Barry Manilow's 'Mandy' Was Originally 'Brandy.' But Was It Really About A Dog?

By | January 17, 2020

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Barry Manilow performing on Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell, airdate: October 11, 1975. Photo by Ann Limongello/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Singer Barry Manilow's hit-studded career begins with a girl: Brandy. Wait, isn't it Mandy? Well, sure, she became Mandy, but she was Brandy first. The chart-topping single, which was released in 1974 and reached the summit on January 18, 1975, wasn't written by the "I Write The Songs" singer (he didn't write that one, either), although he made one crucial tweak that might have made all the difference. 

Before It Was 'Mandy'

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Scott English, the writer of "Brandy". Source: (youtube)

"Mandy" began life as "Brandy," co-written by Scott English and Richard Kerr. Kerr recorded a demo of the song, but listeners did not like the way that it sounded with his voice. English did much better with it; his version, released in 1972, was a hit in the UK and Australia, where it rose to #12 and #13 on the respective pop charts. In the United States, English's "Brandy" stalled out at #97. 

The song "Brandy" found its biggest success in New Zealand, where a version recorded by Bunny Walters cracked the top five.