Did Barry Manilow really not write “I Write the Songs?”

Nope! Despite the musical declaration “I am music / And I write the songs,” Manilow didn’t write “I Write the Songs,” which hit #1 in 1975—or his two other #1 singles, “Mandy” and “Looks Like We Made It.” “I Write the Songs” was actually penned by Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys—and was recorded by the Captain and Tennille and David Cassidy before Manilow got his hands on it, which is some sort of strange ’70s light-rock trifecta. Manilow did, however, cowrite at least some of the songs that make the young girls cry, including “Copacabana (At the Copa),” “I Made It Through the Rain,” and the State Farm commercial jingle, “Like a Good Neighbor.”

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)