip with my wife to Las Vegas to see Barry Manilow’s new residency, which is entitled Manilow Las Vegas: The Hits Come Home! Back in June I was invited, along with 19 other lucky fans, to attend a special interview Barry did in the Rainbow Room in New York. At the end of the interview he turned to the fans and said that he wanted all of us to come see his new show in Vegas on opening night, which was the following week, and that he was going to give us free tickets to the show and pay for our airfare and hotel expenses. In addition to paying my expenses, Barry included a +1 with my package so my wife could join me. Naturally, my mind was blown by this astounding act of generosity.
Melissa Manchester is not only one of my favorite musicians, she’s one of my favorite friends. Her talent, energy, kindness, and passion are undeniable and all were on full display tonight during her opening performance at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Melissa has additional performances on Saturday (7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (7:00 p.m.), and I absolutely recommend you attend one or more of these fabulous concerts.
Johnny Mathis is the longest-running recording artist on Columbia records. In addition to releaseing 79 studio albums and six original Christmas albums, he has 50 hit songs to his name on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. Mathis also has five Grammy nominations and three Grammy Hall of Fame inductions. Simply stated, he’s a once-in-a-lifetime artist whose productivity and influence knows no bounds. Since taking the musical world by storm 62 years ago, Johnny Mathis has become the indisputable voice of romance. If you’ve yet to see this vocalist extraordinaire or you simply want to see him again, Johnny Mathis is performing at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City on June 2. Mathis was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about his remarkable career. I hope you enjoy our discussion, and don’t forget to buy tickets to his June 2 show in Atlantic City while you still can.
For more than 60 years, legendary singer and songwriter Paul Anka has performed and produced music that has transcended generations and left an indelible mark that will live on for years to come. Ahead of his May 5 performance at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, Paul Anka was kind enough to speak with me about his impressive body of work.
Paul Stanley, founding member and lead vocalist for the classic rock group KISS, has an art show at Wentworth Gallery in Short Hills, NJ on April 28. I recently interviewed Paul about his artwork, KISS, and much more.