Sunday, December 16, 2007


I was driving home from the grocery store today after a harrowing experience of shopping and I saw a sign outside a small church. That sign has caught my eye many times before but today, I read its message and realized how much the world needs it. It said simply:


What is a peacemaker? It is someone who promotes peace. Ok..that was way too simple. But the sign could just have easily said:


Barry personifies the definition of a peacemaker. He brings people together from just about every age, race, religion, ethnic background and gives them common ground. He talks about peace. He promotes peace. He works at supporting peace. He wrote a musical about peace: Harmony. It's hard in his world to maintain that character, with all the backstabbing and bitterness in the entertainment business. It's hard to maintain that attitude when he is constantly attacked by the media, his fans, and his critics.

It's my prayer this Christmas season that God raise up more people like Barry. What this world needs is for all of us to "stop hollering" at each other and be peacemakers.

"Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!"--Matthew 5:9

Praying for more Peacemakers,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through Barryland
Menopausal women were preparing
For the appearance of “their man”.

Their tickets were purchased
From the Hilton in advance
To secure the most popular seat
And a chance for a dance.

As he steps out on stage
In the midst of a cloud
The screams of pure joy
Could be heard in the crowd.

From the first note of Daybreak
He begins the romance
Of his fans as they listen
And catch his smile and his glance.

What is it about Mr. Manilow
That brings us back time and again?
Is it the occasional looks our way,
Or the infamous “bamms”?

Is it the magic of the music
Or the excitement on stage
Is it the way he weaves the lyrics
Or the passion in his gaze?

It is all of the above and more…
As the night comes to an end
For there is always JOY in Las Vegas
For a theatre full of grateful fans!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The PBS Special

Words come to mind: speechless, inspired, groundbreaking, phenomenal, passionate, real, intimate, awesome, exciting, moving, and more than expected. I have to say this special is Emmy material and one of the most finely produced and edited I have ever seen. The camera angles, the sound, the distance shots, the crowd glimpses, and the piece de resitance "One Voice" at the end catapult this special to number one in my book.

Highlights: Mandy, He Aint Heavy, Looks Like We Made It, and his monologues about his life in Brooklyn and his early career. This is the Barry we want to see over and over again. Not the showman, but the man. The guy that endears himself to us every show with his little quirky ways: his laugh, his expressions, his missteps, and his humaness.

Conclusions: Barry is so much more than "the showman of our generation". He is genuine. He wraps us up in his love and sends us to another world every time he steps out on that stage. If he could somehow find "this guy" from the PBS Special for every single performance, the world, and not just his fans, would realize that there's something about this guy from Brooklyn that sets him apart. When he was singing He Aint Heavy and One Voice, I had to say a prayer: that God would make him an instrument of peace for everyone who hears his "beautiful music".

Thanks Barry...and us "this guy" in Vegas. We love you and will be forever in your debt for giving us your life-changing catalog of music.

Wishing and hoping for more of "this guy",
Texas Fanilow

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of year again..December 1st has arrived with a whimper, except for Mr. Manilow and his amazing Christmas CD. I have to say, I absolutely love everything about it. From the jazz piano solos, to the arrangements, to the vocals, to the choice of songs. I love how the intros to the songs include other Christmas songs. Ingenious. But what else would we expect from the genius arranger and composer. Barry nailed it again and it has made its way to the top of my favorite Christmas albums.

My favorite song? I can't pick one. They are all unique. I love Silver Bells for the many vocals. I love Winter Wonderland for the piano solo. I love Jingle Bells for the peppy arrangement. I love It Came Upon a Midnight Clear for the way Barry interprets the lyrics. Violets for Your Furs was a complete surprise and Count Your Blessings brings back memories of watching White Christmas with my daughter.

This cd reminds me of the genius that is Manilow and I can't stop discovering all the little hidden gems in every single song. He always surprises us and surpasses our expectations. With this Christmas cd, it truly is the most wonderful time of year.

Thanks Barry for your never ending gift of music. And hopefully while we are hustling and bustling around this year we remember that Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas to all,
Texas Fanilow
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