Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | 8:58 a.m.
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It took 33 years, but Hilton headliner Barry Manilow finally picked up his 1976 gold statue Clio Awards when Madison Avenue’s top ad executives came to Las Vegas for their annual Clio ceremony held this year in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Barry won his statues back then, before he found stardom with Bette Midler, for Band-Aid and State Farm commercials. The ad agency had never listed him on the credits, although the Clio organization put them safely away for him. They remained safe on a shelf all those years without being presented. When the organization decided on Las Vegas for this year’s 50th anniversary ceremony, they nominated Barry for an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award -- and they remembered the two previous ones and decided that all three should be presented simultaneously.
Clio director Wayne Youkhana made the presentation of Best TV Commercial and Best Radio Jingle statues to Barry and the engraved glass Clio obelisk for his distinguished industry contributions. Before finding stardom thanks to Bette, Barry wrote jingles and music for dozens of top commercials. I knew him back then in Manhattan when he was a piano teacher for up-and-coming singers and supplementing his income with the ads!
Tomorrow here at Vegas DeLuxe, we’ll have our exclusive one-on-one interview with Barry as he ponders what decision to make when his Hilton contract here ends this year. Barry returns to the Hilton on Friday night to continue his run through May 30 and mark his annual world fan club convention with a special performance. He has his Palms Spring, Calif., neighbor and friend, actress Suzanne Somers, guest lecturing at the Hilton this weekend, and we’ll have our exclusive chat with her right here on Thursday, too!
Regular Las Vegas visitor Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and HDNet, also won an honorary Clio acknowledging his leadership role in Emerging Media. The other honorary Clio was awarded to Matthew Weiner, creator and producer of AMC’s award-winning hit Mad Men.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.