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In The Shadows, Legends – Barry Manilow, Israel-Hamas

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2023 4:01 pm

In The Shadows, Legends – Barry Manilow, Israel-Hamas

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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October 29, 2023 4:01 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, Jim Axelrod talks with a sideman musician, backup ballplayer and Broadway understudy about their roles performing just outside of stardom. Plus: Martha Teichner interviews former President Barack Obama about a new film that spotlights Bayard Rustin, a marginalized figure in the 1960s civil rights movement; David Pogue profiles singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, who has composed a Broadway musical, "Harmony"; Erin Moriarty talks with an intersex activist; Seth Doane meets volunteers supporting the families of those taken hostage by Hamas; Lee Cowan looks at how Americans are reacting to yet another mass shooting, this time in Lewiston, Maine; and Conor Knighton finds out how a Texas millionaire, concerned about threats to the natural habitat of bats, constructed a manmade bat cave on his ranch.

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That's Amazon.com slash true crime ad-free to catch up on the latest episodes without the ads. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. The World Series is underway this weekend, something many a little eager dreams of taking part in, not unlike a young performer longing to see their name in lights. The fact is, few will end up achieving those lofty heights.

Most likely, they'll remain in the shadows. But as Jim Axelrod will show us, it turns out stardom is sometimes secondary. What do Billy Joel's sax player, a Broadway understudy, and a backup major league catcher have in common? They've all built satisfying careers just outside the spotlight. What's the biggest mistake a sideman can make?

Thinking more important than the name on the marquee. The unsung heroes who thrive as supporting players, coming up on Sunday Morning. Pop superstar Barry Manilow once had a supporting role, too. Once upon a time, he played the piano for other singers. Now he's on Broadway with David Pogue. Hey, but it's daybreak.

If you wanna believe it can be daybreak. Barry Manilow has sold 85 million records and had more than 50 top 40 hits. And yet... I didn't understand why anybody would like what I was doing on that stage. I was comfortable behind the piano. Now he's bringing a musical to Broadway, 30 years in the making.

Ahead on Sunday Morning. It's known as intersex. A person whose gender doesn't conform to traditional notions of male or female. And while you might believe it's rare, being intersex is more common than you might think. Erin Moriarty speaks with some intersex people asking not for treatment, but for acceptance.

I'm one year here and a month old. Pigeon Bagoness doesn't fit into any neat little box. When you encounter a form that asks for gender, male or female, what do you put down? Many times I've just made my own box and put intersex and then put a check mark there.

What it means to be intersex. Later on Sunday Morning. Once again this morning we'll have the latest on the fighting in the Middle East. Lee Cowan looks back at another week of terrible gun violence, this time in Maine.

Martha Teichner introduces us to an unsung hero of the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin. And more on this last Sunday of the month, October 29th, 2023. We'll be back after this. Turning to the internet to self-diagnose our inexplicable pains, debilitating body aches, sudden fevers and strange rashes. Though our minds tend to spiral to worst case scenarios, it's usually nothing. But for an unlucky few, these unsuspecting symptoms can start the clock ticking on a terrifying medical mystery. Like the unexplainable death of a retired firefighter whose body was found at home by his son, except it looked like he had been cremated. Or the time when an entire town became ill with nausea and chills and the local doctor chalked it up to being food poisoning until people started jumping from buildings and seeing tigers on their ceilings. Each terrifying true story will be sure to keep you up at night. Follow Mr. Bollin's Medical Mysteries wherever you get your podcasts.

Prime members can listen early and ad-free on Amazon Music. Among those who dream of stardom, be it on stage, the screen or at the ball field, only a handful actually become the famous names we've come to know. But backing them up are still talented, still dedicated performers and athletes forging thriving careers in the shadows.

Jim Axelrod has their story. For the last four decades, Mark Rivera has been bringing down the house as Billy Joel's saxophone player. Taking over the show with his solos on classics like New York State of Mind.

There's no feeling like it in the world. That's my moment to step into the light. But at the same time, okay, I go back and back into the shadow. The shadow.

After half a century backing up headliners. Do I mind the shadow? None at all. Rivera's got something to teach the rest of us about life lived not in the spotlight, but as the title of his recent book suggests, just to the side of it. It's knowing where your place is. That's very important to know where your place is in life.

What's the biggest mistake a sideman can make? Thinking more important than the name on the on the marquee overstepping your job description, thinking that your role is greater than it is. But no kid grows up dreaming of the shadows. They dream of the spotlight. I think you find honor in what you do every day.

Best selling author Tim Brown has also been thinking about some unsung heroes who operate mostly in the shadows, not just in music, he says, but sports, entertainment and everyday life. Even if it's not the entire dream, you can still be great at what you need to get done today. You can still feed whatever it is inside of you and go to bed that night thinking, OK, I was my best self today. Is it the whole dream? No.

Is it pieces of the dream? Yeah. Brown's latest book examines backup catchers. Major League Baseball's version of a sideman told through the eyes of a retired catcher named Eric Kratz. You're there to give the number one guy a day off. How important is it to wrestle your ego to the ground? So important. I think that's so important.

You can't have your ego out in front. Kratz built a long, satisfying career doing something he loved, playing 11 seasons for 14 major league organizations. The longevity you had in Major League Baseball was built on a foundation of being OK with not being a superstar. One hundred percent.

One hundred percent. Once he realized his talent would only take him so far and nowhere near stardom, he created value with a team first attitude. So while I'm only playing in a third of the games, I'm there every single day.

I'm working out just as hard to get ready for the game so that when I do play at my completely average level, it is the best that I can be for those 26 guys. What this comes down to is finding out who you are, whatever that is, and being the best at it that you can be. It's a lesson in finding contentment built on a foundation of humility.

Humility has nothing to do with your achievements. It's about feeling for the rest of us. And gratitude.

Gratitude for where you are, who you are, what you're becoming, even if it's not all you want it to be. There are lessons to what you learn talking to backup catchers that have great value even outside a baseball stadium. Be a part of the team and take pride and pleasure in that.

You'll work a long time and you'll find personal satisfaction. I think that's true on a baseball field. It's true on a Broadway stage.

It's true at the Hollywood Bowl. Broadway. Beyond your wildest dreams as a kid? Beyond my wildest dreams, absolutely.

That's the word. Kayla Pecchione is walking, talking, singing, dancing, proof of Tim Brown's point. At 31, she's just getting started on Broadway.

As an understudy in the musical Paradise Square, Kayla brought the audience to its feet when she subbed for the lead. Doesn't part of you, after that experience, think to yourself, I want more of that? Yeah. Yeah.

It has to, right? Like when you have that highlight on you, it's such a beautiful moment. But she's a prodigy when it comes to how she pursues her career and something as finicky and elusive as stardom.

I'm just wondering what your thoughts are about how you suggest we all find a degree of happiness even though we can't be the star. Have you ever heard of the term glimmers? Glimmers are small moments in life that make you appreciative of very everyday mundane things. And I think a superpower of mine is to see the glimmers.

And as Mark Rivera will tell you, there are plenty of glimmers to be found, even in the shadows. You played with these legends and yet somebody might reasonably say, I wonder if this much of his brain does that much. Even given all he's done. Wonder why he wasn't the front man. Been there. Have a better gig. Have a much better gig.

A gig he never plays without those essential component parts Tim Brown's identified. Humility and gratitude. The more grateful I become or the more grateful I feel for the opportunity to step into the light and to realize the humility takes me back out of the light. I love what I do.

I genuinely love what I do. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. And while we recall the images and the impact, we may not remember some of those who helped turn the dream into reality.

Which brings us to Bayard Rustin and Martha Teichner. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his I have a dream speech, the sea of peaceful people, 250,000 black and white together.

Say March on Washington. This is the snapshot history has saved from that August day in 1963. Now, look there. The man just behind Dr. King. He's Bayard Rustin. Who, you say? Bayard Rustin, the strategist who organized the march, a singular transformative moment for the civil rights movement. The first demand is that we have effective civil rights legislation, no compromise, no filibuster.

At the end of the march, he read a list of demands. But who remembers? Today, it's as if his name has been erased.

What do you say? Everybody needs to know who this man is. He should be taught in every school. George C. Wolfe is trying to make that happen. How do you think we should regard Bayard Rustin? As an American hero who not only contributed heavily to one of the most significant, you know, peaceful demonstrations that has ever happened in this country, but a man who also wrote the book on how to stage such an event.

Lord, I hope and pray they come today. Wolfe is the director of Rustin. A producer of the film is higher ground. Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama's production company. Our new offices.

The third floor is uninhabitable, so we'll be all on top of each other down here. In theaters this week, on Netflix November 17th, the film stars Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin. We are going to put together the largest peaceful protest in the history of this nation. It tells the story behind the march. Officially, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This was the real office where Rustin and a small staff pulled the march together in less than two months.

The Harlem brownstone called the Utopia neighborhood clubhouse. Bayard was the real general here and he acted like a general, telling us all what to do, what to do and how to do it. You needed an organizer, but you needed somebody with charisma to make you want to follow him.

That was his gift. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington D.C.'s delegate in Congress, then a student at Yale Law School, was tasked with finding buses to bring people to the march. What did it feel like that day?

It was the most gratifying day I can ever remember. Without him, there wouldn't have been the march. Without the march, there wouldn't have been the movement. Without the movement, you wouldn't have had the 64 Civil Rights Act, the 65 Voting Rights Act. That's pretty big.

That's as big as it gets, I think. The week after the march, there he was on the cover of Life magazine. So how could a man that important be marginalized? Bayard was one of these people that had a lot of baggage. He was a member of the Young Communist League when he was young. He was a pacifist during World War II, went to jail, and he was a gay man.

Walter Nagel was his partner for 10 years before Rustin's death in 1987 at 75. Being gay was kind of like the nail in the coffin. So I think it had a tremendous impact on his ability to rise within the movements where he worked.

On the day that I was born black, I was also born a homosexual. Here's the man who convinced Martin Luther King to embrace nonviolence as a tactic. Yes, Bayard Rustin, fired by his close friend.

We thank you for your many years of service. The great civil rights leader of the United States panics. This is a homophobic society we have to remember that King is living in. And he fears blowback on the movement, on the civil rights movement.

He fears blowback on himself. Michael Long has written extensively about Rustin. Where did Bayard Rustin's pacifism and interest in nonviolence come from? From his grandmother primarily, Julia Rustin. She reared him in Westchester, Pennsylvania. His grandmother was a Quaker. When somebody asked him why he did what he did, he would often say, because I'm a Quaker. And because I believe in equality, human dignity, the unity of the human family, and peace.

Nobody knows the trouble I see. That's Bayard Rustin, singing on an album of spirituals. And believe it or not, Elizabethan songs. He collected art, antiques, walking sticks. The same Bayard Rustin, whose involvement in nonviolent protest got him beaten. He was arrested over 20 times, jailed. After the March on Washington, Rustin makes the case that activists should move from street protests to the corridors of power and practice politics. But the movement didn't necessarily see eye to eye with Rustin on that strategy for going forward.

No. He was opposed to the Black Power movement, and even black studies programs, arguing they further isolated black people. And it all cost him. But now, history has begun to take another look at Bayard Rustin. This was symbolic of kind of bringing Bayard in from the shadows, where he had been for so many years, and acknowledging his contribution. In 2013, 50 years after the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Today we honor Bayard Rustin's memory by taking our place in his march towards true equality. What I thought was important, and Michelle is the reason that we were interested in this story, was this reminds us that the fight for justice is typically not just about one group of people or another group of people.

It's often, in tandem, we have to figure out how do we lift up all people. The former president sat down with us last week to discuss Rustin and the film he co-produced about him. You were an organizer before you were a politician. To see somebody who could bring the kind of strategic sense that helped to organize some of the seminal moments in the early civil rights movement, to learn about someone like that did inspire me.

Now, I have to make a very clear caveat here. I never was able to organize as good as he, but it did get me thinking about my own role as somebody who could maybe work at a grassroots level and change the country from the bottom up. Do you think after the film comes out, worldwide, people will no longer say, Bayard who? My hope is that he gets the credit that is due to him. What I hope Rustin achieves is to remind this new young generation of activists how much they can accomplish. Bayard Rustin has been credited with coining the phrase, speaking truth to power. He did that all his life. Too many times we've had to bring you the story that follows.

Too many times, too many dead. Here's Lee Cowan. Maine. It is indeed postcard perfect.

But it's not just lobster boats and craggy coastlines. The town of Lewiston, Maine, used to be known as the site of one of the most famed boxing matches of all time. Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston. What happened in that ring was about as violent as things get around here. You know how many people were murdered in Lewiston in all of last year? Three.

But in one night, a gunman gave the Lewiston area the sad distinction of being the site of the country's deadliest mass shooting so far this year. Eighteen victims. Thirteen more injured.

Husbands, wives, children. Just everybody pray. Pray for those that are hurt. Pray for the families that have a loss. As grim as it was, it was made worse by the fact that the killer was nowhere to be found. Residents were afraid to leave their homes until the perpetrator was finally found dead himself on Friday night.

It took two days, but we found him and everybody could sleep good last night. But at what point does a mass shooting not become news anymore? The pictures and the pain, they're no different than anywhere else that's happened. The makeshift memorials, the signs of strength, they're now as predictable as our tears. Author and Maine native Stephen King put the recurring horror this way in a post. The cycle is now complete.

Until next time, rinse and repeat. Mike Brown, coach of the Sacramento Kings, summed up the hopelessness felt all across the country in every corner of our lives. I don't even want to talk basketball. I'm sorry. Like, we played a game.

It was fun. Obviously we won, but if we can't do anything to fix this, it's over. It's over. Maine's marks the 565th mass shooting just this year. A never-ending backdrop of violence that's wearing us all down. Do you tend to see more patients after events like this?

Oh yeah, absolutely. It activates vulnerabilities. Emanuel Medenburg is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA. When people talk about, though, that sense of feeling numb to it all, what does that tell you? That's one of the protective reactions that we have.

It can be helpful in the short run, but at times it persists and then it becomes not helpful. The problem is, is that even though mass shootings take up only a tiny fraction of the annual firearm deaths in this country, they still take up a pretty big chunk of our public consciousness. We look over our shoulders, perhaps more than we even realize it. Some of us even avoid the kind of places where shootings have happened, but that's impossible, of course, because they happen everywhere. From schools to grocery stores to a bowling alley.

What are your questions? We've been churning this nightmarish stuff around in our heads for decades now. I am actually the same age as the suspect in this case, and we were in high school when Columbine happened. Jennifer Rooks is a co-host of Maine Collin. I mean, I think we're all grieving, whether we knew somebody or not.

Our hearts are just broken. It's a live Collin radio show in Portland, Maine. Coller called in and he used the word refuge. He said, we're supposed to be a refuge. People are supposed to come here from other places to seek refuge. Rooks began her broadcast the morning after the shooting, just trying to hold it together.

I surprised myself. Now Maine has lost its innocence, as we just heard from Governor Mills and law enforcement. You know, it's one thing to read the information or to watch the news, but to say out loud to an audience that 18 people are confirmed dead, it's entirely different when you open your mouth and try to say it as though it's just a fact.

But that's what mass shootings have become. The fact of life in this country that leaves us all, if not on edge, at least uncomfortably aware. What's your advice to people who do feel a sense of unease after events like this? I think examining it, trying to understand what makes you feel uneasy, put it into words. Speak it out loud.

Speak it out loud or write it down. I've asked some of the same questions you probably have. Seems small, but whatever helps us cope can be valuable. The better angels of ourselves do blossom, though, in the wake of such tragedies. Kindness, love, support and friendship, those are also constant. And if nothing else, in this growing chain of sorrow, for that at least, we can be grateful.

People care. In recent years, we've come to understand that rigid definitions of gender don't always apply. That may be truest of all for the intersex. Those born into bodies that aren't clearly male or female.

Erin Moriarty has their story. This is probably one of the only pictures I have of my body before it was, I mean, when it was still intact. When Pidgin-Bagonis was born in a Chicago hospital 37 years ago, the doctors saw something that alarmed them. I was born looking female on the outside, and then it was discovered that on the inside of my body, I had not completely the parts that would be considered female. Pidgin, whose birth name is Jennifer, looked like a little girl. But instead of ovaries, there were internal testes. And instead of XX chromosomes, Pidgin had the male XY combination. Pidgin-Bagonis was born intersex. You're not alone. There are thousands, maybe millions of people just like you. Yes. According to statistics cited by the United Nations, 0.05 to 1.7 percent of the worldwide population is intersex.

That's roughly the amount of people in the state of Minnesota combined, or the country of Japan. It's common enough that the word appears in the Oxford English Dictionary, defined as a person having external or internal sexual organs that are not clearly male or female. Did anyone use the word intersex with your parents? No. No, they never did.

With them or with me. Instead, doctors followed what had long been the medical practice in this country to make Pidgin look more physically female. And that meant surgeries. At 13 months old, the testes were removed. Although that's not, Pidgin says, quite how doctors described it to her parents. They said, oh your daughter, she has these things called gonads, which are kind of like undeveloped ovaries. And so these undeveloped ovaries will turn cancerous if we leave them in, and so let's just take them out now so that cancer can never happen later in life. There were more surgeries at age four, and again at age 12, when the preteen was asked to consent to a procedure known as a vaginoplasty. The surgery, which Pidgin says was cosmetic, left scar tissue and pain.

My parents were believing what these doctors said, which was, we're going to give your kid the best life possible, everything's going to be great, and it wasn't the truth. There have always been people with intersex traits, but until recently, the term used to describe them was hermaphrodite, from Greek mythology. It's actually a creature, a winged creature, not a person. Elizabeth Ries is a professor at the City University of New York, and has written a book about the history of intersex in America. She says those with ambiguous sex characteristics were seen as freakish and often feared. In early America, they really thought of hermaphrodites as monstrous, and that it must have been something, you know, Satan probably had a hand in it.

As medical science advanced, she says, and anesthesia became available, doctors began to use surgery to fix what they saw as a disorder. They thought that if people were unsure of their own sex, then they might have romantic inclinations towards the wrong sex, and they really wanted to avoid homosexuality. Doctors believed surgery was best done early, before a patient knew he or she was intersex. In the sexual differentiation of the human embryo... Based on research conducted in the 1950s by psychologist John Money at Johns Hopkins University. John Money said the best time to deal with this is at infancy. The gender has not emerged yet, so babies are malleable.

You could change their genitals, you could later on give them hormones, you could basically raise them in the gender that you thought was the most appropriate, and everything would be fine. But it didn't always turn out fine, says Professor Rees. I know people who found out much later what happened in their family. Secrecy can be devastating in that way, to find out something about yourself that the doctors told your parents, you know, don't tell.

That secrecy is a central theme in Pigeon's memoir, Nobody Needs to Know. At age 18 while in college, Pigeon finally saw her medical records. Saw the words male first, that's what stuck out to me.

Male pseudo hermaphrodite, 46 XY. I remember looking in the mirror like, I did this, I pulled my hair back, and I was like studying my face, and I was just like, am I a boy? Was I born a boy, and then they like somehow made me a girl for some reason, and I just was so confused. I don't know how to explain that feeling.

It's like, say you had a compass, and you were in the forest, now that compass broke, and it's dark, and you don't know what's going on anymore, and you are completely lost. It was also tough for Pigeon's parents, who had consented to surgeries over the years, that doctors told them were needed for their child to have a normal life. It's really hard for them.

They have to live with thinking they did the right thing, but living with the fact that I've grown up to feel that that wasn't the right thing, but I don't blame them. Intersex conditions have been for a long time medicalized and made into a disorder by the medical community. Urologist Dr. Eileen Wong, as a surgical resident in 2008, once performed the same type of surgery Pagonis had as an infant. She now believes the medical community has failed intersex patients. The thing that's so horrific about the surgeries that were performed in intersex children for cosmetic purposes is just that their outcomes are incredibly poor. Complication rates probably greater than 50%, resulting in scarring, resulting in chronic pain. Pigeon now wonders what life would have been like without the surgeries.

Because the testes that provide hormones were removed, Pigeon was diagnosed with osteoporosis in her mid-20s. All that what they do when they quote-unquote fix you and quote-unquote make you normal is set you up for an abnormal experience of this life. Don't you think these doctors also thought your life might be easier if you fit that image of being a female?

Yes, sure, they probably do. But I would love to have a doctor sit here with me today and I would say, if I cut off your penis to make you into what I think is a normal girl, because I think your life would be easier, how would you feel about that, sir? We have an extreme physician. Pigeon has become an activist in the intersex community, determined to end unnecessary surgeries on intersex infants. No justice, no peace, no intersex surgeries. In 2020, the hospital that performed pigeon surgeries, Lori Children's in Chicago, issued a statement that said in part, this approach was harmful and wrong and we apologize and are truly sorry. So these bills that are being called anti-trans should also, please tell your friends, should also be called anti-intersex. Pigeon Pagones is hoping that the word once rarely said aloud will now become part of the conversation. There's a lot of intersex people who identify as a woman or as a man, but me, I'm happy identifying as intersex and same with my gender.

My gender is non-binary. Pop music superstar Barry Manilow is taking on a brand new role, composer of a Broadway musical. That after a career which has truly made him a legend, David Pogue tells us no one is more surprised than Barry Manilow himself. If you were around during the 70s and 80s, you can probably sing along with many of Barry Manilow's 50 top 40 hits.

Like Could It Be Magic, Mandy, Looks Like We Made It, and of course, Copacabana. He's sold 85 million records. He's won a Tony, a Grammy, and an Emmy, and In honor of 14 years and 637 shows, bring me the Elvis record. He's now performed more times in Las Vegas than Elvis Presley. All of this came as a huge surprise to Barry Manilow. I didn't understand why anybody would like what I was doing on that stage.

What's your theory? I've never figured it out. Really?

I've never figured it out. But maybe we should start at the beginning. Here, in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, in the fourth floor walk-up where he came of age. Right there was my little bedroom up there.

Wow! Very top floor. Were you poor? Oh, yeah. I had nothing. This is it, what you're looking at.

Poor, beyond poor. These are not good memories. I want you to know these are not good memories. But then, his stepfather Willie entered the picture. He brought a stack of albums that may as well have been a stack of gold. Because I'd never heard music like that from Broadway musicals, classical music, great jazz and pop singers. Then Willie got me a little spin of piano and everything changed.

As soon as I hit the keys, I knew that this was going to be it for me. Manilow got a job at, of all places, CBS. But at night, he pursued his real passion, musical theater. I've never met people like that, theater people. They were smart and funny and witty and hip.

I just loved being with them. By 1971, Manilow was already making his mark. First, as the musical director for a young Bette Midler. And will never be here on me anymore. Then, as the composer of jingles like these.

I am stuck on band-aid friends because band-aid's stuck on me. I learned more doing these commercials than I learned anywhere because pop music is all about 15 and 30 second hooks. Those two years were my college. In 1973, a producer heard his voice on a demo tape and offered him a recording contract. I was the piano player. I was the arranger. I was getting the correct deal as a singer-songwriter. It was just ridiculous. But his audiences disagreed. Suddenly, Barry Manilow was a superstar. You know I can't smile when I...

Most people pray for success like that. I did not. It was big and it was very confusing to me. Especially because the fans and the critics seemed so far apart. The most hateful reviews, you would think that I had hurt their family. It just kept getting worse and worse and worse for a good 10 to 15 years. Barry Manilow showstoppers, Barry Manilow live.

Now there's a nightmare. Manilow didn't write all of his own hits. Some came from other songwriters pushed on him by the record companies. One of the songs he didn't write? I am music and I write the songs.

It took me a while to make friends with that song. I write the songs that make the whole world sing. It felt clumsy, but when I realized it was an anthem to the spirit of music. Oh, I can arrange an anthem. And you did arrange the hell out of it. Yeah.

I mean, you changed key three times? Yeah, but that's what you would do with an anthem. It's a worldwide symphony.

I write the songs that make the whole world sing. Over the decades, Manilow endured financial close calls, a couple of health scares, and the public revelation of his relationship with his manager, Gary Keefe, whom he married in 2014. You've been with Gary for 45 years. I mean, what's the secret?

The secret to 45 years is separate bathrooms. But pop music was never where his heart was. It just didn't challenge me enough. And maybe that's why, at age 80, Barry Manilow is about to unveil his first Broadway musical. So this is not Barry Manilow, the life story. No, no.

We're going to have to go through that problem. We were having dinner, and a woman came by and said, Excuse me for interrupting, but I'm so excited to see the show tonight, and I hope you sing I Write the Songs, because it's my favorite song. Manilow's longtime collaborator, Bruce Sussman, is the author and lyricist.

The show, called Harmony, opens in two weeks. It tells the true story of a local sextet, three Jews, three Gentiles, who became world famous just before World War II. In their day, they were the Beatles. They sold millions of records, they made 13 movies, and then in 1933, Hitler comes to power. It became illegal to sell their records or play them. The Nazis destroyed that stuff? Yeah. They were the poster children for what Germany could have been. Harmony, in the broadest sense of the word, that Jews and Gentiles could work together and create something so beautiful, that was not part of the Third Reich's agenda.

So they were just wiped out. Manilow and Sussman have been tinkering with this show for 30 years. You can do it!

You can do it! This is your chance! And the Fanilows may be surprised to hear the breadth of music that Manilow can write when he's not confined by pop song conventions.

But he did sneak at least one pop melody into the show. It's called Every Single Day. Every single day. We'll remember what we do today. We'll remember what we do today. We didn't say that. Words we didn't say. We'll remember. Look, we found a way. And we'll always, every single day.

Starting now. It's pretty, right? It's pretty great.

Barry Manilow may always think of himself as the guy behind the piano, but he's not complaining about the pop career that took him by surprise. This is an insane career that's happened to me. It's just an unbelievable, beautiful experience for this skinny guy from Brooklyn to have this kind of life. Now we turn to the Middle East. As the fighting goes on and on, hanging in the balance are the lives of the 200-plus hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza.

From our Seth Doan, A Closer Look. I will not rest and I will not sit and I will not cry until she comes back. He'll not cry until she comes back. He'll not cry? I don't want to be weak right now.

I want to get her back. Anat Shoshani's grandmother, 72-year-old Adina Moshe, was one of the more than 220 people taken hostage during the Hamas massacre on October 7th. Shoshani learned when a friend sent her this video. Probably there were also the people who murdered my grandfather just a few minutes before. You can see all these people cheering and watching. It's some kind of show. Like, here we got an old lady hostage, like a Jewish lady, so everyone is cheering. It's hard for me to watch, but I need to watch it. This is the reality.

I just have to fight her, no matter what. Adina and Said David Moshe lived in the now-destroyed kibbutz near Oz, about two miles from Gaza. They were together for 53 years.

They were in love like they just met. On their last day together, they'd barricaded themselves in their bomb shelter. My hero grandfather held the door handle for three hours, and terrorists couldn't open the door. They shot countless gunshots on the door. Her grandfather was shot multiple times and died in the shelter, while her grandmother was kidnapped through the exploded shelter window. Just down the street, Shoshani's uncle, his wife, and five little kids were in their shelter with invaders in the house.

They robbed everything on their way, and they had many times. They sat down. There was like a birthday cake for one of the children. They like opened it up, ate part of the cake.

It's like it's ridiculous. They survived and were able to communicate with the rest of the family. So for a while, Shoshani was optimistic until that clip surfaced the afternoon of the attack. They heard nothing from the government for three days. Someone from the army got in contact with us and officially informed us that she's kidnapped. But since then, nothing. Just complete silence. Nothing from the government at all?

Nothing. Is there support for families? There is support for families that comes from a volunteer community.

Part of this is printing photographs, posters. I realized that this is going to be my mission, so I started to pick up the phone and say, who can help me? That urgent help came in the form of 4,000 volunteers after David Zalmanovich dreamed up the Hostages and Missing Families Forum. In a country where more than 300,000 soldiers have been called to duty, here citizens are mobilizing, running this headquarters of sorts for the family members of hostages. Why are you, why is civil society doing this and not the government? First the government does it, but she does it very slow. He's using his office space, a once quiet we work for lawyers, and his contacts. I said, for God's sake, what can we do that was not done until now?

And it came to me. Physician Hagai Levine had been working on obesity and smoking issues, but now is focusing on which medications hostages need. The clock is ticking. Every moment that they don't get their essential drugs and there is no establishment of the connection with the families through the red cross, their lives are in danger. Daniel Shek plays a role in diplomatic efforts. Many hostages have dual citizenship. I used to be ambassador in Paris, but this guy just met the ambassador of Portugal.

And that was a meeting you put together? Yes. One of the family members pictured on Raz Matalon's shirt is an Israeli hostage with Portuguese citizenship. Three are dead, another, Elie, is missing. I pray to God to find Elie alive. We cannot stop, we cannot sleep, we cannot eat.

I'm doing everything I can. Psychological services are part of this too. That's where Anat Shoshani, her mother, sister and a grieving friend were, until being interrupted by yet another incoming rocket alert, sending everyone to a shelter. The common feeling here. Being together with other families.

Being together and like to embrace each other and we understand each other more than anyone else can understand us. This group formed from one that had been protesting the right wing government's judicial reforms and issued dividing Israelis until this common fight for the hostages. After 23 days, four have been freed. I don't feel personally that this is the first priority of the government. That the hostages are? Yeah, I feel the first priority is to just return fight to the Hamas and show them how strong we are.

Israel has ramped up its retaliation, pummeling the fenced-in Gaza Strip with airstrikes, killing more than 7,000 people according to Hamas, as a humanitarian crisis worsens. Do you want some revenge? Actually, no. What do I get? Is that what brings my grandfather back to life? No.

I don't think it can give me anything. I don't want to spend my life with hate in my heart. For now she's overwhelmed by other emotions, which poured out during a silent protest in Tel Aviv Thursday. It's a plea to not forget those held captive, with many worrying about what a ground incursion might mean. This is so hard to see everyone here and to realize that this is real and all those people are not here and we are. Sometimes it hits you. Earlier when you were talking you were telling me you try not to cry. Yeah. But somehow every time I get here and see all these people, they can feel my pain. In a region torn apart by decades of divisions, pain is one thing both sides share. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. by completing a short survey at wondery.com slash survey
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 16:09:30 / 2023-10-29 16:27:14 / 18

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