DG: If you weren't making music, what would you see yourself doing?
BM: I write pretty well. And I like doing that. It might have been that.
DG: So it definitely would be doing something creative.
BM: I really can't imagine what it would be like without music.
DG: Do you remember the first time you heard yourself on the radio?
BM: I do.
DG: Where were you and what did it feel like?
BM: My collaborator, Bruce Sussman, and I were in Florida. We were driving down – I don't know where, but – we were driving down in Dade County and an announcer came on and said "And now the number one record in Dade County is Mandy? And I'll never forget that. I nearly drove off the road.
DG: Did you have a special teacher or mentor who inspired you?
BM: No. No. I was on my own. David, I was on my own. I couldn't have been more terrified. I really had nobody to ask. I was making up my own rules. I remember that – I was a pianist, I played piano for everybody. I was everybody's accompanist. I'm good. I'm not a great piano player with concertos and classical music but I accompany good. I'm like a band, I dig in and all the singers love me. Anyway, I got this offer to conduct and music direct The Pajama Game in a local church production and I said "Sure I can do that". I had no idea what to do and they said "Great. You've got the job". And I ran to the library and I got these book on how to conduct an orchestra. And I was the music director of a Broadway show, And I did it. I did it. I just did it. You just do it. You say "sure, I can do it" and you do it.
DG: Who's our favorite entertainer?
BM: My favorite entertainer? Living or dead?
DG: Either way, Living or dead.
BM: Well, I love Gaga these days. I think she's the real deal. I'm rootin' for her. I really am. I'm rootin' for her. I just like everything about her. I love her interviews. I like when she discusses her family. Did you see that interview she did on Oprah? She's got a great family and a great sense of herself? Just great. So, living – I would say Gaga. Dead is Judy.
DG: Okay, they gave me the signal. One last question. When it's all said and done and you're no longer here – how do you want to be described on your tombstone?
BM: That I made people feel. I made you feel. Feel good. Feel better. That I actually connected with other people.
Barry Manilow's A GIFT OF LOVE will play The McCallum Theatre December 11-16 with tickets priced from $25. To $250 . For tickets or further information, visit www.mccallumtheatre.com.