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Barry Manilow Didn’t Write “I Write The Songs” (AUDIO)

Manilow vinyl
Vintage Vinyl...the 1975 45rpm record that went to #1! (Craig Allen photo)

“I Write The Songs” is one of Barry Manilow’s biggest hits!  He “made” it his own…but, ironically,  Barry didn’t write it!  This smash record was written by “Beach Boy” Bruce Johnston!

In 1975, composer-arranger-singer Barry Manilow was going through a creative crisis. In his own words: “My self-esteem as a creator was questioned.” He had vowed that after “Mandy” went to #1 (a song he didn’t write), “Mandy” was going to be the only “outside” song he’d record.  Yet, Arista Records head-honcho Clive Davis (who discovered the late Whitney Houston, who we remember this weekend on NJ101.5), kept sending song demos that he (Clive) guaranteed would be hits.

manilow book
Barry Manilow autobiography, published in 1987. (Craig Allen photo)

One was “I Write The Songs.” Barry listened to studio demos recorded by Bruce Johnston (the song writer), David Cassidy, and The Captain & Tennille. The song gives credit to “music” for having written every song. The lyric goes: “I am music, and I write the songs.” Manilow states in his 1987 autobiography “Sweet Life-Adventures On The Way To Paradise,” that the song’s concept was “intriguing.”  Yet, he still didn’t want to record the song, because it WASN’T his song, from his pen.  Clive Davis insisted, telling his hit-maker: “You’re being foolish and childish.”

The rest is rock and roll history.  “I Write The Songs” was the first single off the “Tryin’ To Get The Feeling” album (1975), and it shot to Number 1 in two weeks. It was the second of three #1 songs Manilow would have in his chart career (“Mandy” in 1974 and “Looks Like We Made It” in 1977).

Tomorrow, the story of Barry Manilow’s first encounter with two of Jersey’s Favorite Artists…just before they found superstardom! Its back…back…back in time to 1974…tomorrow, here at!

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