Barry Manilow Turns 65 66

And I thought I’d acknowledge that; now I have.

Actually, there is one song Manilow wrote and performed that I rather like. Call it a guilty pleasure. And no, it’s not “I Write The Songs”, which was actually written by sometime Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, the guy who wrote ‘Disney Girls (1957)’. Bruce, BTW, turns 65 on June 27.

The Manilow song I like is Could It Be Magic. I love how the intro morphs into the main theme and then morphs back into the outro piano bit. Here is how Barry himself describes it: “I thought I had come up with the coolest batch of chords in my composing experience. And then I realized that before I had that glass of wine, I had been playing my Chopin preludes. And I wrote the song around Chopin’s ‘Prelude in C Minor.'”

This has brought me a whole lot of sympathy for at least some of the musicians who have cribbed parts of other songs. I always believed George Harrison when he copped ‘He’s So Fine’ for ‘My Sweet Lord’. Paul McCartney was so worried that he had inadvertently stolen the tune for ‘Yesterday’ that he ran around asking people if they’d heard the song before. The difference between Harrison and Manilow is that Manilow’s subconscious had the wisdom to swipe from a dead guy whose work is in the public domain, while Harrison pilfered from a more recent composition.


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