Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Manilow Method

Poor Barry! I have a soft spot in my heart for this dear, disrespected crooner. My SUNY Buffalo singing group was hired as backup for Manilow's Memorial Auditorium extravaganza in the mid '80's. I'll never forget mid-medley on stage catching sight of two of my former high school teachers swooning in the front row, their lighters bravely blinking through the darkness. It was then I was sure the Bar was not my ticket to stardom.

Barry Manilow's music may be magic to some but not to everybody, as they're finding out in a suburb of Sydney, Australia.

To chase away car enthusiasts who were gathering in a local park at nights on weekends, officials have been blasting songs by Manilow and Doris Day. Officials say after a month, the music is having the desired effect. But people who live near the park aren't too happy. They say, imagine having to listen to "Copacabana," "Could It Be Magic" and "Que Sera Sera" every week. One woman says she can't sleep when the songs are blaring and she can't imagine how she'll survive, given that officials plan to keep up the musical barrage for the next six months. The Australian city has turned down the volume a bit and is reviewing the playlist. Even Rockdale's deputy mayor admits he can't stand Manilow's hit "Mandy."

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