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Robert Neil Speaks with...

Nov 21, 2017

It was 1971, and a 25-year-old Barry Manilow was still a struggling musician and commercial jingles writer when he came up with a melody he felt was very special. That melody would become the song “Could It Be Magic,” which featured a chorus based on the chord changes in Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor.


“Could It Be Magic” had several early incarnations, including a version produced by a well-intending Tony Orlando that Manilow says thankfully didn’t become a hit. The behind the scenes story of how the song eventually became a Top 10 single – as well as Manilow’s unwavering belief that the song was something special – are detailed in this episode of Documenting Popular Music.