Barry Manilow Previews His NBC Special ‘A Very Barry Christmas’

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“Jingle bells.” “White Christmas.” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” For his latest concert special, the legendary Barry Manilow doesn’t write all the songs that make the whole world sing — but he performs the heck out of these holiday standards.

At 80, the crooner-composer is still going strong with a steady Las Vegas gig, a cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the new Broadway musical Harmony, and now A Very Barry Christmas. Manilow gives us a peek.

What’s the Very Barry scoop?

Barry Manilow: What I like most is that I figured out how to put in a handful of my hits with all the Christmas songs I’ve recorded over the years.

Barry Manilow in 'Barry Manilow - The Hits Come Home!' residency'

(Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Which hits?

I did a whole batch of them: “Mandy,” “Weekend in New England,” “Looks Like We Made It,” “I Write the Songs” and “Copacabana.”

What’s your spin on the Christmas tunes?

Because I’m an arranger, they’re not going to be the versions you expect. I can promise they’re full of joy, especially when little kids come onstage with Santa for my “Cornball Christmas Medley.”

Sounds like a highlight!

A boy who came up to my knees sings a great version of “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Do any celebrity guests join you onstage in Vegas?

Nope, just little old me.

Why do you call the show “feel-good”?

It’s always been my job to make people feel good. When the lights go down, they forget what’s going on [out in the world]. They sing and laugh and walk out feeling better than they did.

Barry Manilow’s A Very Barry Christmas, Monday, December 11, 10/9c,  NBC

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