When you think of early Bette Midler, singing for the gay men at the Continental Baths, do you think of Barry Manilow? He was her piano accompanist, helped produce her first two albums, and directed the music on her Divine Miss M Tour. At the time, he was a successful advertising jingle writer and musical director of the CBS show Callback. On tour, during Midler's intermission Manilow performed three songs from his first album, but it wasn't until Clive Davis saw him open for Dionne Warwick that his luck really changed. Davis and a reluctant Manilow fought about including Mandy on his second album; Davis won; hit after superhit followed: It's a Miracle, I Write the Songs, Tryin To Get the Feeling Again, Looks Like We Made It, Can't Smile Without You, Even Now, and of course Copacabana, which was so popular it inspired a made for TV movie starring Barry ("His name was Tony...") Twenty-odd years later Manilow still enjoys a large and devoted following. He headlines a Vegas act and in 2004 Oprah announced he is one of her most requested guests. On the other hand, when Australian police wanted to clear out a heavy gang area of kids ignoring the curfew, they blasted Manilow's songs. (Barry was funny about it in a wry statement.) Two years ago, his album Greatest Songs of the Fifties debuted on the Billboard chart at number one. Last year his album of Seventies hits reached number four. Brooklyn's own has still got it, ok? If you don't understand his impact on contemporary culture, his preeminence as whipping boy / guilty pleasure, watch these snippets from Family Guy, Friends, and Colbert with Jon Stewart. Manilow has lived with his manager Garry Kief for more than twenty years in homes they share in Bel Air and Palm Springs.