Melissa Manchester

Melissa Manchester is an American singer–songwriter who released two 1973–74 albums on Bell Records, followed by nine albums between 1975 and 1983 on Arista. She first emerged under the auspices of Barry Manilow and Bette Midler and co-wrote many songs with Carole Bayer Sager. Manchester’s best known songs include “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Midnight Blue,” “Through the Eyes of Love,” and “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.”


She was born on February 15, 1951, in the Bronx to Ruth and David Manchester (1920–1993), a bassoonist with the Metropolitan Opera. Her mother was a fashion designer and founder of Ruth Manchester LTD., a clothing firm.

Melissa, a singer since childhood, studied piano and harpsichord at the Manhattan School of Music. After a two-year stint in the jingles industry, Chappell Music hired the 17-year-old as a staff writer. She befriended fellow jingle singer Barry Manilow, who introduced her to an up-and-coming talent on the Manhattan club scene, Bette Midler. Manchester sang for a time in the Harlettes, Midler’s backing trio.

Manchester formed a writing partnership with Carole Bayer Sager, who’d co-written songs for The Mindbenders (“A Groovy Kind of Love”) and Frankie Valli and also worked with Peter Allen. In 1972, singer Beverly Bremers recorded the Manchester–Sager song “Heaven Help Us” for the motion picture Crazies. That same year, Manchester made her first vinyl appearance on National Lampoon Radio Dinner, which features her vocals on “Deteriorata” and (as “Yoko Ono”) the track “Magical Misery Tour.”


Discography:

  • Home to Myself (1973)
  • Bright Eyes (1974)
  • Melissa (1975)
  • Better Days & Happy Endings (1976)
  • Help Is On the Way (1976)
  • Singin’… (1977)
  • Don’t Cry Out Loud (1978)
  • Melissa Manchester (1979)
  • For the Working Girl (1980)
  • Hey Ricky (1982)
  • Emergency (1983)
  • Mathematics (1985)
  • Tribute (1989)

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