Barry Manilow, 1978

October 26, 2012 by Spectre of the Rose

I tend to forget that the height of the disco era was also that of the singer/songwriter. (Ok, that’s not true. Just trying to figure out how to fit Barry Manilow in here, although ALL of Barry’s ensembles would be more than fit for the disco.) Sinatra knew and said in the 70’s that Barry would be “next.” I’ll give you one of the best Manilow clips I’ve found, after watching about a hundred this week in preparation for his mini-tour. It was 1978 at the Greek Theater in L.A., outdoors, during a hot summer. Barry played there for two weeks; one evening was televised by the young HBO, setting the stage for everyone else, from Springsteen to Madonna. Check this:

In 1978,there were only three networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC. HBO was new on the scene and wanted to rock the boat…and asked Barry Manilow to do the rocking. It was their first big music special, and they gambled on Barry. With a two-hour Manilow concert at The Greek Theater, HBO rocked. Everyone watched. And we mean everyone. So many that the networks felt a dip in their ratings and the first hint of what cable TV would do to their viewership.

God, I feel my blood flow too, Barry. The whole last verse and chorus with your classic key change completely sends me over the edge. Practically holding my breath to see you in person. When will this strong yearning end? December 6, 2012, that’s when. See you in San Jose, my darling.

-Spectre of the Rose


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