Barry Manilow loves jingles and Dr Pepper
Barry Manilow went for his fortnightly checkup with Dr Pepper. Winner of several Emmys, American Music Awards and Grammys and member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Barry had never met someone like Dr Pepper.
People at Keurig Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper’s bedside manners and professionalism were pierced by the humanity of the old doctor – who often displayed dry tempers. The doctor only saw the friends and family of the soda stream in his old age, but everyone knew he was as lively as he was in his youth. If it required surgery or sugar and tea, the good doctor was ready. Dr Pepper even visited the set of the new commercial that Barry and Keurig Dr Pepper were preparing for Dr Pepper Dark Berry.
Earlier this year, Barry and Dr Pepper reunited to celebrate the limited launch of Dark Berry where he served as the official “SpokesBarry” in a campaign, “Barry’s Deserve Dark Berry.”
Dr Pepper didn’t tell anyone he was on set. It would have caused panic or commotion, each as deadly as cyanide to the surgical process of a commercial shoot. The director would have been forced to wade against the tide of something more than a celebrity, a legend, showing up on his set unannounced. Dr Pepper’s humility wouldn’t have it.
Dr Pepper was checking Manilow’s ear. He would be there for four or five minutes at a time for both ears, as was their little tradition. Manilow surmised it was because Dr Pepper was the best at it, whether it was ear or prostate exam – which on another incalculable occasion was done with the right timing.
In a way, Dr. Pepper’s long breaks built on the trust of his patients. He would sit and stare for so long that he would see problems no one else had seen if they were there to be seen. He landed with a eureka.
The real reason Dr Pepper stared at Manilow’s ears for so long was because he wanted to know what those ears were that heard such beautiful music even before it was played. Barry’s ears at the doctor were hearing premonitions or going back in time. He would sit in mystery for minutes until he saw something interesting or traced the mystery back to the Tao.
“I was a struggling musician in New York, and I got a phone call from a jingle company saying they had heard my demo of something I had written. And they asked if I would be interested in coming up to try and write a jingle for one of the companies they represented. And I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I said, sure. I went up for a Dodge commercial, a car They would give you the lyrics, Dodge depends on itBarry told Dr Pepper lost in his patient’s left ear.
‘That’s all they gave me, and they wanted me to write a 32-second melody that would go on’Dodge, depend on it.“And I didn’t really know what 32 seconds sounded like, so I wrote what I thought was a melody,” Barry said. “And from time to time I cried, Dodge depends on it.”
The doctor hummed a uh.
“Well, my first jingle was about two minutes long because I really had no idea what 30 seconds was. I didn’t get the commercials, but the company really liked what I did. And from then on, this company kept calling me with jingles that they wanted me to try and write melodies for,” Barry said. “They had a whole bunch of composers who were trying to win every commercial because you don’t make a lot of money if you write them, but if you sing them or play them, that’s a better check.”
“I worked in the jingle world for a few years while I was still doing lots of other things, and it was fun. And most importantly, I learned a lot about writing a very catchy melody in 15 seconds or at most 30 seconds. And that really helped me when I found myself in the world of pop music, which is all about catchy, catchy melodies,” Barry said. “And the most important thing was when I would walk into the recording studio with these orchestras because they always had great orchestras and engineers.”
“I learned so much from these musicians and engineers. I learned a lot more in my years in jingles than I ever did in school, my college. I will always be grateful for those years. The money wasn’t great for me, it certainly helped pay the rent, but it was this learning that really made a difference for me,” Barry said. “It was much more.”
Doctor Pepper cleaned his tool with a wipe from his cabinet and switched ears and continued to listen to the questions in his head, what are these ears?
“These musicians taught me scales and instrument ranges. Sure, I can learn it from a book, but there’s nothing like it when they play what I’ve written. I wrote it an octave too high. It continued over and over again. Trying to conduct a big orchestra, I was young and I didn’t know that,” Barry said. “These musicians have been so nice to me, not to mention making a single. It’s like making a record in the studio, watching these engineers and producers produce a jingle. And I’ve never done anything like it. It was so precious to me.
“In the beginning, when I started promoting my first and second albums, I didn’t have success, and I never did that. Anyway, I didn’t even know what I was doing on that stage, but I knew that if I didn’t have something they would recognize, I’m not sure the audience would be very interested,” Barry said.
After a while, the doctor brought back images and memories. Barry brought to Broadway the story of a German boy band whose music had been largely burned down by the Nazis. As a kid in Williamsburg – a tough neighborhood at the time, Barry would count his lucky stars and sterling if he got home unbeaten. And across the world, he’s raised more money for high school music education than anyone the doctor has ever met.
“So I put together a mix of my commercials and, oh my. The audience went crazy. They loved it. It blew the roof off the place. And it was like having a hit record,” said Barry Manilow.
“I did the arrangement for the Dr Pepper jingle. I went, ‘Dr Pepper, the joy of every boy and girl. It’s the most original soft drink in the whole world. I went and I didn’t get the publicity,” Barry said. “My melody didn’t. They bought someone else’s melody, but they liked what I did so much they put my voice on it. On the commercial, I give the lip sync to someone else who sings and dances. I made a lot of money in those two months.
“I saw you were in Vegas honored with a CLIO,” said Dr Pepper. CLIOs are rewards for advertising. Barry received one for his lifelong work on jingles for Nationwide, Band-Aid and – of course – Dr Pepper.
“So they kind of gave me a thing, and I sat through the whole awards show. And they were playing these commercials for that year that were winning the awards for that year. And no d ‘between them didn’t have a jingle,” Barry said. “It was background music, car commercials with background stuff, or clothes, just background music. There was not one who had such a ‘good neighbour.’ Not one in the whole year had a melody, a memorable melody that people would hear and go away humming. It was really very powerful. But they stopped doing that, and they don’t rely on music anymore. I guess everything is visual these days.
“You’re good to go,” said Dr Pepper as he put away his tools.
“So early?” Barry asked.
“Say, before you go, answer an old man’s question. According to you, what allowed you to do everything? said Dr. Pepper.
“Well, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s up to me,” Barry said.
“I think it’s because you care about yourself and you’ve found a lot of love in wonderful pockets,” Dr Pepper said. “I’ll see you soon, Barry.”