Harold and Edna Pincus’ little boy, Barry Pincus, was born and bred in Brooklyn in 1943.
Here, 22 years later, he is pictured funding his studies via a part-time job. Not just any studies, though, and not just any part-time job. In 1965, Barry was a student at the New York College of Music, and the job he bagged was working at CBS records.
It was CBS who took these photos. Why? Actually, there was no real reason — CBS didn’t have some kind of musical crystal ball revealing the future transformation of Barry Pincus into Barry Manilow (Edna’s maiden name). Rather, these were run-of-the-mill work shots to record yet another employee.
Harold and Edna Pincus divorced when Barry was two, when Harold Pincus walked out of both Edna and Barry’s lives.
While Barry was to take his mother’s maiden name as a stage name, his mother was to take to the bottle. Edna became an alcoholic and attempted suicide more than once.
Barry, though, complete with new surname, was prepared to promote himself with commercial portraiture, shown below.
In fact, it was CBS that inadvertently created a future for Manilow when, in 1964, Barry met CBS director Bro Herrod.
Herrod asked Manilow to arrange some songs for an off-Broadway production. In return, Manilow slightly over-delivered by providing an entire score. The show ran for eight years.
Much of the remainder of Manilow’s 1960s were spent churning out — and singing on — advertising jingles, including McDonalds, KFC, Pepsi, Band-Aid and Dr Pepper. Less than ten years later, he was a bona fide star (as these pictures from the early 1970s demonstrate).
But more significantly, the same year that Barry met Bro, he also married Susan Deixler, his high school sweetheart. The marriage wasn’t to last. One year later, Barry walked away.
His ultimate goal, as documented by these later pictures, was to find a “wondrous musical adventure”. Deixler had the marriage annulled.