Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Funny Lady on TV

Remember when the network premiere of a theatrical movie was a big deal? Notice the small print at the bottom. Cable TV was slowly encroaching on the networks domain.

One of the movie greats? Well, O.K. it's an advertisement. (I do love the musical numbers).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Dolly Street

Circa 1977 article from the New York Times about the Hello, Dolly! street. What's left is still used today- the bottom photo is from the Simpson's 20th anniversary special back in January.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't believe what you read! Part 4

Don't believe what you read. . . .especially when they misspell your first name!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

On-the-set with A Star is Born

I believe I cut this out from one of those Rona Barrett magazines. How I wish I could have had a piece of that cake!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Star is Born on TV

"and finally tear each other apart"?

This must have been the unrated director's version.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's Up, Doc? on the late, late show

Another newspaper clipping (I'm so glad now that I clipped out anything Barbra related way back when). Of course anyone who hadn't seen the movie before was probably wondering where was the poodle afterward.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Streisand connections to The Gumball Rally

Aside from the Funny Lady poster in The Gumball Rally, there are some other Barbra connections.
One of the cars in the coast-to-coast race is a red Ferrari convertible. At one point, the chase takes place in Arizona. The scene reminded me of A Star is Born. O.K. not much coincidence there.
This movie came out in late July/early August 1976 (depending on which source to reference), a few months before A Star is Born. They could have conceivably been filmed around the same time. Again, not much of a coincidence there.
Both films were from the same studio, Warner Brothers, and the same production company, First Artists. A-ha. Is it possible that they used the same car for both films?
I did a little more digging on the internet and discovered this from about The Gumball Rally:
Two Ferrari Daytonas were used (main car and a backup) The serial numbers were 14829 and 16467. Chassis 14829 is currently at the Peterson Automotive Museum and was once owned by 'Mel Blanc.' Chassis 16467 also appeared in 'A Star in Born' (1976)!
Also, Michael Sarrazin and Gary Busey star in the film, along with a supporting role by Colleen Camp (Funny Lady).
Even with all these Barbra connections, I couldn't give this film a ringing endorsement unless you're into car racing films.

Barbra's "cameo" in The Gumball Rally

Barbra makes a "cameo" in the 1976 comedy The Gumball Rally. There's one scene with a camera tracking the three characters walking down a New York City street. In one of the storefront windows you can see a Funny Lady movie poster. The screen capture is a little blurring because the camera is constantly moving, but any eagle-eyed Streisand fan can see the poster.
I'm not sure but I think this is the "backside" of Colony records. The scene starts with a shot looking down Broadway with the Winter Garden Theater visible on the left side of the screen (Pacific Overtures was playing there at the time). The actors cross the street heading West with the camera following them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tony Orlando on Barbra

Tony Orlando performed last night in Boca Raton, Florida for a benefit (no- not the Indian relief fund). I waited by the stage door for him to arrive and get a quote from him regarding his experience working on A Star is Born.

I told him I was a Barbra fan and he was gracious. His assistant had never seen this photo before and asked me when did I get it. I told him I've had it since the '70s. Tony stared at the photo first and commented about Rita Coolidge being hidden in the photo.

While he signed a nice inscription I asked how did he get the job, who contacted him. He said, "Barbra". He said she was great too. He proceeded to the stage door before I could ask him a follow-up question like what was the verbatim conservation they had? Did he know her before the phone call? How did the shooting go? By any chance did you hear her brag, "I'm the boss and I won't let anyone stand in my way"? Inquiring minds want to know!

In the moment with him I forgot to get a photo of him. He didn't arrive to the theater until 9:15 and I'm usually in bed by 10 p.m. on a work night so I didn't stick around until after the performance. Which, in hindsight, I regret because it's also a better time to ask questions.

He tours year round so maybe we'll cross paths again. He's got a website with tour dates. Maybe he'll perform near you. I'm sure he would like to hear more comments about working on A Star is Born. He must be tired of "Yellow Ribbon" comments by now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Platinum Yo-Yo

Don't know what happened to this movie. Obviously never made. And why would the People magazine editors be surprised that Barbra is No. 1?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hello, Dolly! on TV

Artwork promoting the television premiere of Hello, Dolly! from the local San Antonio newspaper insert TV Now. It's a rather odd piece. I don't remember an outfit or hat like the one she is wearing or her hair being black in the movie. Was probably done by a local artist for the cover. I doubt that it was given to the newspaper from the studio or the network.

Was given to me by my friend Larry way back in high school after I became a Barbra fan. This was already clipped from the cover of the guide. Yes, I know it would probably be worth a lot more if I had the whole magazine now. But back then, who knew?

I vaguely remember the first network airing being promoted back then (1973-1974?). I didn't see it then and it was probably just as well. Since it was filmed in 70mm, this movie was meant to be seen on the big movie screen- not cropped with commercials on a small TV screen. And you didn't have stereo television back then either.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Funny Lady filming locations Part 1

WTF? Pardon my French, but my blood boils every time I look at this image of the Funny Lady train station. And then I feel depressed.
This is what is left of the 16th street train station in Oakland, California. As you can plainly see, the station has been abandoned, boarded up and vandalized.
I've only been to the outside of this station. The whole area has been fenced off and topped with barbed wire. I could see an area where the wiring had been removed, but I still didn't feel like climbing over the chain link fence. The windows were boarded up, too. I probably could have found an access point somewhere to the inside. But I didn't want to deal with what I might find. God only knows what was there- bums, crack heads, prostitutes, gang members- you get the idea. In addition, it was overcast the day I visited. So limited source of light (and-you got it- there's nothing without the light.) Oh yeah, there's also the issue of trespassing.
According to an article on the internet, the city of Oakland was planning on restoring the station, but they had issues. The train tracks had been removed, so it could no longer serve it's intended purpose. There was damage from the '89 earthquake. The surrounding neighborhood was blighted (don't walk there at night!).
The article talking about the restoration was about three years old and from the outside it was obvious nothing had been done. With the current financial worries in California, it doesn't look like a restoration is coming anytime soon.
Hope this photo isn't too much of a downer. I like Barbra Memories postings to be more light-hearted and whimsical. Who was it that once said "what's too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget"? Apparently they haven't seen this photo.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Celebrity yearbook

This was a great magazine that was sold at one of the movie theaters in San Antonio back in the '70s. While I was familiar with Barbra's photo, there was a ton of other celebrity photos I hadn't seen before. No advertisements, just photos.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Bergman's on Barbra

Alan and Marilyn Bergman were profiled on CBS Sunday Morning by Nancy Giles on March 7.

I'll try to recap the Barbra moments for you here.

-"A Child is Born" is playing in the background against a montage of childhood photos of N.G.-

N.G.- "When I was growing up I saw the names Alan and Marilyn Bergman on some of my favorite records many times sung by the great Barbra Streisand".


-"Way We Were" is playing in the background with scenes from the movie.-

Oscar number two was for their classic hit, The Way We Were.
M.B.- "If we didn't hear crying or sniffles when they sneak previewed the picture, we missed the boat".

N.G.- "Did you hear sniffles"?

M.B.- "We saw the Kleenex come out and we knew it was O.K. And then we she reached up and brushed the lock of hair it was kind of an iconic moment."

--N.G.-The Way We Were is only one of the hits they have written for their friend Barbra Streisand."--

M.B.- "When we hear her sing something that was written for the first time, we hear it, there's a layer there that she will bring to it that we never knew was there."

-clip of Papa, Can You Hear Me?-

--They also wrote this one for the movie Yentl. The score, written with their frequent collaborator Michel Legrand, earned them their third Oscar. --

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Yentl, the book

I bought this hard-bound book around the time of the movie's release. The best I recall, there wasn't a novelization of the movie published in the U.S. No cross-promotion. No mention is made of the movie on the jacket cover.

During the early part of 1984 Singer gave a speech at Trinity University in San Antonio and to read an excerpt from a new book he had recently released. At the end of lecture, he took questions from the audience. The first question was from someone asking for his reaction to Streisand's version of Yentl (before I could ask). At the time there were reports he wasn't happy with the changes she made to the story. I can't quote verbatim what he said, but I remember he remained nuetral on the subject- something along the lines that the movie was her version of the story and not his. He wasn't exactly praising the movie, to my disappointment.

I still haven't read the book!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Box Office Barbra

If only Barbra would spend another four years in a row on the box office list. We can dream.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This lady sure is happy. And why wouldn't she be? She just received her Streisand Superman album from Columbia House. With over 300 albums to choose from, she chose the right one. She received a Neil Diamond album, too. She's gonna go bonkers next year with You Don't Bring Me Flowers.
Still one of my favorites.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

'Till I Loved You

A local article about the early release of 'Til I Loved You in South Florida on the radio. I remember the D.J. saying they were the only ones in the country with the record. It generated a lot of buzz. But ultimately it was much ado about nothing. After the novelty of Barbra and Don singing together wore off, the single didn't receive much air play. Neil has nothing to worry about.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Don't believe what you read! Part 3

A classic, from the National Enquirer no less. Try reading the whole thing without laughing.