Monday, June 29, 2009

Fifteen Minutes

I've had time to digest the "letter" from Barry that was posted on There was a great deal shared in that letter from commenting on his weight (yet again) to a brief statement about the cancellations (briefly) to the new "rock" album co-written with Enoch (Nick) Anderson. Of course, as a fan of the music and The Mayflower, the mention of a new original album peeked my interest.

Did it make me forget the recent lack of customer service? For about 15 minutes. During that 15 minutes I remembered the music. I remembered how much I adore Barry's creative talent. I remembered how much I appreciate all the hard work he puts into every album he creates. And I remembered how the music moves me every single time I listen to it.

The concept of the new album sounds intriguing: 15 minute of fame, gaining it and losing it and regaining it again. It certainly speaks from experience with him and we all know that the songs that he feels are always the best songs in the long run. You can always here the emotion in the music and it always strikes a chord in my heart.

An original album just might enable me to put all the lack of customer care behind me and concentrate on the sheer genius that is Manilow. It might coax me to part with some of my desperately hard earned money. Will I purchase multiple copies to help it debut at number 1? No. There was a time that it was the norm for me to purchase 2-3 copies of every release. Those days are gone. I'm older and wiser and a lot less gullable.

Anxiously waiting to love the music again,
Texas Fan

Friday, June 26, 2009

As Predicted....

A NEW Manilow Vault Song...and this time...a letter.

Someone must have read my book recommendation...
Texas Fan

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blogluxe Award Update!

My good friend Denise just informed me that voting is still open!

# Nominations will close on June 23.
Voting will remain open until July 6.

Thanks for all of your support and please continue to VOTE!

Click the button on the right and look for
Manilow Musings in the "Guilty Pleasures" category.

Texas Fan

Monday, June 22, 2009

Celebrity Privacy

I suppose the very nature of being a celebrity negates true privacy. After all, as a celebrity you make the decision to be out in the public domain. You acquire fans which are partially responsible for your career success. You have at your disposal the media, which is partially responsible for your celebrity status. Your life is basically on display twenty four hours a day as the press and your fans press themselves into your world. The more popular you become, the less privacy you have. It's a ying and yang situation. The less successful, the less your life is under a microscope. The more successful, the more you become a target for all kinds of invasive behavior.

This past week, the pictures of Barry's Malibu home that is for sale hit the internet. There are some who feel we, as fans, have no business posting those links and pictures related to his house. After all, it's an invasion of his privacy. And then there are those who feel that the pictures are in the public domain and available for anyone to view. They've even gone so far as to say it helps the sale to get the word out. The question has always been, where do you draw the line?

As far as I'm concerned, the pictures and the links are out there. Will I post them on my blog? No. Will I discuss publicly the actual contents of the home? No. Did I look at the pictures? Absolutely. Did I cross the line by looking? I don't think so. Will I obsess about every little item in those pictures and fantasize about what it would be like to live there with him? Absolutely not. Will I contact the real estate agent for a private viewing? Some might, but, that is definitely crossing the line...jumping off the cliff into the abyss.

That (as the fans say) is JMHO,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Barry...

If we could turn back time...

Hope you have a marvelous day and a fantastic birthday celebration!
Texas Fan

Monday, June 15, 2009

What it means to be Sandra

Sandra: haunting lyrics by Enoch Anderson and music by Barry Manilow. Today, I feel like Sandra. If you're a mother, a wife, a multi-tasker and perhaps a bit of June Cleaver from "Leave it to Beaver", you know exactly what I'm talking about. There are those days that you are pulled in a hundred different directions and you wonder what happened to the "you" that was hiding inside. Or, was there ever really a "you" to begin with?

Don't get me wrong, I love my family. And I wouldn't trade that aspect of my life for anything. But it seems somehow in being that wife, mother and all-around multi-tasker (event planner, vacation guide, nurse, financier, housekeeper, cook, counselor, etc. etc.) it's hard to hold on to your dreams and your goals. It's hard to say STOP and take a hard look at what you need and want. And even when you do, it doesn't always turn out like you planned it would.

I've often wondered how Enoch Anderson (a guy) understood the mind of Sandra. Did he have a mother that inspired that song? He had to know someone that shared those feelings with him. Because they are common to so many women and ring true in the deepest sense of our emotions.

She says, I swear I love my husband, I love my kids
I wanted to be like my mother
But if I hadn't done it as soon as I did
Oh there might have been time to be me
For myself, for myself
There's so many things that she wishes
She don't even know what she's missin'
And that's how she knows....that she missed.

Truer words were never spoken,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Barry Manilow at the PNC Center in NJ

Why post about this? Because, apparently his first visit to the pen*s center (his words) was quite a memorable night. Of course, that was WAY before my time in the Manilow world. But stories abound of that night and the "oldtimers" speak of it fondly.

I'd like to open up the floor (or comments) for everyone to post their stories of that night. Please don't be shy. Those of us who missed it LOVE to hear about the "good ole days" in the Manilow world.

And...if anyone has pictures they would like to share I'd love to post them here with credit given. (Don't worry, I'll disable the ability to download!)

I hope we have TONS of responses and lots of memorable stories.

Waiting to read your stories,
Texas Fan

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Do you think Barry Manilow is a "Guilty Pleasure"?

Do you think Barry is a "guilty pleasure"? I do. And so do the people at BlogLuxe. My blog has been nominated for a 2009 Women Blogger Award. I would have to say that Barry is definitely one of life's guilty pleasures. And..writing this blog is as well.

So I'm here SHAMELESSLY begging for all you die-hard Manilow fans to VOTE FOR ME! Let's show those women bloggers that Barry is our FAVORITE guilty pleasure! If you like my blog, or you just like Barry, cast your vote. How cool would it be that a blog about him ended up THE WINNER!

I'm pretty far from leading in the votes (I just got nominated). But, I'm sure there are HUNDREDS of Manilow fans who would love to vote for me. And PLEASE pass the word along to your friends.

Just click this link and I'm under the Guilty Pleasures category:

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

Texas Fan

VOTING ENDS JUNE 23. You can vote ONCE a day until then. After that, they will announce FIVE finalists in EACH category.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Inconvenience of Change

A fellow blogger, Matt Cheuvront, is promoting a series of blogs on this subject: The Inconvenience of Change. There are some great posts by Gen Yers about change and how they feel they can make a difference in the world. Change is hard for all of us on so many levels. We get used to the status quo and we want to keep things as they are. We become complacent in our communities and in our own lives and adopt the attitude that says, "let someone else do it."

Revolutions are started by those who want things to change. As Barry himself says, it only takes "one voice" to make a difference in this world. He has done that recently by donating musical instruments to the schools in his community and kicking off the Manilow Music Project. If you've noticed the ads on television and in the theaters lately, there is another organization doing the same thing: providing instruments to schools who have lost funding in their music programs.

The question is, can just one person make a difference. The definitive answer is ABSOLUTELY. Take Judy Domingo for example. She raised thousands of dollars for her charity AFAN completely on her own. She led her team to being the 2nd highest fundraiser and she alone was the highest individual fundraiser for that charity walk.

In their new book, New Day Revolution, Sam Davidson and Stephen Moseley, give helpful hints, practical tips, and step by step instructions on how to make a big difference in the local community and the world at-large with whatever time you have. It's a great place to start for some ideas on what you can do to change. And although it's inconvenient, change is also the catalyst for growth in your personal life.

What can you do to change your world? It is something as simple as donating that unused musical instrument gathering dust in your closet? Can you start recycling even if it's inconvenient? Can you help others to see the value in volunteering their time? Can you donate clothing to the homeless in your community? Can you participate in a charity walk and raise funds for that charity?

If there's one thing that Manilow fans have always admired Barry for, it's the example he sets through his Manilow Fund and his charitable giving. We can follow that example ourselves by making those inconvenient changes that will also make a difference in the lives of others.

Viva the Revolution!
Texas Fan

Monday, June 1, 2009

Raving Fans

Barry has said it himself: the underlying strength of Barry Manilow's long term success has always been his fans. They have taken abuse and ridicule over the years for being a Manilow fan. They have weathered the jibes, the critics, the naysayers and even family who can't understand why they want to go to show after show. In the past, they have been "raving fans". They have sold his music, his concerts, his character, and his integrity to all who will listen. Barry has always had the talent. That fact is undeniable. But it's the fans who buy the albums, attend the shows, and support the career. It's the fans who put up with the crazies that ruin the fan world. It's the fans who keep coming back after being attacked and ridiculed by other fans who are jealous, envious and hateful. You have to ask yourself...why? Why do any of us put up with it all? Why do we keep coming back for more and keep promoting the man and his music?

It was because we felt he cared. We felt appreciated. We felt that he valued our loyalty. In short, we truly were raving fans. If any business is to survive (and yes, Manilow is a business), and grow and keep customers, they have to embrace that concept. One raving fan for a customer, will bring you 20 more. An unhappy fan, or customer, will spread that unhappiness to hundreds.

The principles in Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles book, RAVING FANS, are simple: find out what your customer wants and deliver that to them plus one. In the past, that's exactly what the Manilow organization has done. The music was the basis for securing the customer. But the "plus one" was the added value: the personal appearances at conventions, the personal notes from him to his local fan clubs, the added value a fan club member received by joining, and the general feeling that they were valued for their undying support over the years. All of these bonuses created those RAVING FANS.

But today, there is another type of raving fan. The type of fan that drives away business. The type of fan that feels mistreated and devalued. The type of fan that spreads their dissatisfaction to others. The sad thing is, you can't silence those fans. You can delete their posts. You can ban them from fan sites. You can harass them so much that they leave. But, you can't silence their anger because they have been unfairly abused and cannot find any justification for that unfair treatment. Those type of raving fans will destroy a business. Those type of raving fans will spread like a cancer and influence others. And when they feel mistreated without a reasonable explanation, they will turn on each other.

From a business perspective, the recent happenings over the last few days in the Manilow world are disturbing. There are fewer and fewer "raving fans" and more and more fans who are raving about mistreatment and the lack of concern for their support over the years. And from a business perspective, it's a dangerous place to be. You can't constantly shift blame for poor customer service. The main goal is to make the customer feel that even though they were mistreated, you own up to it, apologize, and promise to remedy the situation by doing two things: 1) rectify the abuse by offering a reasonable recompense for their loss and 2) assure the customer that if they remain loyal, it will not happen again. But there comes a point when the customer will not accept excuses any longer and discontinue being a raving fan because of the unsastisfactory service. That time has come for many fans. "We're sorry" just isn't enough any more.

From a fan's perspective, it saddens me greatly. It's hard to listen when you feel so mistreated and discouraged by the person whom you have admired over the years. It saddens me because it muddies the waters and pulls fans away from the music. It drives them to find another avenue for their fandom and it assures that the music will not be available for everyone to enjoy because there is no longer a market for it. I can't even imagine a greater loss. But if things don't change, it will happen.

It's time for more than words,
Texas Fan

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ~Bill Gates

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