Barry Manilow Wrote The Songs And The Jingles

By | August 9, 2022

test article image
Source: (Getty).

Barry Manilow is known for writing songs that get stuck in your head, like “Copacabana.” Over the course of his career so far, he has written and released 51 Top 40 singles on the Adult Contemporary Chart, with 13 hitting number one. He has also released 13 platinum and six multi-platinum albums. However, before he became a pop star and wrote his earworms, he was writing tunes you may not know were his.

He Briefly Studied Advertising

After high school, he started studying advertising at City College of New York, but not because he had a passion for the subject. He didn’t stick with it for long, and soon entered the New York College of Music, and studied music theater at Juilliard. He took a job in the mailroom at CBS and took piano gigs, and, in 1964 Manilow met Bro Herrod, a CBS director. Herrod asked him to arrange some songs for a musical adaptation of The Drunkard. Manilow went above and beyond and wrote an entire score, which Herrod used for the Off-Broadway musical. It ended up having an eight-year run. 

test article image
He wrote the jingle for Band-Aid. Source: (Stacker).

His First Jingle Was For Dodge

He started writing songs and recording demos, although, as he says, he didn’t think of himself as a singer. When he sent out the demos, the word of his songwriting began to spread. A commercial agency called him because they liked the way he sounded. They asked him if he would compose something for a Dodge commercial. They gave him the lyrics and he wrote the melody. After finishing his first one, they started calling him to do more. For each of the jingles he composed, he was given the lyrics, and then he had to create a melody that lasted only 15 seconds (30 at the most) but one that stayed with people a long time after.

He Wrote The State Farm Jingle

One of the many jingles he composed in the ‘60s and ‘70s was the jingle for State Farm. Yes, Manilow was responsible for the music behind the commercial that begins “Like a good neighbor…” State Farm still uses the hook that Manilow wrote for their commercials. Despite the fact that the State Farm commercial has played for decades, he has only received $500 for the music he composed since composers do not receive residuals. He also composed a jingle for Dr. Pepper in 1974, although it was not a jingle that was used over and over again like the jingle for State Farm. He wrote jingles for Pepsi, McDonald's (he has called this jingle his big break), and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Another earworm that seemed to stick around for a while was “Stuck on Band-Aid” for Band-Aid, a jingle for which Manilow altered his voice to sound more like a kid when he sang it. This jingle won the advertising agency a CLIO in 1976.