Charlie & Debbie

Weekdays 3:00PM - 7:00PM

The Spectrum Center in Charlotte illuminated with the glow of phones at Barry's request so he could see his fans.

There are few artists who thrill me like Barry Manilow.  Now, I realize that confession may be a little puzzling coming from someone who makes a living playing country music.  However, I view music as I view food.  So, no matter what the cuisine, there are good foods and bad foods.  And, I enjoy good food regardless of the type of cuisine.  Therefore, I love good music and artists regardless of the genre.  And, Barry Manilow is simply one of the greats.  My mom always loved his songs, and we watched his HBO specials together when I was just a kid.  So, that’s probably where my admiration for his talent began.  First of all, the man is 79 years old.  It’s honestly amazing he still has the energy and stamina to tour at that age.  Plus, his voice is still as silky smooth and strong as I remember it decades ago.

So, he started off the show making a point I wholeheartedly agree with about music.  The melody makes the song.   And, maybe his melodies are so memorable because he began his career as a jingle writer/singer with all those catchy advertising tunes that get stuck in your head.  He had a hand in either writing or singing famous jingles for McDonald’s, State Farm Insurance and BandAid.  As a result, who can forget “you deserve a break today at McDonald’s” ?  Plus, there’s “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”  And, “I am stuck on BandAid ’cause BandAid’s stuck on me.”  You know you’re singing it right now.

Anyway, Catherine Lane and her husband  suggested we all go see Barry Manilow in Charlotte.  So, we made a night of it with a restaurant week meal at BLT Steak before heading to Barry.  He performed most of his biggest hits, including my all time fave “Mandy.”  That was the song that launched his career.  Then, he presented a $10,000 award to a local school/teacher to further music in public schools.  And, there was a touching moment when he shared a scratchy recording of his grandfather encouraging a “baby Barry” to sing.  Therefore, he dedicated the performance of “This One’s For You” to his grandfather.  We had a blast and left feeling all the feels!  So, here’s a gallery of our night with Barry Manilow in Charlotte, North Carolina.