Sunday, October 21, 2007


Ted is the one who came up with that name for him. And somehow I don't think that he meant it in a loving fashion...hmmmmmm....

I had a friend whose mother is a HUGE Barry Manilow fan. I mean HUGE to the point of traveling around the country to see him. Like in spending 5 days in Las Vegas to see all 5 of his shows. Like in going to Los Angeles for a couple days to catch all his shows. And in going to New York to see him on "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" (which is what it still was when they went).

Because my friend's mother belonged to the Official Barry Manilow Fan Club she was able to get preferred seating at his concerts. She knew that I liked Barry and she asked if I wanted to go along to a concert at Blossom Music Center. She could get up to 4 tickets per event and her husband and daughter (my friend) were going, and they had an extra ticket. Well, I jumped at the chance because I knew that we would have pretty good seats.

Pretty good does third row sound?? We were off on the left side a little, but we were CLOSE. You could count the guy's nose hairs. It was July and hot and humid, but we didn't mind. He sang for an hour and a half, took a short break, then did another hour and 15 minutes. What a show! He is a fabulous entertainer.

Well, that did it for me. I ended up joining the fan club and found out about some of his upcoming concerts in Ohio. That fall, Ted and I, along with my friend and her husband, went to Miami University near Cincinnati to see Barry, who happened to be performing for Parents' Weekend. This time we were in the 5th row, right on the center aisle. Somewhere in all of my stacks and piles of pictures, I have a shot of Ted sitting in a chair on the aisle, holding up a Barry Manilow program. He told me that if that picture ever went public he would go into hiding for the rest of his life, hahaha!

That was the night that he began to refer to Barry as the Big B.M. A.P. and U.T. (Aunt Patty and Uncle Tim) were keeping Joey and Alex overnight, so it was a nice little weekend getaway for us. It was obvious that Ted wasn't really too crazy about being there, but I thought it was so sweet of him to come along and spend the evening doing something that I really enjoyed. Of course he made no secret of the fact that his whole goal was to "get lucky" that night, if you know what I mean. In his words, "Putting up with the Big B.M. all evening long (another very long show!), we're away without the kids, and the wife would be in a good mood. Of course 'getting lucky' is my goal!"

Ted actually went with me to another B.M. concert the following summer, but then he sort of put his foot down and said he had seen all that he could handle in one lifetime. That's okay, because I went to a few more concerts with different people and had a great time.

Back then, he had two fabulous female and one wonderful male back-up singers. One of the women was Deborah Byrd and she's originally from the Cleveland area. The guy was Billy Kidd and not only was he a terrific singer, but he was also extremely easy on the eyes. Billy opened up for Barry and was very VERY good. After he left Barry for a solo career, I lost track of him and don't know what happened. Deborah is one of the singers who helps the contestants on American Idol. As far as the other female singer, I can't even remember her name, but she was also very good. Barry was absolutely excellent at showcasing his band's vocal and musical talent.

All I can say is that he is the ultimate performer, and I would absolutely LOVE to be one of his back-up singers!