December 9, 2022

Brighton Journal

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Barbra Streisand on her early recordings: ‘That Girl Can Sing’

Barbra Streisand on her early recordings: 'That Girl Can Sing'

Streisand is the type of performer who, more than a year after Bon Soir’s show, jokes to the audience, “People are complaining that I don’t follow standards. Well, that’s the standard,” and then runs off to ‘Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Wolf’ wearily of an impossible world. of featherweight. The range of her singing is not just a matter of octaves. It’s the diversity of characters that a voice can find for a single song. In The Big Bad Wolf, it’s story time and operetta, Big Mama Thornton and Ethel Merman. As for “Lover, Come Back to Me,” it’s something Ella Fitzgerald competes with in the way she can actually take a tune, especially in concert, from a vegetable garden to a boxing match. This performance definitely ranks up there with Streisand’s top interpretations of anything. By the age of twenty, she had achieved this near-complete mastery with what, by 1962, was the standards and grandmother’s music.

This, of course, was what made the suits tense: a repertoire that included Tin Pan Alley and the rhythms of a show, those horrible ballads and jazz; Oscar Hammerstein, Harold Arlene and fat and. Where were the big pop songs? contemporary stuff. The “Surfin’ USA” The “walking like a man. ” The “be my Baby. ” The “Fingertips. ” The “It’s my party. “

When Erlichman took her to audition — live — for the Capitol, RCA, and Columbia building, “everyone said the same thing,” he recalls. “She has a good voice.” (He said that if he ever wrote a book, it would be called “Good Closes on Wednesday.”) She was clearly capable of great art. “She wasn’t singing commercial songs,” Ehrlichmann said. And “CEOs, they’re afraid to break new ground.”

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But Streisand can appreciate the magnificence of an ancient being. That’s what the old fashions she wore on stage were all about. She said, “I always bought antique clothes, because I thought they were so pretty. I liked the craftsmanship.” Craftsmanship of the nineteenth century.

“On opening night,” she said, “I was wearing a high-necked, beaded black velvet blouse.” “My tailoring made me a little black velvet skirt to go with this shirt. But I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to wear such a dress. I didn’t know that when you sing in a nightclub you’re supposed to wear a dress or something elegant, made of silk or Gorgeous satin. At one point in “The Bon Soir” you can hear her telling the audience that she’s wearing her boyfriend’s suit. She told me that “masculine and feminine is what I felt most comfortable about.”

This admiration for well-made things clearly extends to the great American songbook: superior craftsmanship. Hundreds of dynamic and adaptable songs are based on the characters, stories, wordplay, and variations of a theme. For the singer, discovering her is like doing math, crossword puzzles, or architecture. It’s also an opportunity to act, which is what Streisand says she wanted to do in the first place. During the Bon Soir race, she would split her days between nightclubs and Broadway, making a name for herself as loud as Secretary Miss Marmelstein In “I can have it in bulk”.