Barry Manilow’s scores his first #1 single with “Mandy” on January 18, 1975. He would go on to sell more than 75 millions records over the course of his career. While working as a commercial jingle writer/performer and pursuing a recording career with limited success, Manilow met a kindred spirit named Bette Midler. He first became her piano player then graduated to musical director, lending his arranging and orchestration talents to her Divine Miss M album and tour (think “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”) on the condition that he be allowed to perform a short set of his own songs during her intermission. It was this experience that landed Manilow a gig as Dionne Warwick’s opening act, which in turn led Clive Davis to take him under his wing at the newly formed Arista Records. Then came “Mandy,” “It’s a Miracle,” “I Write the Songs,” “Looks Like We Made It” and a string of 21 more top-40 hits between 1975 and 1983—hits that helped earn Barry Manilow recognition by Billboard and Radio & Records as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time. Find Barry Manilow at the library, on hoopla and in Freegal.
On this day in 1882, A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, is born. In 1913, he married his wife, Daphne, and two years later went to France to serve in World War I. While in the military, he wrote three plays, one of which, Mr. Pim Passes By, became a hit in 1919 and provided financial security for the family. In 1920, the couple’s only son, Christopher Robin, was born. In 1925, the family bought Cotchford Farm in Sussex. A nearby forest inspired the 100-Acre Wood where Winnie-the-Pooh’s adventures would be set. When Christopher Robin was about a year old, he received a stuffed bear as a present. The child soon accumulated a collection of similar animals, which inspired Milne to begin writing a series of whimsical stories about the toys. Winnie-the-Pooh was published in 1926 and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. Ernest Shepard illustrated the books, using Christopher Robin and his animals as models. Find Winnie-The-Pooh at the library, on OverDrive and in hoopla.