[Grace Jones' Birthday Party]
June 20, 1989
Barry Manilow tells his mom:
This is the porn star I want to marry
By John Stratford
Mama’s boy Barry Manilow has stunned his family, friends and fans by announcing he plans to marry.
Apparently he means it, because he’s brought his girlfriend home to meet his mother.
But, to put it mildly, Manilow’s choice of a bride would seem to be a mother’s nightmare. His intended is Robin Byrd, a former porn star who hosts a raunchy after-midnight cable TV show and often struts suggestively before the cameras in scanty undies.
"There’s no accounting for what turns a guy on," says a friend of Manilow, 43, and his mother, Edna. "He met Robin at a birthday party for Grace Jones and it was love at first sight.
"At first, Barry had no idea what Robin did for a living," adds the friend. "He rarely watches late-night TV. After his shows, which end at about 11 p.m., he has dinner, then goes to sleep.
"All Barry knew was that he was attracted to Robin right away. Their eyes met across a crowded room and that was that. It was like a movie – or a Barry Manilow love song."
The friend continues: "Barry has managed to sidestep the alter since one brief marriage many years ago. But he has a live-in love, Linda Allen, back home in Los Angeles.
"It’s going to be interesting when he tries to explain Robin to Linda." Robin, 31, told the singer what she does for a living after their first date. "He was shocked," says the friend, "but he kept his cool. He thought it over and decided that Robin could do anything she pleased – even if it didn’t agree with his personal morals."
When Manilow finally saw Robin’s television show, he was surprised – but nothing cooled his ardor. "Barry even introduced Robin to his mother backstage at a concert," says Manilow’s friend. "He said Robin was his ‘future wife,’ There aren’t many girls who have ever been introduced to Edna. Barry obviously wanted mom’s stamp of approval.
"Edna wasn’t aware that Robin nearly bares all on a TV show. She was just happy Barry had found someone to watch over him. Edna’s hoping maybe the union will fulfill her greatest wish – a grandchild."
Robin’s TV show is a cable hit in New York City. "Many of her dancer-guests are X-rated movie stars," says the friend. As host, Robin often wears a black-knit G-string. At the end of each show, she does a sexy dance with her guests, often tearing off their underclothes.
"If Barry decides to appear, he might have to bare it all," continues their friend. "Edna would find that absolutely hilarious. And if her son decides that Robin is the one he wants to make his nest with, she’ll support both of them all the way."
Robin also does an exercise show called Modern Woman, has been a guest on other talk shows, and is buddy-buddy with outspoken comedian Sandra Bernhardt, who’s Madonna’s outrageous gal pal.
NEW YORK POST
July 16, 1989
Cable’s very own queen of porn
By Irene Lacher
Robin Byrd wants you to believe – and she’s saying this with a straight face – that she and Barry Manilow are a hot item.
And if you don’t believe her, how about the Star magazine, which revealed all in a story gleefully titled – "Barry Manilow tells his mom: This is the porn star I want to marry."
Byrd’s own account is somewhat less breathless. "Stephen Saban was sitting with me at Grace Jones’ birthday party. We were asking when we could eat. They said, ‘As soon as Barry Manilow walks through the door.’ He came in, spotted me and said, ‘I’m your biggest fan. Will you marry me?’ I said, ‘Do you mind if I take you around the block a few times to try you out?’ He was pretty serious."
Is that really, really, really true?
"I met his mom. I’ll marry him for the fun of it. I mean, wouldn’t you? I know it sounds like my PR person and his PR person got together. It wasn’t like that at all, at all. It’s real serious."
"Is she really saying that?" says Manilow’s publicist, who passed on the singer’s comment that talk of marriage was "all in fun." Which could explain why Byrd hasn’t gotten the ring. "I believe in long courtships," she says dewily.
And lastly, here are a series of photos of Barry and Robin. They appear to have been taken in the early '90s, judging by Barry’s glasses and hairstyle. But I’m not positive on the date.
Originally posted 12/06/2007 11:13:00 AM