Marty’s career as a lyricist began when an unknown piano player (and his great friend), Barry Manilow, asked him to collaborate. Though they were born and raised just blocks apart, they actually met while working together in the CBS-TV mail room in New York.
Barry was determined to have a career in music, and they began by writing commercial jingles. This collaboration resulted in over 30 songs recorded by Barry, many of which have become standards of American popular song. These include "It’s A Miracle," "This One’s For You," "All the Time," and "Even Now."
Barry’s appearance on Murphy Brown—singing their first 'real' song, "I Am Your Child—attracted nation-wide media attention.
Today, "I Am Your Child" serves as title and theme for Rob Reiner’s I Am Your Child Foundation. The foundation—introduced with the "I Am Your Child" TV special, hosted by Tom Hanks—is dedicated to increasing awareness, of the critical importance of early childhood development.
The Barry Manilow Songbook, a musical revue featuring many of Marty and Barry’s most popular songs, premiered at the Mercury Theater in Chicago.
Some of their greatest hits, are included on the chart topping CD Ultimate Manilow, Barry’s CD 2 Nights Live!, and the recent Greatest Songs of the 70s.
They are also featured on the multi-platinum DVD Ultimate Manilow, as well as Manilow Live from Las Vegas, First and Farewell, and the Legendary Greek Theatre Concert.
Barry Manilow: The First Television Specials, a boxed set including five of Barry's historic programs, has also just been released.
Their songs are featured on Barry's critically acclaimed Concord CD, Here at the Mayflower, as well as Diane Schuur's Concord release, Midnight.
Marty and Barry wrote three songs for Diane, including "I'll Be There"—a duet with Brian McKnight, written with co-producer Eddie Arkin—and a song which quickly become Diane's 'theme' song, "Life Is Good."
The release of Barry Manilow Live in London, brought Marty and Barry their newest Top 10 hit, with "Talk To Me" reaching #8 on the charts.
With Steve Dorff, Marty wrote the Kenny Rogers classic, "Through The Years."
These songs, along with recordings by Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Julio Iglesias, Frankie Valli, Dusty Springfield, Michael Crawford, Teddy Pendergrass, Dolly Parton, Davis Gaines, Daft Punk (Daft Punk?), and many others, have garnered Marty 35 gold and platinum albums, a 4 million-play award, a 2 million-play award, and record sales in excess of 70 million units.
Marty's collaborators have included Richard Kerr, Charlie Fox, Tom Snow, Michael Masser, Randy Goodrum, Ramon Arcusa, Stephen Schwartz, Larry Grossman, and Don Grady.
His first theatrical dialogue was written for the "Houdini" segment of the MGM Grand Hotel’s 47-million dollar production EFX. The show (originally starring Michael Crawford, and later David Cassidy, Tommy Tune, and then Rick Springfield) also included his song, "Tonight," with music by Don Grady. Marty wrote eight additional lyrics for EFX, when the show was updated, a year after its opening. This remarkable entertainment, ran for a remarkable seven years.
Marty’s collaboration with Don Grady continued, and they wrote a new theme for Disney's Winnie The Pooh, as well as the first eight volumes of Disney’s DVD series Magic English, songs for the first ever live-action interactive featurette on the DVD re-release of Alice in Wonderland, and "Sidekicks and Henchmen," for Disney's international release Once Upon a Halloween.
Marty and Don wrote and produced three complete CDs for Disney: The Princess Tea Party Album, Disney's Princess Christmas Album, and Disney's Princess Party Album. These albums featured the first new songs written for the legendary Disney Princesses...in a generation.
Disney's Princess Christmas Album was re-released, to include another new song for Snow White, "Christmas Eve Dinner."
Tiana and Her Princess Friends, another Disney CD, featured their songs "I'm Happy," sung by Cinderella and "A Rose is a Rose," sung by Aurora. ("Where Do I Go from Here," sung by Pocahontas on this CD, was written with Larry Grossman.)
Marty and Don also completed production of the first two episodes of the direct-to-DVD series History's Heroes ("Patrick Henry" and "Paul Revere") for American Animation Studios.
Marty lost Don Grady—his dear friend and most passionate collaborator—in June, 2012. There are no words to describe the love and respect he had, and will always have, for Don.
Marty received an Annie Award nomination for We Are One, from the Disney sequel to The Lion King – Simba's Pride, and created lyrics for the score of another Disney sequel, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.
Marty wrote lyrics AND music, for two CDs (and companion DVDs), for the widely popular children’s series, Mommy and Me.
Having succeeded Glen Frey at UCLA, Marty has taught 21 Master Classes in songwriting.
"The First Night Alone," on Kevin Odekirk's album, Unheard, and "How to Say Goodbye" (performed by Monica Mancini) on Arturo Sandoval's album, A Time for Love were both recently released.
The first incarnation of An Evening With Marty Panzer—featuring songs, stories, and performances by many guest composers and artists (including John Boswell, David Burnham, Tami Damiano, Steve Dorff, Davis Gaines, Don Grady, Tessa Grady, Brian Lane Green, Larry Grossman, Phillip Ingram, Monica Mancini, Eric McCormack, Bobbi Page, Diane Schuur, and a special appearance by Barry Manilow)—debuted at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles.
The second performance of this show, was at the Dean Lesher Center for the Arts, in Walnut Creek, California. Marty received the first Foster A Dream Award at this event.
The next production of An Evening With... (featuring more than a dozen Tony winning, and Tony nominated performers) was in New York City, April of 2012, at the Triad Theater.
The World Premiere of Through The Years: An Evening with Marty Panzer, was held at The Lyric Theater, in Stuart, Florida, in November 2012.
All this, while he completes his book of observations and personal experiences in the world of popular music. This book will include many of his favorite lyrics.