Ken Mansfield, the former US Manager for Apple Records, has a new book out entitled The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert. It’s a terrific read that recounts his time working with the Beatles, including being a few feet from the iconic band as they performed their final concert on the roof of 3 Savile Row in London on January 30, 1969. Below is a recent interview I conducted with Ken, where we talked about his new book and his time with the Fab Four.
Carol Ross is one of the most successful entertainment publicists of all time. She’s worked with KISS, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Hall & Oates, and many other music icons. She was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about her remarkable career, and the discussion we had was enlightening, entertaining and educational. I hope you enjoy it.
The following is the first of a three-part interview with rock legend John Waite. This year marks his 40th in the music industry and during that time he’s had quite the career. Whether it was being the lead singer of The Babys or Bad English or topping the charts with his #1 smash hit “Missing You,” John Waite’s voice has remained unmistakable and his music endures. I hope you enjoy the first part of this interview. You can read part two here and part three here. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of John Waite’s new album, “Best,” on his official website.
Thanks to my friend, Mary, I was recently able to get my hands on a copy of Barry Manilow’s out-of-print album, Here Comes The Night. Originally released in 1982, this was Manilow’s 12th record and the studio album that preceded it was If I Should Love Again, which was filled with beautiful ballads including “Somewhere Down The Road” and my favorite, “The Old Songs.”
After having listened to Here Comes The Night several times, I have to say I think it’s a shame that it’s not available to the public. It’s a wonderful collection of music. And while the album went platinum, it didn’t spawn as many hits as it should have. I blame this on Arista because the music quality was top notch. Below are my six favorite songs out of the album’s 11 tracks.
“Here Comes The Night”
This song is spectacular. It’s a traditional Barry Manilow power ballad that soars. Between the gorgeous arrangement and heartfelt vocal, I get lost every time I listen to it. This track should have been a monster hit, but it wasn’t. I’d love to hear Barry perform it live the next time I see him; it’s one of his most underrated numbers.
“Memory” is the most popular song from Cats, the 1981 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s a beautiful song that many artists have covered, including Barbra Streisand, whose version of the song charted lower than Manilow’s. Anytime Barry Manilow sings a Broadway show tune, I listen with rapt attention. His voice is perfect for these kinds of songs and he knows how to make them sound magnificent. This is one of his best.
“Some Kind Of Friend”
I would classify this as a rock-infused pop song. It has a harder edge to it than the other music on the album, but it’s still as infectious as Manilow’s other hits. The funky synthesizer, descriptive lyrics and catchy chorus make this a song that gets stuck in my head frequently.
“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter”
Here’s a song that’s been covered by everyone from Nat “King” Cole to Paul McCartney. It’s simple, funny and catchy as hell. And when I hear Barry Manilow’s version, it makes me think of Elvis. It has that rockabilly sound “The King” was known for; and when listening to Manilow’s recording, it’s clear he had a lot of fun with this number.
“Getting Over Losing You”
What a terrific melody. The chord progression in this song is simply wonderful. It tells a great story, the vocal is spectacular and just like “Here Comes The Night,” it should have been a massive hit. I love it.
One of the things that makes Barry Manilow a great live act is he performs the songs he enjoys – not just the hits. About a year or two ago, he started adding “Stay” to his set and longtime fans loved it. This sexy mid-tempo number is another song that didn’t get the attention it deserved. The haunting chorus is one that I find myself singing long after the song has ended.