The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and actress Melissa Manchester will be the recipient of a Special Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Popular Music at the 27th annual Bistro Awards on Monday, April 23 at 6:30pm, at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd Street.
Manchester joins the already announced Kaye Ballard, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Warren Vaché for this year’s top honors at the Bistros, which will be hosted by the comedian and actor Jim David, and which will feature performances by most of the evening’s honorees. In all a total of 26 awards will be given out during the course of the gala evening.
“We are thrilled to be able to choose three high-profile women in the music world who exemplify three entirely different genres of music,” says Sherry Eaker, the producer of the Bistro Awards since 1990. “These artists have influenced popular culture through their songs and performances, each in their own distinctive ways.”
In addition to her many hit songs and albums, the New York-born Manchester has written for and acted in films, television and the stage. An early achiever, she sang jingles and was a staff writer for Chappell Music while attending the High School for Performing Arts.
A protégée of Barry Manilow and Bette Midler, she parlayed her notoriety on Manhattan’s club scene into a recording career. Her debut releases “Home to Myself” and “Bright Eyes” led to “Melissa” (1975), which featured her first top ten hit, “Midnight Blue.” She earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance (“Don’t Cry Out Loud”), and in 1983 she won the Grammy in that category for her 1982 hit, “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.”
Throughout the 1980’s she placed hit singles on the Adult Contemporary charts, including her version of Dionne Warwick’s hit “Walk on By” from the acclaimed album “Tribute” (1989), and the modern standard “Come in from the Rain.” In 1980 she was the first artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a single year – “Through the Eyes of Love” and “The Promise” – and she went to make more Oscar history by performing both songs during the worldwide telecast.
In addition to Kaye Ballard’s Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Award for Ongoing Artistry in Jazz, and Warren Vaché’s Award for Ongoing Excellence as a Jazz Instrumentalist, this year’s Bistros will be going to Rita Gardner (Major Engagement), Joyce Breach (Ongoing Vocal Artistry), and Aaron Weinstein (the Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award), and 19 other recipients.
The Bistro Awards are sponsored by ASCAP and BMI, with additional sponsorship from Branson B. Champagne, Banfi Wines, and the Loews Regency Hotel. General Admission tickets are $60; Premium Tickets are $95, which includes the pre-show Champagne reception, and priority seating. There is a two-drink minimum. A food menu is also available. Details about the After-Bistros buffet supper and party will be posted on the website. To purchase show tickets, go to www.bistroawards.com. For additional information, please call 917-239-5467.