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Interview with Melissa Manchester: Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter

Grammy award-winning artist Melissa Manchester chatted about her new music.

Melissa Manchester
Melissa Manchester. Photo Credit: Nick Spanos
Melissa Manchester. Photo Credit: Nick Spanos

Grammy award-winning artist Melissa Manchester chatted about her new music, which includes her single “Just Too Many People.”

‘Just Too Many People’ single

On her new single, she said, “I am very excited. It has been a long time coming. The video is beautiful, and I am excited about the upcoming album. It is a very interesting and a very busy time.”

Song selection approach for the new CD

Her new album “RE:VIEW” will be released on February 23, 2024.

On the song selection process, Manchester said, “We chose 10 songs that were charted and turned into hits, and we threw on an old song of mine that I’ve never recorded but Diana Ross did a long time ago. We really chose fan-favorites. These were songs that have meant something to people for a very long time.”

“The title of the album comes from looking at something again with new eyes,” she explained. “I am happy to say that these songs have stood the test of time. They were mostly written and recorded a long time ago when I was much younger. The songs have grown into this moment, which is such a different world than when I first started recording in the ‘70s.”

“To see that the songs can be applied to this world and this moment was really interesting,” she added.

Diana DeGarmo covering ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ on ‘American Idol’

Manchester’s hit single “Don’t Cry Out Loud” reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1979. It earned Manchester a Grammy nomination for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” in 1980.

Diana DeGarmo had sung her signature song “Don’t Cry Out Loud” on “American Idol” Season 3 finale, and Manchester praised DeGarmo for doing it justice.

“Diana did a very good job. I actually helped to coach her, and it was very sweet. Diana is a sweet woman,” she said.

‘Whenever I Call You Friend’ with Kenny Loggins

Manchester recalled doing “Whenever I Call You Friend” as a duet with Kenny Loggins. “That was fantastic. Kenny and I wrote that song and he had a huge hit with it with Stevie Nicks a long time ago,” she said. “I had only previously recorded a mild version of it. I thought the song is decades old now, Kenny is about to retire, I am about to celebrate my 50th year, and I thought we should record it together.”

“I went in, and I produced and arranged the new arranged version, and thankfully, he liked it. The main thing was to find my own stamp. Kenny is really very sweet, he has mellowed with age, and he sang beautifully. Dave Koz is spectacular, and he played his heart out on that single. It was really a joy to record with Kenny,” she said.

‘Funny Girl’ Tour

On being a part of the “Funny Girl” Tour, where she plays Mrs. Brice, Manchester said, “This tour is gorgeous. It is so great, and I am excited that it is coming to Los Angeles. I will be here for a month.”

“Our star Katerina McCrimmon is glorious, and the company is fantastic. It is doing really well; the audiences are embracing it like crazy,” she said.

The digital age

On being a singer-songwriter in the digital age, Manchester said, “It’s very interesting. My students have helped me time and again to find my place to experience crowdfunding and understand what all of the platforms mean.”

“I am thrilled to be signed to Green Hill now and to have people to help me get my music out; it’s beautiful,” she added.

Advice for young and aspiring artists

For young and aspiring artists, Manchester said, “Try to surround yourself with very good people who will help you stay grounded. The thing about a long career is that you need to have courage and stamina, and you need to learn to say ‘no.’ When you are a young artist, that is almost impossible to say.”

“Figure out what your belief system is, and create a community of safe, trustworthy people. That’s how you begin,” she said.

Grammy Award win for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’

Manchester opened up about her Grammy win for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” in 1983.

“Well, it was fantastic of course. ‘You Should Hear How She Talks About You’ was an unusual song for me,” she said.

“It was a great song, but it was unlike anything I had sung before, especially since I was primarily known as a balladeer. Suddenly, this disco song came my way, and it worked out beautifully, I am happy to say. I am very grateful,” she acknowledged.

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, Manchester said, “My Best Chapter.”

Superpower

“My superpower is listening slowly.” “People talk fast for all sorts of reasons, and I’ve learned to listen slowly. What that enables me to do is trust my gut, and evaluate if a person is really kind-hearted, or if they are trying to scam me about something. That is my recent superpower, and it comes with age.”

Success

Regarding her definition of success, Manchester said, “Success means experiencing the gratitude that I have for the journey that I’ve taken: the good and the difficult.”

“Knowing that I was able to support myself and my children with a pretty good life, and that my spirit sings through me, and my creative urges are still rich and present, and that I have the health and stamina to be doing this,” she elaborated.

“I am blessed with a gorgeous granddaughter, and I can enjoy my family and friends. Also, I can still do my work. That is success with a capital S,” she underscored.

Closing thoughts about her new album

For her fans and listeners, she remarked about her “RE:VIEW” album, “I want my old listeners to remember when they first heard these songs, and for my new listeners, I hope it brings them some comfort, coziness, and a peaceful place.”

“Also, I hope it brings them some encouragement and inspiration,” she concluded.

“Just Too Many People” is available on digital service providers by clicking here.

To learn more about singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester, check out her official homepage, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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