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Manchester looks 'down that road'

A 1970s pop diva returns to her roots after nearly two decades off to raise a family.

Published February 23, 2007


Fans of Melissa Manchester may note that they haven't seen or heard much from her in a while. There's a good reason for that.

In fact, there are several reasons.

The singer, who performs at the Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center on Saturday, was one of the 1970s' biggest pop divas. Although her career was defined by hits such as Don't Cry Out Loud, Midnight Blue and You Should Hear How She Talks About You, it became increasingly apparent by the close of the 1980s that her star was no longer on the rise.

A string of disappointing albums convinced Manchester that her career - and life - needed a course correction.

She took an 18-year break from recording, choosing instead to focus on acting and songwriting. Most important, the respite allowed her more quality time with her husband and children.

These days find the 55-year-old singer happily focused on presenting her music her way. Her latest album, When I Look Down That Road, marks a return to Manchester's roots as a singer-songwriter. She teamed up with Nashville notables such as Paul Williams, Beth Nielsen-Chapman, Rupert Holmes and Stephony Smith to create an album she says is deeply personal.

"The songs have a resonance and honesty to them that I'm proud of," said Manchester. "I wouldn't have dreamed of making a record like this 20 years ago for fear of it being immediately rejected. I don't have those fears anymore."

If you go

Melissa Manchester

Melissa Manchester will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are $22 to $32 and available online at or by phone at (727) 816-3707 (limited hours) or at the box office one hour before the show.

[Last modified February 22, 2007, 23:24:52]

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