Barry Manilow is coming to the River Center on January 29. I last saw him live in 1976. It was so different then...

His songs were all over the radio. He was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live when Howard Cosell hosted and he was coming to the LSU Assembly Center (now known as the Maravich Assembly Center or the P-Mac) in Baton Rouge.

The date of the Barry Manilow concert was October 29, 1976. A bunch of girls I lived with in Bonin dorm at UL (or USL at the time) wanted to go. There was no internet, no Ticketmaster, no 800 number and nobody had a credit card anyway. Luckily, one of my dorm-mates was from Baton Rouge and had a friend at LSU, so we asked her to get us tickets. (She's the same person who got our Eagles tickets for us when they played the following month.)

She got in line at the Assembly Center very early in the morning and was able to get us front row seats! Our little posse included eighteen to twenty-two year olds from around Louisiana and one friend from Boston, Ginny, who was in graduate school at UL, far from home and missing those Massachusetts autumn leaves.

When Barry Manilow sang 'Weekend in New England,' she totally lost it and so did the rest of us! He also did all his radio hits including 'Mandy,' 'It's a Miracle,' 'I Write the Songs,' 'Looks Like We Made It' and and so many more, including the commercials!

Call me a wienie, but that was one of the best concerts ever. When a performer gives as much as he did and still manages to surprise an audience with his talent and passion the way he did that night, you have to just love it! Does he still have it? Yes, he does! Read this review of his recent show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The public on-sale for the Baton Rouge show is tomorrow, but you can buy tickets today if you know the password. (It's FANILOW.)