Tuesday, April 24, 2007



Believe it or not the great Barbra Streisand turns 75 years old today. What an amazing life and what an amazing career! Streisand was born Barbara Joan Streisand inWilliamsburg
Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents. Her father, Emanuel Streisand, was a grammar teacher and he died when she was only 15 months old! Barbra had a turbulent relationship with her stepfather, Louis Kind. She has a sister Roslyn Kind who was also a performer. Her mother, Diana Ida Rosen, a school secretary, did not encourage her daughter to pursue a show business career, opining that Barbara was not attractive enough. She was educated at Erasmus Hall High School, where she graduated fourth in her class in 1959, and she sang in the school choir with Neil Diamond. She was also friendly there with future World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. She never attended college. Streisand has said, "I hated school when I was young, but once I grew up, I realized that I draw strength from those memories and my roots." She had of course an early singing, theater, and television career but it was following a music competition that she became a nightclub singer while in her teens. She originally wanted to be an actress and appeared in a number of Off-Off-Broadway productions, including one with then-aspiring actress Joan Rivers, but when her boyfriend Barry Dennen helped her create a club act — first performed in a gay bar in Manhattan's Greenwich Village in 1960 — she achieved success as a singer. It was at this time that she shortened her first name to Barbra to make it more distinctive. In 1962 Streisand first appeared on Broadway, in a small but star-making role in the musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962). She also signed her first recording contract that year with Columbia Records. Her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, won two Grammy Awards in 1963. Her recording success continued, and at one time, Streisand's first three albums appeared simultaneously on Billboard's pop albums Top Ten - an unusual feat considering it was at a time when rock and roll and The Beatles dominating the charts.But her biggest break came with Jule Styne' s and Bob Merrill's Funny Girl (1964) which was of course based upon the life of Fanny Brice and was fashioned for Streisand after Styne saw Barbra's I Can Get It For You Wholesale performance. Styne saw Streisand's work in the show at the invitation of producer Ray Stark's wife, who was Fanny Brice's daughter. Ironically, she was strongly opposed to the casting of Streisand, preferring Carol Burnett.After several notable television appearances, including a legendary guest appearance on The Judy Garland Show in 1963), Streisand appeared on a number of her own television specials for CBS. The first special, My Name Is Barbra (1965), was praised by critics and fans, as were most of the subsequent specials.Streisand is classified as one of the most "Amazing Female Vocalists" in the 2006 edition of Women in Song.


Tony Westbrook said...

Whoa don't age her more then she has to, she's only 65! 1942.

Lancelot said...

She's just turned 69. You should check on dates ! :)

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Do the math. Birthdate: April 24, 1942. She is 75 today.