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MasterClass Monday: Barry Manilow’s Heartfelt Recording Of The Mercer/Manilow Classic “When October Goes”


MasterClass Monday: Barry Manilow’s Heartfelt Recording Of The Mercer/Manilow Classic
Thank Heavens for the musical gift known as Barry Manilow.  He is a legend, a unique and sensitive performer who has always valued the importance of the creative process when writing or performing his music.  He is and will always remain a class act in every sense of the word. 

Additionally, he is a consummate professional and completely and utterly devoted to his fans. This is the reason why, after so many years in the business, he still has a huge following of fans from all over the world. His love for the music and for the fans is authentic and steadfast. 

And so I thought that, since it is Monday, October 30th, I would treat you to a real gem of a song , “When October Goes“, penned by Barry Manilow and Johnny Mercer – another musical legend.  

Here is the fascinating and heartwarming background story regarding the original recording  of this song (Source: Wikipedia)

When October Goes” is a ballad based on a lyric Johnny Mercer had written but did not complete. It was matched up to a melody by Barry Manilow and published in 1984, becoming one of the top Adult Contemporary hits of that year in the United States.

In his last year, as he was dying from brain cancer, Mercer became extremely fond of Manilow, in part because Manilow’s first hit record was of a song titled “Mandy“, which was also the name of Mercer’s daughter. After Mercer’s death, his widow, Ginger Mehan Mercer, arranged to give some unfinished lyrics he had written to Manilow to possibly develop into complete songs. Among these was “When October Goes.” Manilow applied his own melody to the lyric and issued it as a single in 1984.

The song has since been recorded by Kevin Mahogany,[2] Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Wilson and Megon McDonough. Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) recorded his version in 1997 on the album Live Concert. Recently, Lea Salonga performed the song on her album Inspired.”

This song first appeared on the album 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe.

This is also the title of an album put out by Rounder Records and produced by Christine Lavin, which features the title song and other fall related songs by singer/songwriters.”

One musical legend passing the baton to another musical legend.  How beautiful is this story? 

And I could go on and on with the sensitivity and care he infuses into this number. It is perfect in every way. Barry Manilow wears his heart on his sleeve when he performs and draws you in like a musical magnet. 

His technique is solid – the sustained vowels, the musical manner in which he approaches his phrases, the clear articulation of his words. It certainly doesn’t get any better than this. 

Musically, this is a very sophisticated composition.  I once wrote a musical arrangement for a quartet of singers and, I must say, it took me longer than I thought it would.  The chord progressions are tricky.  But the final product was pretty neat and I could kick myself for not recording it.  

Please do yourself a favour and download or stream this song or any of Barry Manilow’s incredible music on iTunes or Apple Music

Has anyone seen Barry in concert?  If so, please share your stories below.  All respectful comments are always welcome. 

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

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