Melissa Manchester Set for Concert at Pepperdine University Center for the Arts, 10/21
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/actress Melissa Manchester, whose hit versions of such songs as "Midnight Blue" and "Don't Cry Out Loud" have ensured her place in pop music history, performs a concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 21, at Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre in Malibu.
Tickets, priced at $45, $35, and $25 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available now by calling (310) 506-4522. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787. More information: http://arts.pepperdine.edu/ or http://www.melissa-manchester.com/
Manchester was born in New York, where her father was a bassoonist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and her mother was one of the first women to found her own clothing firm. They introduced her to the classics, and by the age of 15 Manchester was already a published poet.
After graduating from the High School of the Performing Arts, where she studied acting, Manchester entered New York University and enrolled in a songwriting class taught by Paul Simon. She landed a staff writing job at Chappell Music and performed as a solo singer/pianist in the clubs of Greenwich Village, where she met Bette Midler and Barry Manilow.
As a backup singer for Midler, Manchester fulfilled her childhood fantasy of playing Carnegie Hall. Six months later, she had a recording contract. She went on to headline at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, as well as performing for sold-out audiences across the country.
Manchester's music has served to establish her as a compelling singer/songwriter. Her debut releases, Home to Myself and Bright Eyes, positioned her as a dynamic new talent, and Melissa launched the smash hit single "Midnight Blue."
Manchester and Kenny Loggins co-wrote the radio classic "Whenever I Call You Friend," and her songs have been recorded by Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis, Kathy Mattea, Peabo Bryson, and Cleo Laine, among many others. Her international hits include "Through the Eyes of Love," which was written for her by her friend and frequent collaborator Carole Bayer Sager along with Marvin Hamlisch, and "Don't Cry Out Loud," which was penned by Sager and the late Peter Allen.
Manchester was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1978 and 1979, and she received a Grammy in 1982 for Best Female Vocalist. In 1980 she became the first artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a given year--"Through the Eyes of Love" and "The Promise"--and went on to make Oscar history by performing both songs during the worldwide telecast.
For her acclaimed release Tribute (featuring lush Peter Matz arrangements), Manchester honored the great singers who have influenced her, from Garland to Streisand and Piaf to Fitzgerald.
Manchester has combined her acting and singing talents in starring roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance and a production titled Andrew Lloyd Webber--Music of the Night, as well as in a recurring role in the hit television series Blossom. She also worked again with Midler, co-starring with her in the 20th Century Fox film For the Boys.
In 1998 Manchester released her first Christmas album on Angel/EMI Records. This CD, Joy, was hailed by The New York Times as "a heartfelt Christmas album that sounds classic on first listen."
In yet another career first, Manchester wrote the musical I Sent a Letter to My Love, based on the acclaimed Bernice Rubens novel of the same name. She performed the leading role in a National Public Radio broadcast, and the staged musical premiered in Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre in 2002.
She returned to the stage when she co-starred with Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, and she most recently starred in the Chicago premiere of HATS!, a musical that contains several songs she co-wrote with Sharon Vaughn.
Manchester also composed for Disney's The Great Mouse Detective, co-wrote the score for Lady and the Tramp II, and released her 16th CD, When I Look Down That Road, all the while celebrating four decades of performing with appearances throughout the United States.
She recently received the Governor's Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for her contributions to the music and recording arts, and her body of work to date as a singer/songwriter was featured in an exhibit at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in Connecticut.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy