Copacabana’s Glen of Imaal Connection

Time for some mood music, and yeah, to everyone who’s now rolling their eyes, it’s Barry Manilow, but a good song is a good song:


The stage now set for this post, we can move on.

You could probably count on one hand the number of dogs that can ride the subway home after showing at Westminster, and “Curry” was one of them, commuting, as she had to, all the way back to the West Side of Manhattan to Chelsea.  Back in 2010, only champions were eligible to enter the famed dog show, and the then 2-year-old Glen of Imaal Terrier had qualified. She was one of only four Glens competing that year, and she had high profile friends cheering her on if only from a distance. Supermodel, Naomi Campbell, gushed, “Curry is beautiful and has a better walk than me,” while Broadway diva, Christine Ebersole, added, “Curry has the best movement of any Glen I have ever seen. I’m happy she’s not eligible for a Tony Award!”

Curry’s owner, Bruce” (the one with friends in high places), also happened to be the owner of “India,” the Glen who not only made the breed’s national TV debut at Philadelphia’s National Dog Show (along with the Black Russian Terrier and the Neapolitan Mastiff),  but was also the first AKC Champion for the breed. India also won Best In Show at the Gloucester Kennel Club just two weeks after the breed was AKC recognized.  It had been a 10-year campaign to full acceptance, and Bruce Sussman had served as a board member and president.

As show ring creds go, India and Curry earned their “props,” but their owner is no slouch either. That song we had you listen to at the top of the post, “Copacabana?”  Bruce Sussman co-wrote it, along with Barry Manilow and Jack Feldman.  It’s said that the song was inspired by a conversation between Manilow and Sussman at the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, when they discussed whether there had ever been a song called “Copacabana.”  A regular visitor to the Copacabana nightclub in New York City in the 60s, Manilow suggested that Sussman and Feldman write the lyrics to a story song for him. They did, and Manilow provided the music.

For most of his adult life, Sussman owned, bred and handled Wheaten Terriers, but when he picked up a book that pictured a Glen of Imaal Terrier, that was it.

So, did the Glens ever play “muse” to this musical giant?

Check it out:


According to a 2005 New York Times article, Mr. Sussman conceded that yes, the dogs inspired a song. “Barry and I were writing the score for Disney’s ‘Oliver & Company,’ he said. “Bette Midler played an over-the-hill show dog [and] we wrote ‘Perfect Isn’t Easy’ for her.”

Image: Pack Rogers’s Glen of Imaal Terrier, “Basil”


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