Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paradise Cafe Weekend

This past weekend I was NOT in Vegas. And while I was at least away from home and occupied, I kept telling myself...there's no place like Vegas...there's no place like Vegas...there's no place like Vegas. Especially this past weekend, with the Mayflower shows and all the wonderful music. I can't think of any place I'd rather be (ok...honestly...I can) but Vegas would definitely be in the top 10.

After checking online several times to read about the convention and finding very little; and not knowing a single soul that was there at the shows, I couldn't help but wonder what was going on. Where were the updates, the posts, the reports? Where were all the excited posts about the convention events and the special moments at the shows? I stopped checking on Sunday and immersed myself in my own little "non-Manilow" world. But as usual, that didn't last very long.

I was at the mall, and believe it or not, I heard "When October Goes" over the musak system. I was at a baseball game and the people behind me were talking about "Can't Smile Without You", a song that was the group sing during American Idol auditions a few years ago. I was eating dinner at a food court and looked up and saw, of all things, Paradise Bakery and Cafe. It matched my melancholy mood perfectly. And yesterday I was driving across town and heard "Turn the Radio Up" on a local radio station.

There is nothing like missing those Manilow moments. And when those who are blessed to be there don't share them with the rest of us, it makes it even more difficult. As another blogger said, it makes all of us long for the "good ole days" in the Manilow world. Heck, for me, the good ole days only go as far back as 2005. But boy...were things different back then.

Still in a Paradise Cafe mood,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Manilow sings "Sandra" and "Talk to Me"

Since I've been AWOL for a few days, I thought I would comment briefly on the Mayflower show at the convention. After reading Dana's wonderful review of Friday night I wish even more that I had been there. I would have loved to have heard all the songs from the Mayflower album. I would have loved to have seen him perform them. The very first time I saw him live in concert, he was introducing the Mayflower album and Turn the Radio Up holds very special memories for me. But...there are two reasons why I wish I had been at those shows: Sandra and Talk to Me.

My very first show in Vegas I met my first Barry friend. We connected immediately. He was still doing a few Mayflower songs in the show and at the end of the evening, Mandy told me about her love for the album. It was the first thing we shared in common and it brought us together as friends. As the months progressed with many emails and phone conversations, we returned to Vegas for a few days and spent more time getting to know each other. We talked about he Mayflower album often and she told me her favorite song on that album was Talk to Me. I must admit I had hardly listened to that song before Mandy came along, but she said it resonated with her life at the time and I should listen to it. So I did. And since then, every time I hear that song I think about Mandy and the beginnings of our friendship.

The day we were both to go home, she kept telling me about this one song that reminded her of me: Sandra. I had never heard it before. I had never heard of the 4 anthology albums either. She pulled out her trusty Ipod and let me listen to the song for the first time. I was mesmerized by the story it told. It was my life in so many ways. Mandy was right. And now every time I listen to Sandra I think about Mandy too and the catalog of Barry's music that she introduced me to on that trip and during the months that followed.

It would have been wonderful to sit in the show together hearing both those songs performed live. It would have been great to relive those first bonding moments that we had because of the music. But, perhaps, if we're lucky, he'll keep them in the show and we'll get to see them together soon. If not, I will always be reminded of those first few months of beginnings when I listen to those songs. And think about the symmetry of it all that Barry put both those songs together in his show. As YBA said, it was a "twilight zone" feeling when I read about it.

To this special friendship,
Texas Fan

P.S. Thanks YBA for the Sandra mention in your blog!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Manilow TV-Every Fan's Fantasy

Coming to a computer near you...Manilow TV. I suppose that's the new wave of the future: watching television on your computer. It's going to be interesting to see how this all unfolds. I will have to admit that the Hotline announcement itself was well written and providing great anticipation:

Hidden deep inside a distant mountain...
Double locked behind a 32 inch thick steel door...
Found only at the end of a narrow tunnel...
Carved by hand from the overhead tons of granite.

Great marketing technique. Great way to TEASE your niche. I have to give them kudos for that one. Then the partial list...

Ultimate Manilow from Manchester, UK in 2008
Hot Tonight from Chicago in 1983
Greatest Hits and Then Some from Sydney in 1994

...working down to the very last line...

Check in soon for details on exactly how Manilow.TV...The Internet Television Subscription Service will work.

There's the clincher. It's going to be a subscription service.

Personally, just the UK show alone makes me want to subscribe. And...what if they record this week's convention with the Mayflower songs? I'm sold!

Applause to the Manilow organization for their innovative approach to marketing and for finding a way for the fans to see those shows that so many of us have missed.

Anxiously waiting,
Texas Fan

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Manilow Fans are Everywhere!

After numerous discussions over the last few days with friends about the "official" Manilow portals online, I thought it might be nice to mention some other places where fans meet and are having a BLAST getting to know one another.

Believe it or not Facebook is crawling with Manilow fans. It's easy enough to set up your own page and start conversing with them. Just click on my Facebook link to the right of this post, and my connection will take you to other fans too!

Yes. Fans are still on MySpace as well. It's more of a "bling" place, but if you like decorating your page, etc., that's the place for you. You can click on my MySpace link to the right of this post, and my connection will lead you to more fans as well.

Other Ning Networks
There are numerous Ning networks set up by fans other than the official one. Do a search on Ning and you'll find them. Here's one in particular that I'm a member of. Check it out:
Manilow Music and Passion Ning Group

Yahoo Groups
Manilow groups abound on Yahoo groups. There is even a Manilow prayer group run by Pat Mott. I know I'm a member of several of them but today I'm spotlighting this one:
Manilow Music and Passion Yahoo Group

"Local" Fan Club Sites
You can find these through groups on the MMN or through the local fan club links on the Barrynet. I'm partial to this one (since I created the website and shared in creation of the fan club)
I Am Your Child BMFC-Manilow Canada

I personally enjoy communicating with other fans on their fan blogs. I've listed my favorites on the right, but today I'm spotlighting Moonstone's blog since she ALWAYS has the latest and greatest Manilow news posted:
Shadows of Manilow

Yes. Manilow fans are on Twitter. If you haven't found us, you can find me there and check out who I'm following. You can see my Twitter feed on the right of this blog as well.
Texas Fan

If the "official" networks aren't your cup of tea, you can check some of these out and join in on the fun.

See you in cyberworld!
Texas Fan

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Does Barry Manilow know you raided his wardrobe?

One of my all time favorite movies is "Breakfast Club". And it contains this famous Manilow related movie line. Barry himself pokes fun of his interesting clothing choices back in the 70's and 80's. It was the disco age and era of the white suit, which facilitated the comment in the movie. But the "white suit" was not his only fashion faux pas. Of course, we've all had them: eighties hair, tube socks, scrunchies, and leg warmers (which are coming back..who knew???).

To start this terrific Tuesday off with a snicker and a smile, here are some of Barry's most obvious fashion faux pas'.

Who could forget the Copa shirt?

Or the jumpsuit?

Or the white tux?

Or the plaid suit?

Perhaps it's why he sticks to basic black. You can't go wrong with that combination.

Thank heavens there is not an online photojournal of my own fashion catastrophes...and...thank heavens that Barry can laugh at himself while we laugh along with him!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!
Texas Fan

Monday, May 18, 2009

No More Colbert vs Manilow

The Emmy awards committee has finally changed the the nomination categories:

For the first time, directors and writers for regular comedy series like The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live will compete in separate Emmy categories from those for one-time TV specials like the Academy Awards, reports Variety. Traditionally, writers and directors had been grouped together in general "Variety, Music or Comedy Program" categories.

However, it will mean the loss of great comedy-related conversations such as this:

And who can forget the skit on Colbert with Barry when he and Barry discuss the Emmy win?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage

All in good fun,
Texas Fan

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Hollywood Bowl welcomes Barry Manilow

According to a recent Hotline message:

Get ready LA….
It’s A Night To Remember…..
Barry At The Bowl…….
An amazing night under the stars at the amazing Hollywood Bowl….

It’s Barry….
His band…..
His singers…..
His favorite orchestra…..
A few surprises…….
And enough hits to fill…….a bowl.

Mark your calendars for a gorgeous Saturday Night….October 24th.

And get ready for A Night To Remember……

BMIFC Tickets go on sale this Friday (May 15) at 10 AM (Pacific) at or
by calling 310.957.5788.

Front Row tickets are available NOW at!

This is one of those times I wished I lived in LA. It sounds like a magical night "under the stars" and it's one of those "arena" concerts that I'm sure will be a night to remember. Another of the benefits of living close to the action and being able to attend a magical moment in the Manilow world. I hope everyone who lives near this great venue is able to attend. As always, those of us who can't will be there in spirit!

Dreaming of a night....again,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walking with Manilow

I've started an exercise regimen. It involves walking on a treadmill, which is a very boring task for me. I'm not one to only do one task at a time. I'm a multi-tasker to the core. My daughter tells me it's not good for your brain, but I can't help myself. I'm always thinking of something else I could be doing other than exercising. So I figured why not incorporate exercise and Manilow. At least I'll get some enjoyment listening to the songs while I'm providing a much-needed cardio workout for my body.

Now, which songs to pick? While I LOVE 2AM Paradise Cafe, that's not an album that gets my blood pumping. It's more of an album to snuggle on the couch with in front of the fire or lie in bed at night and drift off to sleep to those mellow sounds. Here at the Mayflower has some heart pumping selections, but when I come to I Miss You I lose it and shut down. So listening to the entire album would not be exercise motivation. But...since I'm a fan and have an extensive collection of Manilow albums, why not make a "mix" CD? Just like my friend Denise does when she DJ's for people. So here's my all new Exercising with Manilow Mix. (hmmm...another great market for Stiletto)

  • Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed
  • Dancin' in the Aisles
  • I'm Your Man
  • Dancin' Fool
  • I Wanna Do it with You
  • Some Girls
  • Break Down the Door
  • Islands in the Stream
  • Never Gonna Give You Up
  • Big Fun
  • Come Monday
  • They Dance
  • Turn the Radio Up

Those are my favs. What about you? Do you have some Manilow songs you like to exercise to? I'd love to add them to my mix CD!

Off to walk a mile with Manilow,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When I was a child...

...I spoke as a child; I understood as a child; I thought as a child...

Most people when they grow up, they stop acting like children. They maintain thoughtful control of their words and respond with dignity. They take charge of their emotions and don't spew them out in public for the world to view. Being an adult requires some actual thought and decorum and remembrance that our actions and our words speak volumes about the kind of fans we are. Ask yourself this question: if the media printed the conversations that go on in the Manilow world would you be proud or ashamed?

...but when I became a man (or woman) I put away childish things.

Can we please just act like adults ONE day in the Manilow world? Is it too much to ask?

Texas Fan

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Manilow Fan Frenzy

As expected, after the first "tweet" occurred on Twitter, the fans flocked to sign up. Grant you, the possibility that it might possibly be him or someone close to him prompted a mass sign up to occur. But, as I said previously, there was little chance "he" would actually utilize the account. For me, even if it was TPTB, I was happy to see them embrace the new social marketing technology.

A greater query in my mind has arisen however. Since Twitter is easily activated with little or no "verification" of personage (you don't have to prove you are who you claim to be), what if some devilish fan decided to set up the account and pretend to be "him"? It is a definite theory that needs to be evaluated and cautiously examined. As the weekend progressed, I began to wonder this myself. Why? The @ultimatemanilow account began to communicate with another account named @BarryManilow. Highly suspicious activity in my estimation.

Personally, I will cautiously OBSERVE and evaluate. Just because someone claims to be a celebrity, it doesn't mean they are. Suzanne Somers sent out a blast via her Facebook account recently warning fans that there are accounts on Twitter that do not represent her and she has chosen not to get involved herself. Yet another clue in a long list of mysterious @ultimatemanilow account activity.

What's the moral? Don't jump to conclusions. Don't believe (as some did on the network) that just because Barry's name is attached to something it doesn't mean that it's him. There are MANY imposters on Twitter. And MANY celebrities as well. The ones that are on there have taken the time to let their fans know that it's them. Let's all take a deep breath and wait and see.

Cautiously observing,
Texas Fan

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's time for Barry and the Clio Awards


Barry Manilow, Singer-Songwriter

Barry Manilow has produced some of the most famous advertising jingles of all time for companies such as State Farm, Band-Aid, Tab and Stridex. In 1976, Manilow was the recipient of two CLIO Awards for his well-known television and radio commercial jingles. He received a CLIO for Best Television/Cinema Commercial for his composition of the jingle "Stuck on Me" for Johnson & Johnson's Band-Aid brand (Young & Rubicam, New York), as well as an award for Best International Radio Commercial for his performance in the jingle "Countdown" for Coca-Cola Company's soft drink, Tab (McCann-Erickson, Toronto). Best known for his musical recordings including "Mandy", "Weekend in New England" and "Copacabana", Manilow has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio&Records) and Billboard magazines.

A big round of applause for Mr. Manilow and his creative genius,

Texas Fan

Friday, May 8, 2009

Looks like Barry took the plunge on Twitter

Ok. Before everyone FLOCKS over to Twitter to see if it's really's not. But it looks like it's an official Twitter account set up by TPTB. It's about time they took the plunge. It's a great way to keep fans informed and up to date about the latest Manilow news.

Kudos to Stiletto for jumping in the Twitter ring. How did I know? They found me! (Scary...isn't it?) Actually I'm pumped and looking forward to reading their "tweets".

Happy Tweeting,
Texas Fan

**UPDATE** @ultimatemanilow is up and "tweeting" exciting is that????

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Mic Autographed by Barry Manilow!

Barry Manilow Autographed Microphone, Sheet Music, and Photo

This auction is a dream come true for fans of Barry everywhere! The winner will receive a signed microphone, sheet music, and photo of Barry. The photo is 8x10 color, and signed by Barry in silver. The sheet music is for the song “One Voice” and is signed by Barry in black. The audio-technica microphone is brand new, boxed, and signed by Barry in silver.

Ebay Auction Link

This one is for SERIOUS collectors! If you're interested, the auction ends on May 9th. Just enough time to get your bid in. As of this posting, the bid is up to $94 (15 bids already).

And...the proceeds of the auction go to support The Society of Singers charity.

Get those bids in,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Some Things Never Change in the Manilow World

In August of 2006 I joined the Barrynet message board. It seemed a great place to meet other Barry fans and talk about the shows, the music and the media appearances. It was right before Barry had his hip surgery and right after the explosion that was "the cancelled shows" occurred. For a short time (and I mean very short) it seemed to be a friendly place. All that changed in January of 2007. The tone of the board became a battleground and a click formed to control the posts that were made. They attacked and defamed those who chose to disagree with them and succeeded in having many ousted from the board.

A year ago, the Manilow Network came on the scene. We all breathed a sigh of relief hoping that this new network would once again be a place for those who wanted to meet, talk and share their experiences related to the music and Barry. For awhile it was great. And then, about 6 months ago the tone on the network changed as well. Fights began to ensue. People began to attack others. Lines were drawn in the sand. Inappropriate discussions were started. And once again the climate of the board changed.

My sympathies go out to Stiletto. They are the ones who have the unparralled responsibility of monitoring these fan sites. And since people will always be people and never change their agendas, the task remains the same. No matter how much they wish and dream for it to be a positive representation of Barry's fans and the people who follow his career, it always turns into (in my opinion) a study in childish human behavior: adults who act like spoiled children and want to be in charge of the sandbox.

But as Barry sings, "and we'll go on, enjoying every lovely day because we're sure he would have wanted it that way," and "we can't smile without him"!
Texas Fan

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brian D'Arcy James and Barry

I just read an article about Brian receiving a Tony nomination. *HEAVY SIGH*. Oh how I wish it was for Harmony and not Shrek. Listening to him on the DVD of the Farewell Tour makes my heart stop. Barry can dispute there...but Brian's voice is powerful and always gives me chills. And when he belts out Every Single Day you can hear the passion in his interpretation of that romantically penned and brilliantly composed ballad.

Any time there is an opportunity to sing the praises of Harmony, I'm on it. It's one of those "unfinished" projects that Barry has on his plate and one of the ones that I wish could be completed. Harmony is the soul and spirit of Manilow. It's him composing music and arranging it all together to make an unbelievably moving musical. It's where he began (with The Drunkard) and where he always thought his career
would take him. For those of us who are fans, it's our dream for him as well. It's always in the back of my mind and something I hope for and pray for often.

Congratulations to Brian D'Arcy James and all the best, but I can't help but *sigh* when I think about what could have been,
Texas Fan

Monday, May 4, 2009

Barry and the Mother's Day Blues

Mother's Day (another Hallmark holiday) is coming up. For those of us whose mothers are no longer alive, this holiday can be hard. The emptiness that never goes away by the void that is left can at times be overwhelming. And Mother's Day just serves to big it to the surface. Unless you've lost your mother, you can't really know how it feels. Especially if she was a big part of your life.

Barry knows how it feels. And every time he sings "You're There" or "I Am Your Child" you can hear it in his voice. I've also wondered if when he sings "Somewhere Down the Road" he isn't thinking about her as well. It's that longing-that absolute feeling of loss. It's a feeling that creeps up when things happen in your life that you would want to call your mother and share with her. Or that feeling of being alone that you feel when you would just like your mother to hold you and tell you it's going to be ok.

I guess that's one thing Barry and I have in common. We know what it's like to lose our mothers and to have to go on because "she would have wanted it that way."

Having the Mother's Day blues,
Texas Fan

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