Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Melissa Manchester - where are you now?

Sunday late morning/early afternoon Channel 8 on XM Radio plays "American Top 40 with Casey Kasem" shows from the 80s. It's my favorite programming on XM, since the play lists aren't filtered by some ignorant DJ in 2007. A few weeks ago they played an AT40 episode from February 1980. One of the songs between #30 and #40 was amazing, but I didn't remember hearing it before. I was so captivated by this song that I almost had to pull my car over to the side of the road to fully appreciate it. Casey, speaking from 1980, told me at the conclusion that the song was "Just You and I" by Melissa Manchester. It's an amazing ballad. When I got home, the first thing I did was purchase this gem on iTunes. Since then I've played it 22 times according to the iTunes play count feature. I'm now convinced that Melissa Manchester is completely under appreciated, particularly considering her stunning vocal talents.

If I ever had a musical act, I would open with Eydie Gorme's "If He Walked Into My Life" and close with "Just You and I" by Melissa Manchester. I would never be a drag queen, but thinking about my non-drag act makes me wonder why more drag queens aren't including Melissa Manchester songs in their repertoire. You could easily have a superb drag act of Melissa numbers: "Through the Eyes of Love (Theme from Ice Castles)," "Don't Cry Out Loud," "You Should Hear How She Talks About You," and "Just You and I" are all top-notch songs. All except "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" are brilliant torch songs, the bread-and-butter of any good drag act. You throw in "You Should Hear..." as an up-tempo number. It makes for an A+ act, if you ask me.
Melissa is in touch with universal human emotions, and her voice conveys those feelings. "Through the Eyes of Love (Theme from Ice Castles)" is her homage to finding that one special someone; "Don't Cry Out Loud" provides consolation and inspiration after a depressing and devastating break up (plus it has a wickedly wonderful key change); "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" is Melissa at her sassy best, persuading a male friend to pursue romance with...her ("She's in love with you, boy! Can't ya see, it's me!"). "Just You and I" is a show-stopping, bring down the house, love song from Melissa to her audience; all listening are convinced that she's singing directly to them. The message is that even if everyone else lets you down, Melissa will be there for you.

I'm now on a one-man mission to increase appreciation for Melissa Manchester. She's wonderful.


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