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Mo' Music Monday: From Harlette to starlet ... Melissa

Posted on July 27, 2020 at 11:10 AM

Happy Monday Ginchers,

Mo' Music Monday ... from Harlette to Starlet ... Melissa Manchester!  This lady is an amazing musical instrument, her voice that is ... born in the Bronx to a musical family.  Her father was a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera, she learned how to play piano and harpsichord at the Manhattan School of Music, began singing commercial jingles at the age of 15 and became a staff writer for Chappell Music while attending Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts.  Melissa studied song writing at New York University with Paul Simon and began playing the New York club scene where she was discovered by Barry Manilow, who introduced her to Bette Midler and in 1971 she became one of Bette's Harlettes, her famous back-up singing group.  Melissa's first hit came in 1975 with "Midnight Blue" and was followed by many more including "Don't Cry Out Loud",  "Through The Eyes Of Love" and "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" to name a few.  In addition to singing and song writing, Melissa appeared in movies, on stage and in television, I especially remember her appearance in "For The Boys" with Bette Midler. In 1980 two of her songs were nominated for Academy Awards, "Through the Eyes of Love" from Ice Castles and "I'll Never Say Goodbye" from the Promise.  She won a Grammy Award in 1982 as Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "You Should Hear How She Talks About You".  I met Melissa years ago when she was appearing at Heinz Hall.  One evening I recieved a call from a friend who works at the Hall asking me how late my restaurant (Atria's at PNC Park) was open.  Apparently Melissa heard about my restaurant from another performer and wanted to stop by.  I told them we close at 11.  They said her performance wouldn't be over until a little before 11 and by the time she cooled down and changed it would be late.  I told them to bring her over.  I kept a cook, a server on that night and greeted the lovely Melissa Manchester and some of her band members.  We ate and talked music for hours ... it was a wonderful night.  What a beautiful lady ... from Harlette to Starlet ... Melissa Manchester!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


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