Sep 6, 2012
We all know Melissa Manchester’s hits – “Don’t Cry Out Loud” is probably the most famous – but the casual listener probably doesn’t know much about how she became the singer we all recognize today. I include myself in that group, although I feel like her work has been one of those soundtracks in my life for the last – oh, who cares how many years it has been, right, Melissa? To get a real flavor for this woman’s remarkable career, you really have to go back to high school. She is a graduate of Manhattan’s – best known as the school upon which the movie and TV series “Fame” were based. Curiously, she studied acting, not singing there. Now the name-dropping begins.
MELISSA MANCHESTER podcast excerpt: "Women's rights are always politicized. On certain levels they're just hot button issues to galvanize an audience really quickly because candidates don't want to talk about deeper issues. I think it's important for women to keep an eye on the ball to empower themselves to help their families. Healthy women, healthy families is good for our families and that's all I'm interested in."
She went on to New York University – my mother went there, too, just fyi – where she took a songwriting class taught by Paul Simon. (Okay, my mom didn’t do that. She did meet my father at NYU, which kept her from earning a degree for almost 15 years and about which the less said, probably the better.)
As a singer of commercial jingles, she met two other up-and-coming singer/songwriters in New York City, Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. (Is this a good time to mention that Manilow’s long-time producer, Ron Dante, was on Mr. Media last year? No? Okay, moving on…) She became a backup singer for Midler, which helped launch her as a singer and recording artist in her own right. The rest you probably do know, including chart-topping songs such as “Midnight Blue,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the big hit she co-wrote with Kenny Loggins, “Whenever I Call You Friend” – probably my personal favorite in her catalog. Melissa is here today to cry out loud about her career, of course, but also to bring attention to The California Women's Conference, at which she and Helen Reddy will be among the scheduled performers at the Long Beach Convention Center on September 23 and 24, 2012. The event is described as a forum for the world’s most influential voices, hearts and minds. (Hmm. My invitation must be in the mail.) You can learn more about it at www.CaliforniaWomensConference.com
Melissa Manchester Website • Twitter • Order Melissa Manchester Greatest Hits from Amazon.com
Listen to Mr. Media interviews mentioned in this show!
• "Blossom" star Joey Lawrence (2009)