Happy Mother’s Day!!
In honor of my mom, I would like to tell you a little story about her that probably explains a lot about me.
When we (my siblings and I) were young, our mom was the biggest Barry Manilow fan — actually she still loves him! She also loved Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, but Barry was The Man. Every Mother’s Day, birthday or Christmas, shopping was pretty easy: Which Barry Manilow album does she not have? Well, it was also easy ’cause Dad would go buy it, but those are the breaks when you’re under 10 years old!
I can remember clearly one day my mom was listening to some Barry on a nice sunny day. I must have been about 4 or 5, but I doubt I could’ve been any older. But it was in the house on Sloan Ave, so I couldn’t have been younger than 4. Anyway…
Mom was listening to Barry and she brought me to the stereo, said “Listen to this!” and put on Barry’s “One Voice.” I was transfixed.
I knew enough at that time to know that one person couldn’t sing all those parts together at once, so I asked who was singing with Barry.
“That’s all just him!” Mom said.
“But how does he sing them all together like that?”
“See, they recorded him singing and then they recorded him singing along with himself. They kept doing that until there was a whole choir of him!”
This was mind-bending stuff for a little guy who was apparently already leaning a little bit musically. Piano lessons soon followed. Before long I was sitting in my bedroom with a drum set, a keyboard, a bass and a 4-track tape recorder, trying to make myself sound like the records I was listening to.
And now, more than thirty years later, I’m sitting in my own recording studio writing about this. I even play in a band called Larry Banilow, which comedically (but respectfully) covers Barry and also writes our own original songs, sometimes along the lines of Barry himself.
So Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you! Thanks for Barry and the Beatles (that’s another story) and all the music appreciation you gave me. I may not be terribly successful thus far in music, but it’s been an amazing life and set of experiences already. And who knows — none of it may have happened if you didn’t play me “One Voice” that day.
Here’s a youtube clip of “One Voice”: