Hey, Summer Campers!
Former summer campers are everywhere you look. So many folks have gone for summer camp adventures that a bunch of them went on to become famous celebrities. They’re in the movies we see, in professional sports leagues, and they’re singing the songs that make the young girls cry—Barry Manilow is, anyway. And, yes, he was a summer camper back in the day as well.
Attending Camp Billings, Barry was fortunate for the opportunities and great camp experience he had for two weeks on the shore of Lake Fairlee among the lush hills in eastern Vermont—nearly an hour-and-a-half-long drive from New Hampshire. Learning a wealth about himself and where he fits into the world around him, Barry had no idea camp lessons would steer his life in the direction of super-stardom!
Having grown up in Brooklyn, Barry has always brought the energy of a New Yorker to his music despite his surroundings in “laid-back L.A.” as he calls it. He went to the Eastern District High School and, after graduating, attended the City College of New York. He didn’t stay there long, however, as his musical interests were developing exponentially. He soon entered the New York College of Music instead. Eventually, he went on to study at Juilliard School of Performing Arts.
Barry worked at CBS for some time while he was going to school. Not long into his employment there, the network director approached him to request that he arrange a few songs for a musical adaptation of an old, traditional play. Barry accepted the task, but went above and beyond by creating an entire original score for it. The CBS director used Barry’s score which saw great popularity throughout an 8-year run at New York’s 13th Street Theatre.
This launched Barry’s career as a pianist, producer, and arranger. He found great work writing and performing jingles for commercials. He’s responsible for classic commercial jingles such as Band-Aid’s ‘I am stuck on Band-Aid brand ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me’ as well as the ever-popular ‘Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,’ for State Farm Insurance.
Of course, his true talent was only discovered after the release of some of his greatest masterpieces like ‘Mandy,’ ‘Can’t Smile Without You,’ ‘Ready to Take a Chance Again,’ and so many more. After summer camp, Barry Manilow achieved worldwide fame and made his dreams come true. What’s in store for you after summer camp? As always, thanks for reading, campers!