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1967: Barbra proves to be ‘Funny’

Actress pre-records catchy new number

July 7, 1967

GOOD MORNING: A song and a (film) star born? Yesterday, in the nostalgia-filled recording Stage 7 at Goldwyn Studios, newcomer Barbra Streisand pre-recorded ‘Funny Girl” title tune to the Columbia epic she starts filming Monday. It is one of four new Jule Styne-Bob Merrill numbers for the pic version. The orch, made up of the town’s top musicians under the baton of Walter Scharf, and accustomed to hearing the best, applauded her after the dramatic playbacks … How does Barbra feel about a new number for the tried-and-tested legiter? “It’s a wonderful tune,” she thinks, and she is so enthused about her feature career is house-hunting here and searching film ideas, rather than plays to follow “Dolly” and “On a Clear Day.” She’s not necessarily thinking musicals — mebbe “Romeo and Juliet”? … Miss Streisand, in a stark, simple black dress and matching stockings seemed like an Edith Piaf image as she sang the sad “Funny” song for the Fannie Brice biopic. We interviewed Miss Brice for the AP some 20 years ago and could not help thinking she would have been proud of Barbra who sings this song in the film sequence when Nicky Arnstein is jailed … A “Girl” clause calls for Barbra to record the tunes in French, German and Italian — at her option. (2007 Update: Barbra has had opportunities of late to use her French, German and Italian in her European tour. It heads into Manchester on Tuesday; she has to cancel July 4 in Stockholm due to a sore throat. She was skedded to close July 25 with her third London concert. P.S. In case you wondered “Funny Girl” was reviewed Sept. 20, 1968 by Abel Green who said the film “will do boffo b.o.” It did — and Barbra won her first Oscar.)

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