Barry Manilow Talks Radio City, Dick Clark, His Ailing Hip And More
At almost seventy years old, music legend Barry Manilow is still going strong. He has sold over 75 million albums, accumulated nearly fifty top forty hits and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Barry just wrapped up three successful nights at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall this week. The shows were rescheduled from the original dates that were scheduled back in February because he had to undergo hip surgery. WCBS-FM in New York host Dan Taylor spoke with Barry Thursday morning.
“I’m doing just fine. It was a nasty hip surgery, a lot of people were saying it was hip replacement surgery, but I wish it were, this was way crazier than that. It was four really terrible months but now I’m back and I’m really happy that the people of New York waited for me, because I would have done anything to play those shows. We had a great three nights.”
This was not the first time Manilow has had hip surgery and he blames the whole thing on “30 years of singing and jumping around to Copacabana.”
“I blame it all on Copacabana anyway! But I’m back and jumping around on stage again.”
Barry recorded a live CD/DVD, Barry Manilow: Live In London with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, which was released last Tuesday, April 24th and is available for your listening enjoyment now. Recorded live at the O2 Arena, the DVD of the concert and the long-form CD are packed with classic hits and a few surprises. He also plays songs from his latest album of new material, called 15 Minutes (released last June).
“The thrill for me was that I was backed up by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and it was one of the top experiences of my life. And this album, I don’t mean to brag, but it’s got to be one of the best live albums and DVDs I’ve ever seen. It’s just a magnificent sounding record.”
It was recently revealed in an interview that the late Dick Clark kept the American Bandstand theme song, co-written by Barry Manilow, as the hold music on his office’s telephones long after it went off the air. Manilow actually wrote the lyrics to the medley and Clark ended up using Manilow’s version for ten years on his show.
“Dick heard it and started to use that version on his show for ten years, and that was a thrill,” says Manilow. “It wasn’t easy to write, but it was fun.”
When asked about the recent passing of the legendary broadcaster, he says that he was “a real gentleman and really supportive for all of my career.”
What’s next? Manilow says with this hip condition he can’t even begin to sort them all right now. But rest assured he will be going forth with his plans shortly.
“You know me, they’ll be a next one any minute now.”
– – Louis Pulice, Dan Taylor CBS-FM Morning Show producer (Further contributions/editing from Vittoria M. Colonna and E.J. Judge, WCBSFM.com).