#1 single, 1828, 1970s, Barry Manilow, Brandy (You're a Fine Girl), debut, Elliott Lurie, Looking Glass, loosely wrote, Mandy, marry, Mary Ellis, Music, never did, New Brunswick, New Jersey, One Hit Wonder, Randye, Scott English, sea captain, self-titled, spinster, swore to return
Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) Looking Glass (Epic, 1972)
Written by Elliott Lurie, it was recorded by his band for their debut self-titled album, Looking Glass. It topped the Hot 100.
So who was Brandy? Well according to Lurie, he loosely wrote the song about a girl he actually knew named Randye but changed the name to Brandy to remove gender ambiguity. So that’s the end of it then. The songwriter just told you he wrote the song about a girl he knew. But wait. In New Brunswick, New Jersey is a gravesite for one Marry Ellis that’s been standing since her death in 1828. Ellis was a spinster who was seduced by a sea captain who swore to return in order to marry her. And he never did. Now that sounds a lot like the song. Lurie admits that Ellis’ story is an incredible coincidence, but maintains that he writes “fiction.”
In 1974, crooner Barry Manilow covered a 1972 song originally titled Brandy by Scott English. After the success of Looking Glass’ single, Manilow changed his song to Mandy to avoid confusion.