Welcome to this week’s look at the life and work of Barbra Streisand and today we focus on her films. Not only was she a very talented actress but she also won critical acclaim for her writing and directing. I will now hand you over to William to carry on with the story.
Barbra Streisand had read Yentl, The Yeshiva Boy by Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1968 but it was to be over 15 years before she was able to co-write, co- produce, direct and star in the film. The film received five Academy Award nominations and Barbra Streisand received Golden Globe Awards as both Best Director and producer of the Best Picture (musical comedy). The soundtrack of the film also went into the Top Ten.
Here is a clip from the film – Where is it Written.
This success was follwed by The Broadway Album in 1985 which took Barbra back to the top of the charts. This was the 24th studio album and was released by Columbia records in the November. Although mainly show tunes from the many musicals that she had appeared in, there were some original tracks including additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim for Putting it Together and Send in the Clowns. The album went Gold in January 1986 and by January 1995 it was still selling well enough to have sold 7.5 million copies and gone four times Platinum. It also resulted in a Grammy Nomination for album of the year and Barbra Streisand won her 8th Grammy as Best Female Vocalist.
In 1987 Barbara wrote the music, produced and starred in the film Nuts. Directed by Martin Ritt, the film also starred Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Malden, Robert Webber and Eli Wallach. A hard hitting film about a call girl on trial for murder, whose traumatic past is slowly unravelled by her public defender, played by Richard Dreyfuss.
In 1991 Barbra Streisand returned to directing again with Prince of Tides based on the Pat Conroy novel and starring Nick Nolte. This American romantic drama received seven Academy Award nominations including for best picture but lost out to Silence of the Lambs. Barbra also received a nomination from the Directors Guild of America for her direction, making her only the third woman ever so honored.
With a return to music and the studio Barbra released “Back to Broadway” in June 1993. Whilst not as successful as her first Broadway album it did debut at #1 on the pop charts.
I Have Love, One Hand, One heart
“I Have a Love/One Hand, One Heart,” from “West Side Story” is a heart throbbing medley featuring Streisand and the incredible Johnny Mathis, from the album “Back to Broadway,” 1993. Here, you have two of the most beautiful voices in the world singing two of the most beautiful songs written by the incomparable Leonard Bernstein. A treat.
In 1993, The New York Times music critic Stephen Holden wrote that Streisand “enjoys a cultural status that only one other American entertainer, Frank Sinatra, has achieved in the last half century”.
In September 1993, Streisand announced her first public concert appearances in 27 years (if one does not count her Las Vegas nightclub performances between 1969 and 1972). Tickets for the tour were sold out in under an hour.
The tour was one of the biggest all-media merchandise parlays in history. Ticket prices ranged from US$50 to US$1,500, making Streisand the highest-paid concert performer in history”. “Barbra Streisand: The Concert” went on to be the top-grossing concert of the year and earned five Emmy Awards and the Peabody Award, while the taped broadcast on HBO was the highest-rated concert special in HBO’s 30-year history.
Her performance resulted in the Top 10, million-selling album, “The Concert.” The tour itself generated over $10 million for charities, including AIDS organizations, women and children in jeopardy, Jewish/Arab relations, and agencies working to improve relations between African-Americans and Jews. Streisand’s philanthropy and activism also extends to her Barwood Film’s productions, such as “The Long Island Incident,” which inspired a national debate on gun control.
In 1996, Streisand directed and starred in the romantic comedy drama The Mirror Has Two Faces also starring Jeff Bridges. Whilst not all critics liked the film, some did and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times had this to say.
“The film approaches the subject of marriage warily and with wit, like George Bernard Shaw . . . it’s rare to find a film that deals intelligently with issues of sex and love, instead of just assuming that everyone on the screen and in the audience shares the same popular culture assumptions. It’s rare, too, to find such verbal characters in a movie, and listening to them talk is one of the pleasures of The Mirror Has Two Faces . . . this is a moving and challenging movie.”
I finally Found Someone
“I Finally Found Someone” is a duet by Streisand and the Canadian artist Bryan Adams from the film and was nominated for an Oscar. This was Streisand’s first significant hit in almost a decade and her first top 10 hit since 1981. This song was written by Barbra Streisand, Bryan Adams, Robert John Lange, and Marvin Hamlisch.
As well as the album Higher Ground released in 1997, in 1998 following her marriage to James Brolin, Barbra released an album of love songs A Love Like Ours. The critics felt it was a little over sweet however her fans enjoyed and it did produce a modest hit.
“If You Ever Leave Me”, a duet with Vince Gill.
“If You Ever Leave Me,” a duet with country music star Vince Gill, from the album “A Love Like Ours” (her 23rd Top 10 album in the US), 1999, was intended to be a country song, but was given a measured, polished adult contemporary production. This was Streisand’s first commercial release since her marriage to actor James Brolin. It was rumored that much of the material on this album was inspired by this event. The song peaked at #62 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and at #26 in the UK.
Read all the reviews and buy Barbra Streisand’s music: https://www.amazon.com/Barbra-Streisand/e/B000AQ2ZRU
Additional information sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbra_Streisand
William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.
His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.
William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking
William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.
Connect to William
Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/
I hope you have enjoyed the music today and please join us again next week for the finale of the series.