Singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester introduces a new song she wrote titled "A Better Rainbow" in remembrance of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school students and faculty who were shot and killed last year in Parkland.
With concerts throughout South Florida through Feb. 17, Manchester says she hopes her song sends a message.
"I was very moved by the 'March Of Our Lives' movement led by the students and wrote 'A Better Rainbow' to encourage everyone to use the opportunity to vote and exercise your right to be heard on the most important issues of our lives via the ballot box," says Manchester.
"I felt the sense of urgency to write this song and hope it inspires all of us to act on our beliefs by voting, a sacred right we have in our country that can't be taken for granted."
Rather than overtly talking about her views or politics, Manchester expresses her feelings through her songs over her almost 50 year career.
Many of Manchester's self-written songs, such as "Come in From The Rain" and "Midnight Blue," became major hit songs, as well as songs of other writers that she recorded, such as "Don't Cry Out Loud," "Through The Eyes Of Love," and "You Should Hear How She Talks About You."
"The songs represent my journey, and those of my fans (that she calls Fanchesters) with heartfelt lyrics that have stood the test of time. I always enjoy singing these songs as well as new ones that I have written."
Manchester also inspires young students to learn music, as she currently is an adjunct professor of music at the University of Southern California Thornton School Of Music.
Manchester has inspired students in South Florida, speaking at the Young Artists Foundation in Miami during her current tour and was honored by the faculty and students for her achievements in music in 2017 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
"When I was 15, I took a course in songwriting from Paul Simon that inspired me and I hope to inspire others who have talent in music."
The 67-year-old Manchester grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City. Her father played bassoon with the Metropolitan Opera and her mother was a dress designer and manufacturer.
She started working as a songwriter as a teen of 15 and had her first big break when she started writing commercial jingles and met fellow jingle writer Barry Manilow.
Manilow became musical director for Bette Midler, and hired Manchester to sing as one of three back up singers to Midler with "The Harlettes" in 1971.
Manchester scored her first hit song "Midnight Blue" in 1975. In addition to writing songs and performing in concerts, Manchester also wrote the music for the musicals "Hats! The Musical" and "The Sweet Potato Queens" and acted in the television comedy series "Blossom" and the film "For The Boys," which starred Bette Midler.
"I said to Bette (Midler) jokingly when she asked if I would sing backup to her that 'I preferred to sing instead of you' when I was hired."
Melissa Manchester performs on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. Huntington Pointe Theatre, 6251 N. Oriole Blvd., Delray Beach at 7 pm. Tickets are $30. 561-496-3801. Also on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. at Valencia Cove Clubhouse, 8430 Blue Mountain Ave., Boynton Beach. Tickets are $30. Tel: 561-877-8631. And Sunday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., Bellaggio Clubhouse, 6525 Bellaggio Lakes Blvd.in Lake Worth at 8 pm. Tickets are $30.Tel: 561-439-8211
To order tickets online and for more information, go to melissamanchester.com