Today, Melissa Manchester gave fans a taste of her forthcoming album,The Fellas, sharing the album opener and first single, “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” via her social media channels. Her rambunctious, horn-filled version of the song swings exuberantly from the rafters. “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” goes to radio on August 28, but fans can hear it now on YouTube and SoundCloud.
“I wanted to invite the audience in, right away, to what the album and song was going to feel like,” says Melissa Manchester. The classic song was first recorded in 1960 by Dean Martin, who also performed it in the film Oceans 11 the same year.
Manchester co-produced The Fellas with Robert Slack, Dean of Visual and Performing Arts at Citrus College in Glendora, CA. She is backed by The Citrus CollegeBlue Note Orchestra, which is composed of students, alumni and faculty from the community college.
More than 25 years after Manchester released Tribute, her 1989 album that honored the great female singers who influenced her, she turns the tables with The Fellas, a radiant tribute to the men, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and Mel Tormé, and the iconic songs they made famous. Singing with a verve and emotional vulnerability that immediately captivates, the GRAMMY® winner inventively reimagines these beloved standards.
The Fellas – which will be released on September 8 via Manchester’s independent label, Long Run Entertainment, LLC – is available for pre-order now on Amazon. While it’s primarily a solo album, Manchester did recruit one very special fella to join her on The Fellas:Barry Manilow duets with her on a jubilant “For Me and My Gal,” a tribute to Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, who performed the 1942 movie’s title track. Manilow and Manchester met 40 years ago when they were young jingle singers trying to break into show business. Manilowintroduced her to Bette Midler, who recruited Melissa to become a founding member of the Harlettes.
She will launch The Fellas with a performance/record release party at Birdland in New York City on September 11 and a September 22 performance with the Blue Note Orchestra at the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance, CA. Proceeds from the gala fundraiser/CD release party in Torrance will benefit Art Attack, a charity founded by Bea Arthur that provides lessons and scholarships to young artists who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity. Manchester will also perform in Atlanta on August 28 at the “Concert For America,” which will raise funds for national organizations working to protect civil rights. See below for itinerary. Tickets are available HERE.
Manchester’s remarkable career will be celebrated with the September 8 release of THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE: The Complete Arista 7” Singles (Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records). The 43-song set of her singles (both A and B sides) includes such hits as “Midnight Blue,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” the GRAMMY-winning “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” and the Oscar-nominated “Theme from Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love).”
Melissa Manchester – Tour Dates
8/19 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Smith Center (2 shows)
8/28 – Atlanta, GA @ Ferst Center For The Arts – “Concert For America”
9/11 – New York, NY @ Birdland NYC – Record Release Party
9/16 – Monroe Township, NJ @ Monroe Township High School PAC
9/22 – Torrance, CA @ James Armstrong Theatre – CD release party/gala fundraiser for Art Attack
10/12 – Franklin, TN @ Franklin Theatre
10/13 – Evans, GA @ Hardin Performing Arts Center
10/14 – Pawley’s Island, SC @ Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art
12/3 – Denham Springs, LA @ Forest Grove Plantation