Barry Manilow: The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties
Barry Manilow has completed The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties, a 13-song tribute that will arrive in stores on January 31st. The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties not only marks Manilow's return to the Arista Records label after five years, but also marks a reunion with Clive Davis, Arista founder and BMG U.S. Chairman & CEO. Davis has been a perennial collaborator with Manilow on virtually all his recordings, since they first worked together on "Mandy, " Manilow's debut #1 single as the first artist signed to Arista by Davis in 1974, the first year of the label's existence. Comments Clive Davis: "No one can reinvent the great classics of the 1950's better than Barry Manilow. He breathes new life and vitality into these truly wonderful songs and they sound fresh and timeless. We are together on a mission to bring to a new generation the great songs of a different era, and reuniting with him makes it all the more special."
Comments Barry Manilow: "Once again, Clive Davis astounds me with his brilliant ideas. When he suggested this idea to me, I slapped my forehead and said, "Why hasn't anyone thought of this idea?" But of course, there is only one Clive Davis. I feel honored and terribly fortunate to be working with him again after all these years. It's like coming home. Being given the opportunity to co-produce, co-arrange and sing these rarely sung golden standards is a privilege. I hope they affect a new generation of listeners as deeply as they did those of us who were there."
Highlighted by a guest appearance from Phyllis McGuire of the McGuire Sisters on the medley of 1954 hits, "Sincerely/ Teach Me Tonight, " The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties is a veritable jukebox of favorites. Any one of them would be a treat to hear on a new Manilow album - from his remake of the Four Lads' "Moments To Remember" (1955) and the Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (1958), to Bobby Darin's "Beyond The Sea"(1959)- but to hear them collected on one album is a dream come true. The project (just like the era it emulates) cuts across musical genres, from The Four Ace's "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (1955), to Frankie Avalon's "Venus, " to Johnny Mathis' "It's Not For Me To Say"(1957), to Tommy Edwards' "It's All In The Game" (1958), and Dinah Washington's signature "What A Difference A Day Makes" (1959).
Some of America's greatest artists are evoked on songs that are forever associated with them, for example, Tony Bennett on "Rags To Riches" (1953) and the Four Aces on the motion picture title tune hit "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (1955). More: the spirit of Frank Sinatra imbues "Young At Heart"(1954) and Elvis Presley is remembered with "Are You Lonesome Tonight." "Unchained Melody"(1955) remains one of the most-recorded songs in contemporary popular music. The album will be available as a CD and DualDisc release, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the record.
For Manilow, The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties is a labor of love - by anartist whose
career has encompassed every facet of popular music, from his own string of top 40 hits in the '70s and '80s to side trips into swing, jazz vocalese, Broadway show tunes, Christmas music, hits from the silver screen, even the special tribute Manilow Sings Sinatra.
Barry Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of alltime, according to R&R (Radio & Records); with no less than 25 consecutive top 40 hits to his credit between 1975 and 1983, on the Billboard Hot 100. Among these are songs that are now part of the standard songbook, including "Mandy, " "It's a Miracle, " "Could It Be Magic, " "I Write the Songs, " "Looks Like We Made It, " "Can't Smile Without You, " "Copacabana (At the Copa), " "Somewhere In the Night, " "Ships, " and "I Made It Through the Rain." All of these (and more) were anthologized on the commemorative 1992 4-CD boxed-set, Barry
Manilow: The Complete Collection And Then Some.
With worldwide record sales exceeding 75 million, his work as a singersongwriter, arranger and producer over the course of more than 40 albums has earned Barry Manilow the highest honors. He sits on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Jazz, and in June 2002, he was inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music's Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside Ashford & Simpson, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman, and Sting. In addition to his own foundation, the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, other involvements include The Prince's Trust, United Way, the Starlight Foundation, numerous organizations fighting the battle against AIDS and many others. He is the national spokesperson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Honorary Chairman of the Palm Springs Art Museum and a Founder of the Music Center of Los Angeles.
Frank Sinatra once told the British press of Barry Manilow, "He's next!" and Rolling Stone magazine crowned him "a giant among entertainers ... theshowman of our generation." With The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties Barry Manilow pays a loving and welcome tribute to some of the songs that inspired him to become one of the most beloved performers in pop music of the past three decades.
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