Album:The Essence of Melissa Manchester
Singer songwriter Melissa Manchester rode on the coattails of Carole King and Carly Simon to have success in the 70s and 80s. Midnight Blue was one of her three top ten pop hits in 1975. Most of her success was on Adult Oriented Radio. She was born Feb. 15, 1951 in The Bronx, NY. Her father was a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera and her mom owned a dress shop. Melissa studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music and she was a staff songwriter at Warner Chappell Music while attending high school at the High School of Performing Arts. She studied songwriting with Paul Simon at New York University. Then in 1971 Melissa was spotted in a club by Barry Manilow and he hired her as one of Bette Midler's backup singers. When Manilow signed with Bell Records, he suggested they sign Melissa as well. Her 1973 debut album Home To Myself was produced by veteran Cameo-Parkway producer Dave Appell. Melissa wrote most of the songs with Carole Bayer Sager. Midnight Blue is from her third album Melissa released in 1975. By this time, Clive Davis bought Bell Records and started Arista. Vini Poncia was Melissa's new producer. He had recent success with Ringo Starr. Midnight Blue reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the AOR chart. She continued to have success in AOR. Her second top ten pop hit was Don't Cry Out Loud in 1980. She also recorded songs for the films Ice Castle and Norma Rae and she appeared in the daytime soap Search For Tomorrow. Melissa's final top ten hit was You Should Hear How She Talks About You in 1982 which won her a Best Pop Vocal Performance Grammy. She left Arista and recorded the 1985 album Mathematics for MCA. You can get all her Arista hits on this budget comp. Melissa wouldn't record another album for the next decade though she did appear on the sitcom Blossom and she recorded for films like Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland in 1992. Melissa is currently a professor at USC Thornton School Of Music in Los Angeles. She raised funds for her new CD You Gotta Love The Life through Indiegogo and it includes guest appearances by Keb' Mo', Al Jarreau, Dionne Warwick and Joe Sample, Dave Koz and Stevie Wonder. She is touring to support the album. Here's Melissa Manchester performing Midnight Blue on the Midnight Special 1975.