In 1989, singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester paid tribute to classic female singers such as Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand who inspired her growing up in New York City’s Upper West Side with the album “Tribute.” With the release of “The Fellas” last week, Manchester gives male crooners like Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis their due.
“These were the songs I heard as a child, this was what was on the radio, this is what serenaded us, my family and I, at dinner time,” Manchester said.
Manchester celebrates the release of “The Fellas” Friday, Sept. 22, at a gala concert at the James R. Armstrong Theatre in Torrance. The event is also a benefit for the Art Attack Foundation, a South Bay nonprofit that offers scholarships and outreach programs in all areas of the performing arts.
Manchester said that for every song on the album, there were “40 other choices.”
“For each artist I wanted to capture their journey, or capture their spirit, or the times they lived in, or simply capture the style of music they are known for,” Manchester said.
“The Fellas” was recorded with the 40-piece Blue Note Orchestra, featuring students, alumnus and faculty from Citrus College. As a honorary artist in residence at the college, Manchester also recorded her 2015 album, “You Gotta Love Life” with Robert Slack, co-producer and Citrus College Dean of Visual and Performing Arts.
With “The Fellas,” Manchester covers songs like “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” “Love is Just Around the Corner,” “Night and Day” and Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.”…
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