Dionne Warwick, my favorite female vocalist, is back with her second Christmas album, which is appropriately titled Dionne Warwick & The Voices of Christmas. This collection of 12 songs is comprised of 10 duets and two solo tracks by Dionne that begin and conclude the album. I positively adored Dionne’s first Christmas album, My Favorite Time of The Year, when it was released in 2004 and it was a day-one purchase for me. Dionne Warwick & The Voices of Christmas is an excellent follow-up holiday album that features Dionne tackling songs she’s never recorded before, as well as approaching ones she has from a new angle. As for those she sings with, you can expect to hear Johnny Mathis, Aloe Blacc, Michael McDonald, and others. All of the arrangements are slickly produced with the vocalists front-and-center in the mix, as they should be, making for a highly enjoyable early Christmas present.
Dionne Warwick has had a long, diverse, and remarkable career. That one-of-a-kind career is celebrated in the new PBS special entitled Dionne Warwick: Then Came You, created by My Music Presents and produced by TJ Lubinsky. It begins airing on PBS on August 18 and you can check your local listings here.
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.
I recently had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Melissa Manchester in-person and in her hotel room. While I’ve interviewed countless people over the past few years, this was a first for me and a surreal experience. Melissa was as lovely and charming as could be, and our conversation exceeded my expectations, covering a wide swath of her impressive career. In my interviews with artists, I try to connect with them in some meaningful way because it establishes an excellent rapport and lets them know that I understand them. Well, Melissa and I connected right from the get-go, and, as a result, my appreciation for her artistry and love for her music has increased ten-fold. If you haven’t bought her new album, The Fellas, you should. And make it a point to see this lovely lady live, as she puts on a show like no other.
On November 14 Dionne Warwick received the Marian Anderson Award, which celebrates critically-acclaimed artists who have used their talents for personal artistic expression and whose body of work has contributed to our society in a singular manner. As you can see from the photo I took above, Dionne and the attendees were all smiles – even before the gala began. It was a memorable night honoring an iconic woman whose music and philanthropic work have made a lasting impact on society and popular culture that will be felt for generations to come.
It took me three years to get an interview with Barry Manilow but this year it happened. Better yet, it wound up being a cover story – my first – for The Aquarian Weekly. As 2017 rolled on, four more of my interviews ran in The Aquarian Weekly as cover stories. Having five cover stories in one year is fantastic and I consider myself immensely fortunate for being given these opportunities. With the year winding down, let’s revisit all five of them.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the five-time Grammy award-winning pop icon Dionne Warwick. In addition to having a career that has spanned more than 50 years filled with hit singles and timeless albums, Dionne is the 2017 recipient of the Marian Anderson Award. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way, either through their work or their support for an important cause. Dionne has achieved both in myriad ways. I’m thrilled she’s receiving this well-deserved honor, and I look forward to being at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on November 14 when she receives the Marian Anderson Award.
Barry Manilow is my all-time favorite musician. He’s a Grammy, Tony and Emmy award-winning icon who has 50 Top 40 hits, including 12 #1 singles and more than 85 million albums sold worldwide. With credentials like this, it’s no wonder Barry Manilow is the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines, and that Rolling Stone referred to him as “the showman of our generation.” Simply put, he’s fantastic, and I’ve wanted to interview him for the past three years. Yesterday, that dream came true. Barry and I discussed his new album, This is My Town: Songs of New York, which is available April 21, his nearly-40-year relationship with his husband Garry Kief and much more. I hope you enjoy reading this interview. And don’t forget to pick up Barry’s new album – it’s spectacular!