51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 15: Barry Manilow – Copacabana

I’ve been so pleased with the response to this feature which, for many of you, is triggering lots of long lost memories that come back when a certain tune or song is played. This week, we’re leaving the 1950s behind and stopping off in 1978, to visit a place that brings back great memories for me.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s welcome somebody who is no stranger when it comes to walking onto a stage in front of a packed house. Take it away, Barry.

The name Copacabana brings back lots of memories to me because it was the name of a London nightclub I worked in from 1986 until 1989. I only worked there for three years, but those three years were packed with fun, dancing and serving drinks to some well-known pop stars and celebrities. You can read some of my memories of working at the Copacabana night club, by clicking here.

And it seems that I’m not the only one who Copacabana brings back good memories for. Mr Manilow also visited a nightclub called Copacabana, but sadly not the one in London. No, the Copacabana he frequented, back in the 1960s, was in New York City. Maybe I should try tinkering with the music time machine and see if we can pay the place a visit sometime? What do you think?

When it came to music charting positions, Copacabana made it to number four in Belguim, number six in The Netherlands, number seven in Canada, and number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.A. In the UK, the song peaked at number 22! (what were we thinking of people!).

The song has featured in over a dozen movies, but the one I remember most of all is from Madagascar 2. Here’s the clip from the film. The song starts 45 seconds into the clip.

Don’t you just love those penguins?

Thank you to everyone who left a link to a favourite song in the comments section of last week’s post. And a big thank you to RuthBarbara, and Colline who joined in with publishing a blog post of a favourite song. I’d also like to thank Willow, Ritu, Sue and Erika who all recently tagged me in a musical challenge currently doing the rounds. As I am already running this feature for the whole year, I declined their invitations to join in the challenge but said I’d tag them to this week’s feature. Thank you, ladies.

Want to join Hugh in building up your 51 favourite songs from the past? Leave a link in the comments section below and showcase your next song.

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  1. How did I miss a week!? I love this song (and obviously Barry Manilow too!). I loved singing this song and acting it out in my basement way way back in the day. 🙂

    1. Your link came in just after I published last week’s post, Kat, so I included it in this week’s post. I put it down to you doing the A-Z challenge. But, no problem. The vision of you acting out Copacabana in your basement makes it all very worthwhile. 😀

      1. Thanks, Hugh! I’ve lost track of all my days and I haven’t had any time to sit down and see what I’ve been posting (and that’s more than slightly alarming, now that I think about it!). lol

        And oh gosh, the image of 14 year old me strutting my skinny stuff around the basement, being Lola? I cringe at the thought! 🙂 I’m sure I was a sight!!

    1. I’ve just been listening to you song choice for this week, Colline, and I loved it! So much so, that the post will feature in the next edition of ‘From The World Of Blogging.’ Thank you for sharing your memories of the song with us. They were amazing and you told them so well. Thank you.

    1. As soon as I read ‘Mandy’, I knew where you were going. I remember finding out what “I’m Mandy, fly me” really meant and being quite shocked by it 😮 (and I was only a 20 something gay man). A classic choice, though, Graeme.

  2. Didn’t know he was gay, but that doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t change the fact that he is a talented song writer and entertainer. Love his music! Thanks for sharing, Hugh! ❤️

  3. Oh Hugh, I love a bit of Barry Manilow! He hasn’t really changed a great deal over the years (well except for looking a bit plastic)!! You have inspired me to post my favourite tune from Barry. This has got to be the best version of ‘Could It Be Magic.’ It is another song that makes me well up, such beautiful lyrics and music too.

  4. Hi Hugh,
    I have so many memories of Barry from the late 70’s when I came out. When I would get depressed, I would put on his songs, sing along and cry. I thought so many of them spoke to me. In 1982 I had seats in the second row for his concert. He winked at someone in my direction, and of course I was convinced it was me. Everyone back then knew he was gay. Those early years and even today there’s so much prejudice for people in the public eye. You really had to be brave to come out. Thanks again for taking us down memory lane. Hugs.

    1. I’d love to see Barry in concert, Chuck. Second-row seats? Wow, it must have been an amazing show knowing just how much of a showman Barry is.

      I’ve always loved this song. In fact, on the odd occasions when karaoke is involved, it’s the song I always choose. Anyone singing it before me gets the ‘evil eye.’ 👀

      I’m so pleased you’re enjoying this feature and reliving the memories. I’ve been amazed by the response this feature is having. Lots more coming up.

    1. Then I hope you’ll be singing it to me at the Bash, Esther. 😀 I’ve been the same with the songs I’ve featured so far. They last the whole week until the next one is announced. Thank goodness Mr Blobby doesn’t feature in my lineup. 😱

      1. Ah stop! Even me ma knew he was gay ‘No straight man would wear a glittery jacket like that Bernie’ says she to me back in 1978. She couldn’t believe that this was actually ‘news’ last week. ‘What’s wrong with people? says she ‘Have they no gaydar?’ That women will be the death of me, I swear!

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