I love the music of Frederic Chopin. Seriously, there’s a piece by him I want to be played at my funeral. This must explain the affection for my favorite song by Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus; June 17, 1943).
The Wikipedia narrative, which matches Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles information:
Before Manilow’s well-known association with Bette Midler began at the Continental Baths in New York City in 1971, he recorded four tracks as Featherbed, leading a group of session musicians produced and arranged by Tony Orlando.
Three of the tracks, [including]… an early version of his own composition “Could It Be Magic”, all flopped on the charts, a fact for which Manilow himself is fond of saying he is eternally grateful… That was because the arrangement of “Could It Be Magic” was an uptempo pop tune. Manilow had arranged the tune as a classical piece that slowly built.
From the greatest hits Ultimate Manilow album liner notes:
The earliest song here that Manilow actually wrote was Could It Be Magic, which originally appeared on his 1973 debut album… “I thought I had come up with the coolest batch of chords in my composing experience,” he remembers. “And then I realized that before I had that glass of wine, I had been playing my Chopin preludes. And I wrote the song around the Chopin ‘Prelude in C Minor.” By 1975, Manilow was sufficiently hot that his magical collaboration with Chopin was released as a single and rose right into the Top Ten.
Or go to WhoSampled.com, linking to both the Chopin Prelude and Could It Be Magic, which went to #6 in 1975.