Marty’s career as a lyricist began when an unknown piano player (and his best friend), Barry Manilow, asked him to collaborate. Though they were born and raised just blocks apart, they actually met while working together in the CBS-TV mail room in New York.
Barry was determined to have a career in music, and they began by writing commercial jingles. This collaboration resulted in over 30 songs recorded by Barry, many of which have become standards of American popular song. These include “It’s A Miracle,” “This One’s For You,” “All the Time,” and “Even Now.”
Barry’s appearance on “Murphy Brown,” singing their first “real” song (“I Am Your Child “), attracted nation-wide media attention.
Today, “I Am Your Child ” serves as title and theme, of Rob Reiner’s “I Am Your Child Foundation.” The foundation (introduced with the “I Am Your Child” TV special, hosted by Tom Hanks), is dedicated to increasing awareness, of the critical importance of early childhood development.
“The Barry Manilow Songbook,” a musical revue featuring many of Marty and Barry’s most popular songs, premiered at the Mercury Theater in Chicago. Other productions of this very successful review, are currently being planned.
Some of their greatest hits, are included on the chart topping CD “Ultimate Manilow,” and on Barry’s CD, “2 Nights Live!,” and the recent “Greatest Songs of the 70’s.”
They are also featured on the multi-platinum DVD “Ultimate Manilow,” as well as “Manilow Live from Las Vegas,” “First and Farewell,” and the just-released “Legendary Greek Theatre Concert.”
“Barry Manilow: The First Television Specials,” a boxed set including five of Barry’s historic programs, has also just been released.
Their songs are featured on Barry’s critically acclaimed Concord CD, “Here at the Mayflower,” as well as Diane Schuur’s Concord release, “Midnight.”
Marty and Barry wrote 3 songs for Diane, including “I’ll Be There” (a duet with Brian McKnight, written with co-producer Eddie Arkin), and a song which quickly become Diane’s “theme” song, “Life Is Good.”
Spring 2012 saw the release of “Barry Manilow Live in London”. Marty and Barry’s song “Talk To Me” became their newest Top 10 Hit, reaching #8 on the charts.
With Steve Dorff, Marty wrote the Kenny Rogers classic, “Through the Years.”
These songs, along with recordings by Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Julio Iglesias, Frankie Valli, Dusty Springfield, Michael Crawford, Teddy Pendergrass, Dolly Parton, Davis Gaines, Daft Punk (Daft Punk?), and many others, have garnered Marty 35 gold and platinum albums, four BMI million-play awards, a 3 million-play award, and record sales in excess of 70 million units.
Marty’s collaborators have included Richard Kerr, Charlie Fox, Tom Snow, Michael Masser, Randy Goodrum, Ramon Arcusa, Stephen Schwartz, and Larry Grossman.
His first theatrical dialogue was written for the “Houdini” segment of the MGM Grand Hotel’s 47-million dollar production, “EFX.” The show (originally starring Michael Crawford, and later David Cassidy, Tommy Tune, and then Rick Springfield), also included his song “Tonight,” with music by Don Grady. Marty wrote eight additional lyrics for “EFX,” when the show was updated, a year after its opening. This remarkable entertainment, ran for a remarkable seven years.
Marty’s collaboration with Don Grady continued, and they wrote a new theme for Disney’s “Winnie The Pooh,” as well as the first eight volumes of Disney’s DVD series “Magic English,” songs for the first ever live-action interactive featurette on the DVD re-release of “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Sidekicks and Henchmen,” for Disney’s “Once Upon a Halloween,” (international release).
Marty and Don wrote and produced three complete CDs for Disney: “The Princess Tea Party Album,” “Disney’s Princess Christmas Album,” and “Disney’s Princess Party Album.” These albums featured the first new songs written for the legendary Disney Princesses… in a generation.
“Disney’s Princess Christmas Album” was re-released, to include another new song of theirs for Snow White, “Christmas Eve Dinner.”
“Tiana and Her Princess Friends,” featured their songs “I’m Happy,” sung by Cinderella, “A Rose is a Rose,” sung by Aurora.(“Where Do I Go from Here,” sung by Pocahontas was written with Larry Grossman).
Marty and Don also completed production of the first two episodes of the direct-to-DVD series “History’s Heroes” (“Patrick Henry” and “Paul Revere”), for American Animation Studios.
Marty will always treasure every moment he spent with Don Grady, and every note of every song, he wrote with Don Grady. Marty’s career… and his life… were forever blessed, by the grace and talent, of this beautiful man.
Marty received an Annie Award nomination for “We Are One,” from the Disney sequel to “The Lion King” – “Simba’s Pride,” and created lyrics for the score of another Disney sequel, “Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.”
Marty wrote lyrics AND music, for two CD’s (and companion DVD’s), for the widely popular children’s series, “Mommy and Me.”
Having succeeded Glen Frey at UCLA, Marty will teach his TWENTY-FIRST Master Class in songwriting in winter 2015.
For eleven years, he was honored to present (along with Concord Records), “The Hal Gaba Scholarship.” This scholarship was dedicated to Marty’s beloved friend and mentor, Hal Gaba, who’s enthusiasm and support, inspires every class.
Marty was very proud to have given the 2010 Keynote Address at the 2010 UCLA Extension Graduation ceremony. The event also included a song written by students of Marty’s 2010 Master Class.
In spring 2012, Marty taught his first Master Class in songwriting, at Hunter College in New York City.
“An Evening With Marty Panzer,” featuring songs, stories, and performances by many guest composers and artists (including John Boswell, David Burnham, Tami Damiano, Steve Dorff, Davis Gaines, Don Grady, Tessa Grady, Brian Lane Green, Larry Grossman, Phillip Ingram, Monica Mancini, Eric McCormack, Bobbi Page, Diane Schuur, and a special appearance by Barry Manilow), had its world premier at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles. This performance was a benefit for the Academy For New Musical Theatre.
The second performance of this show was at the Dean Lesher Center for the Arts, in Walnut Creek, California. Marty received the first “Foster A Dream Award”, at this benefit for the Foster A Dream organization.
The most recent sold-out productions of “An Evening With…,” (featuring more than a dozen Tony winning, and Tony nominated performers) was in New York City, on April 28th and 29th, 2012, at the TRIAD Theater.
The Premier of the NEW “Through The Years…An Evening With Marty Panzer,” was performed before an invited audience, November 8th, 9th, and 10th 2012, at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart Florida.
Spring 2010, brought the release of two new songs written by Marty; “The First Night Alone” on Kevin Odekirk’s album “Unheard,” and “How to Say Goodbye” (performed by Monica Mancini), released on Arturo Sandoval’s album “A Time for Love.”
All this, while he completes his book of observations and personal experiences in the world of popular music. This book will include many of his favorite lyrics.