GRAMMY® winner Melissa Manchester tips her hat to some of the most iconic male singers of the 20th century on her new album, The Fellas, which will be released on September 8 via her independent label, Long Run Entertainment, LLC.
“In 1989, I released my Tribute album to honor the great women singers who meant so much to me as a young artist – singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Rosie Clooney, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gormé ... that rarified bunch,” says Melissa Manchester. “Ever since, I've wanted to complete the idea with another album paying homage to the great male singers who, likewise, set the platinum standard for the rest of us – Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, Johnny Mathis, Dean Martin ... the greats.”
She co-produced The Fellas with Robert Slack, Dean of Visual and Performing Arts at Citrus College in Glendora, CA, where she also recorded her 2015 album, You Gotta Love the Life. The Citrus College Blue Note Orchestra – composed of students, alumni and faculty of the small community college, located northeast of Los Angeles – backs Manchester on The Fellas. Barry Manilow joins her on a special rendition of “For Me And My Gal,” as a tribute to movie star legend, Gene Kelly. The album was mastered by the legendary Bernie Grundman. See below for track listing.
Manchester forged a relationship with The Blue Note Orchestra while recording You Gotta Love the Life, which led to performances with the orchestra in Honolulu in 2016. The Blue Note Orchestra will once again join her in Hawaii for a June 23 performance at the historic Royal Hawaiian’s Monarch Room in Honolulu. Tickets are available HERE.
“It seems fitting that I help pass the torch to these dedicated young musicians as I'm paying tribute to the artists who inspired me,” Manchester notes. “Some would think it's risky to entrust a recording project to a group of students. What I found was that, under the expert tutelage of Bob Slack and Alan Waddington (and the rest of the Citrus faculty), these young musicians rose to, and exceeded, our expectations, every time, every song. This is a community college, open to all who want to learn, and these students truly appreciate the opportunity to be part of a grand musical adventure.”
Following her stint as a founding member of Bette Midler’s Harlettes, Manchester established herself as a solo artist with Top 10 hits like “Midnight Blue,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the GRAMMY-winning “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Her songs have been heard in motion pictures, netting her two Oscar nominations, and recorded by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss and Roberta Flack. Manchester has appeared on both the large screen in movies (For The Boys) and small screen in television (Blossom), as well as the stage. The Fellas is her 21st studio album.
Track Listing – The Fellas:
Ain’t That A Kick In The Head - Tribute to Dean Martin
Chances Are - Tribute to Johnny Mathis
They Say It’s Wonderful - Tribute to Johnny Hartman
For Me And My Gal (feat. Barry Manilow) - Tribute to Gene Kelly (and Judy Garland)
Love Is Just Around The Corner - Tribute to Mel Tormé
Smile - Tribute to Nat King Cole
Night And Day - Tribute to Frank Sinatra
How Do You Keep The Music Playing - Tribute to Tony Bennett