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Melissa Manchester

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Melissa Manchester (born February 15, 1951) is a Jewish American singer-songwriter and actress. Beginning in the 1970s she has recorded a series of albums featuring her own compositions and those of a variety of other songwriters, generally in the adult contemporary genre. She has also appeared as an actress on television, in films and on stage.

Life and career

Manchester was born in the Bronx area of New York City, to a musical family of Jewish descent. Her father was a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera. Manchester started a singing career at an early age, learning the piano and harpsichord at the Manhattan School of Music and Arts, singing commercial jingles at age 15, and becoming a staff writer for Chappell Music while attending Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts.

She studied songwriting at New York University with Paul Simon. Manchester then appeared on the Manhattan club scene, where she was discovered by Bette Midler and Barry Manilow, who took her on as one of the Harlettes in 1971.

Her debut album, Home to Myself, was released in 1973; Manchester co-wrote many of its songs with Carole Bayer Sager. Two years later Manchester's album Melissa produced her first top ten hit, "Midnight Blue", which peaked at #6 on the Billboard charts. Manchester collaborated with Kenny Loggins to co-write Loggins' 1978 hit duet with Stevie Nicks, "Whenever I Call You Friend". She would later record this herself for her 1979 Melissa Manchester album. At this time, she guest-starred on the CBS-TV daytime soap opera Search for Tomorrow to teach a main character, who was a singer-songwriter, the essentials of the craft. In 1979 Manchester made #10 with her version of Peter Allen's "Don't Cry Out Loud", for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance.In the Friends episode titled "The One With All the Jealousy", Chandler advises Ross to "keep it inside. Learn how to hide your feelings! ... Don't cry out loud", a reference to the song. [1] In 1979 she performed two nominated songs on the Academy Awards show, "The Promise", and "Through The Eyes of Love" (theme song from Ice Castles). The winning song that year was "And So It Goes," from Norma Rae.

Two years later she had her biggest hit, "You Should Hear How She Talks About You," which won a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Performance and peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts. It was her last Top 40 Pop hit, but Manchester continued to place singles on the Adult Contemporary charts during the 1980s. Her last top 10 entry on the AC chart was a 1989 updating of Dionne Warwick's "Walk on By". The single was pulled from album "Tribute," which honored some of the singers that influenced her style.

In spring 2004, Manchester returned with her first album in ten years: When I Look Down That Road. While touring to support the CD, Manchester was praised for her still "powerful voice" and for "reinventing [herself] while staying true to what made [her] popular."[2] She played herself on a two-day guest appearance on the ABC-TV daytime soap General Hospital, to sing the song for Robin Scorpio and her AIDS-afflicted boyfriend Stone Cates.

Through the 1980s and 1990s Manchester alternated recording with acting, appearing with Bette Midler in the film For the Boys, on the television series Blossom, and co-writing (with bookwriter-lyricist Jeffrey Sweet) and starring in the musical I Sent A Letter To My Love based on the Bernice Rubens novel of the same name. She also composed and recorded the score to the straight-to-video Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001). In April 2007, Manchester returned to theater, starring in the Chicago production of HATS! The Musical, a show to which she had, with Sharon Vaughn, contributed two songs. Also in 2007, she recorded a duet with Barry Manilow on a cover of the Carole King classic "You've Got A Friend" on Manilow's The Greatest Songs of the Seventies.

In 2008 she released a new single, "The Power of Ribbons," to digital retailers. Proceeds of the single benefit breast cancer research.

Awards and recognition

  • Grammy Award: "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" (1983) (Best Female Pop Vocal Performance)
  • Dormitory Name: Residents renamed their dorm Manchester Hall after a Manchester concert in the mid-1970s at what was then Southwest State University (now Southwest Minnesota State University) in Marshall, Minnesota.[3]
  • Melissa also received the Governor's award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for her contributions to the music & recording arts


  • 2004: When I Look Down That Road
  • 1998: I Sent a Letter to My Love, a Musical Recorded by LA TheatreWorks
  • 1998: The Colors of Christmas
  • 1997: Joy
  • 1997: The Essence of Melissa Manchester
  • 1996: Stand in the Light, duet with Tats Yamashita
  • 1995: If My Heart Had Wings
  • 1992: Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland
  • 1989: Tribute
  • 1986: Let Me Be Good to You, from Disney's The Great Mouse Detective
  • 1985: Mathematics #144 US
  • 1984: Your Place or Mine, from the motion picture soundtrack A Little Sex
  • 1983: Emergency #135 US
  • 1983: Greatest Hits #43 US
  • 1982: Hey Ricky #19 US
  • 1980: I'll Never Say Goodbye, from the motion picture soundtrack for The Promise
  • 1980: For the Working Girl #68 US
  • 1979: Melissa Manchester #63 US
  • 1978: Don't Cry Out Loud #33 US
  • 1977: Singin #60 US
  • 1977: Help Is on the Way #60 US
  • 1976: Better Days and Happy Endings #24 US
  • 1975: Melissa #12 US
  • 1974: Bright Eyes #159 US
  • 1973: Home to Myself #156 US


Year Single Chart Positions Album
1967 "Beautiful People" b/w A Song For You Single only
1973 "Never Never Land" b/w Be Happy Now (From Home To Myself) 101 Single only
1974 "O Heaven (How You've Changed Me)" b/w Inclined 101 Bright Eyes
1975 "Midnight Blue" b/w I Got Eyes 6 1 Melissa
"Just Too Many People" b/w This Lady's Not Home Today 30 2
1976 "Just You and I" b/w Sing Sing Sing 27 3 Better Days and Happy Endings
"Better Days" b/w My Sweet Thing 71 9
"Happy Endings" b/w Better Days 33
"Rescue Me" b/w Happy Endings 78
"Monkey See, Monkey Do" B/w So's My Old Man Help Is on the Way
1977 "Be Somebody" b/w Dirty Work
"I Wanna Be Where You Are" b/w No One's Ever seen This Side Of Me Singin'
1978 "Don't Cry Out Loud" b/w We Had This Time (Non-LP track) 10 9 Don't Cry Out Loud
1979 "Theme from Ice Castles (Through The Eyes Of Love)(Single Edit)" b/w Such A Morning 76 13 Ice Castles (Soundtrack)
"Pretty Girls" b/w All In The Sky Above 39 26 Melissa Manchester
1980 "Fire In the Morning" b/w Lights Of Dawn 32 8
"If This Is Love" 102 19 For the Working Girl
"Lovers After All" 54 25
"Without You"
1982 "Race to the End" b/w Long Goodbyes (Non LP Track) Hey Ricky
"You Should Hear How She Talks About You" b/w Long Goodbyes (Non Lp Track) 5 10
"Hey Ricky (You're a Low-Down Heel)" B/w Come In From The Rain (1982 Version)
1983 "Nice Girls" b/w Hey Ricky 42 22 Greatest Hits
"My Boyfriend's Back" 33
"No One Can Love You More Than Me" 78 34 Emergency
"I Don't Care What the People Say"
1984 "Thief of Hearts" 86 18 Thief of Hearts (Soundtrack)
1985 "Mathematics" 74 Mathematics
"Just One Lifetime"
1986 "The Music of Goodbye" (with Al Jarreau) 16 Out of Africa (Soundtrack)
1989 "Walk on By" b/w To Make You Smile Again (1989 Version) 6 Tribute (Soundtrack)
1995 "In a Perfect World" If My Heart Had Wings
"Here to Love You"
2004 "After All This Time" When I Look Down That Road
"Angels Dancing"
2006 "My Christmas Song for You" Platinum Christmas, Vol. 3
2008 "The Power of Ribbons" Single only

Guest appearances

Year Single Artist Album
1972 "Magical Misery Tour" National Lampoon Radio Dinner
1977 "They Never Met" Martin Mull I'm Everyone I've Ever Loved
1978 "A Half Hour of Heaven (And Eight Hours of Sleep)" Martin Mull Sex & Violins
1990 "Making Every Moment Count" Peter Allen Making Every Moment Count
1996 "Stand In the Light" Tatsuro Yamashita Cozy
2000 "A Mother and Father's Prayer" Collin Raye Counting Sheep
2002 "Never Let Me Go" Michael Feinstein Livingston & Evans Songbook
2008 "You've got A Friend" Barry Manilow Greatest Songs of the 70's


  • Great Mouse Detective Voice of Kitty, songwriter "Let me be Good to You"
  • Fame (TV series) actor, singer and writer (episode) credit
  • For the Boys (1991)
  • Blossom (TV) (1993–1995)


  1. "The One With All the Jealousy". Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  2. Andrew Druckenbrod, Music Review: Melissa Manchester's reinvented music still true to her early work, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 16 April 2004
  3. Amato, J. A. (1991). A new college on the prairie: Southwest State University's first twenty-five years, 1967–1992. Longmont, CO: Crossings Press.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Melissa Manchester. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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