Manilow also paid the bills as a commercial jingle writer and singer, a practice he would continue into the '70s, penning and/or performing jingles for State Farm Insurance, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and the famed McDonald's "You Deserve a Break Today" campaign. Though he was making a solid living, the musician's biggest break came when he became the pianist and musical director for Bette Midler after first accompanying the singer during her infamous run at the Continental Baths in New York City.
Manilow worked with Midler through her rise to stardom in the early '70s before leaving to launch his own successful solo career in 1975. The year before, his breakthrough album Barry Manilow II with the #1 hit "Mandy" introduced the singer to a global audience and started a remarkable string of chart-topping albums and singles. Manilow became a fixture on television (between his own specials and regular talk show appearances that continue to this day) and Las Vegas while establishing himself as a monolithic if middle-of-the-road pop music giant.
Though Manilow has moved away from songwriting to become a performer of jazz and pop standards, he has remained a major force on the charts and international touring circuit. He sings hit tunes from throughout his career along with new favorites from his latest effort Night Songs when he brings his recently launched farewell tour to San Jose Saturday night. The tour comes to a close at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in June on the same night the singer celebrates his 72nd birthday.
Saturday, April 18, 8 p.m. $18.25-$176.75
SAP Center in San Jose