In a week full of nasty surprises, death and war, surely, this week’s news that Barry Manilow is gay was a little ray of sunshine, even if it can have come as a surprise to literally nobody.
Manilow explained that he had kept his sexual orientation secret out of concern that it would disappoint his largely female fan base; turns out that when his fans found out, they were supportive. Probably because they’re all in their late-70s by now and past caring. Or at the very least, unable to chase him anymore.
I can understand that when he rose to fame in the early to mid-1970s, times were different, and perhaps such an announcement would have attracted some adverse publicity. But it’s rather sad that he felt the need to keep this concealed, especially when you consider that he married his long-time partner in 2014, whom he had been with since 1978.
A couple of songs which seem appropriate then:
Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
The Lemonheads – It’s About Time
Something else which will probably not come as much of a surprise – and this is where my credibility takes a bit more of a battering – is that I do have a bit of a soft-spot for Manilow’s schmaltzy kitsch shtick.
But, I’ve always found it rather ironic that, despite his reputation as being a composer/arranger and singer/songwriter, one of his bigger hits, “I Write the Songs”, was actually written by former Beach Boy Bruce Johnston; in fact by the time Manilow released it in 1976, it had already been recorded by The Captain & Tennille, and been a hit for teen pin-up David Cassidy.
I do rather like Manilow’s version, though. There. I’ve said it.
Barry Manilow – I Write the Songs
Yes, you’re right. I did just want to post some Manilow. Sue me.