“This German fellow comes up to me…” Alan Bergman was recalling a “Lyrics and Lyricists” show at the 92nd Street Y, he continued, “four or five years ago. This guy said, ‘I own a very successful recording company in Germany, I’d like to record your show.'” Bergman thanked him and thought nothing more of it–but Uwe Buschkotter continued to pursue him. He flew Bergman to Berlin where he recorded his repertoire, backed by a 45-piece orchestra.
Fade in: Zach Horowitz, head of Universal Music, loved the Berlin session and set the album at Verve. Tuesday night at Joe’s Pub in Gotham, Verve premiered “Lyrically, Alan Bergman” Tuesday night. The packed house included Harry Belafonte, Jackson Browne, Joan Didion, Jimmy Webb, Roger Kellaway, etc. Michael Feinstein would have been there, he phoned — however he was opening that same night at his club, Feinsteins’s, in the Regency, where Bergman has appeared in the past — pre-Verve platter. Of course, the songs on the CD include those Alan wrote with wife, Marilyn — like “The Way We Were.” And Marilyn was in N.Y. — for Alan’s bow — and to chair meetings of ASCAP, of which she’s President and Chairman of the Board. They remain in N.Y. to toast Jackson Browne at the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame fete Thursday. And they’ll join up with Barbra Streisand in London when she winds her European tour July 25. Of course, Barbra will be singing Bergman tunes. And maybe Uwe Buschkotter will also be there?