Life From Len Berman to Barry Manilow: A Hollywood Composer Reminisces

Photo: AFP

Randy Edelman has an extensive career as a composer and producer that spans half a century. He has written the score to over 100 Hollywood films, including The Mask, Gettysburg and Twins. He has written songs for artists like Dionne Warwick and Barry Manilow. He even composed the music NBC used for NFL football broadcasts in the mid-1990’s. Yet, as listeners discovered on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program, his greatest accomplishment may have been the time he spent as Len Berman’s bunkmate in a New Jersey Y camp as an eleven-year-old.

“I remember it,” Edelman told Riedel and a relieved Berman, who was sure the legendary composer had forgotten who he was. “I remember them throwing us in a lake, in that cold lake early in the morning, wow. But I do remember living in that tent with you, and we were the only ones in that tent. It was a tent with a wooden platform, but that’s what it was, basically.”

Barry Manilow had one of the biggest hits of his career in 1976 with an Edelman composition, “Weekend in New England.” He discussed the inspiration behind the song: “It’s sort of half-true. It’s about someone… a girl that I was with in college. It wasn’t at that time that I wrote the song, but it was kind of like looking back at it and kind of reminiscing about it. That’s what it’s about, a weekend in New England.”

Overall, Edelman has been quite happy with the success of his multi-faceted career. “I just kept at it and I’m still doing it now, exactly the same. That’s my story. I’ve had many big breaks, so to speak, but it’s kind of funny. I was able to kind of exist a little under the radar, and for me, that’s fantastic.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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