Melissa Manchester

Melissa Manchester (born February 15, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Since the 1970s, her songs have been carried by adult contemporary radio stations. She has also appeared on television, in films, and on stage.

Manchester was born in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, into a musical family. Her father, David Manchester, was a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera for three decades. Her mother was one of the first women to design and found her own clothing firm, Ruth Manchester Ltd. The Manchesters are of Jewish origin.

Manchester started a singing career at an early age. She learned the piano and harpsichord at the Manhattan School of Music, began singing commercial jingles at age 15, and became a staff writer at age 17 for Chappell Music while attending Manhattan’s High School of Performing Arts.

She studied songwriting at New York University with Paul Simon when she was 19. Manchester played the Manhattan club scene, where Barry Manilow, a friend and fellow jingles singer introduced her to Bette Midler. In 1971, she became a member of the Harlettes, the back-up singers for Midler, which she co-created with Manilow.

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