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October 10, 2012

Midweek Madness: Rare bubblegum, funk from Barbra Streisand

This week's tantalizing event for Barbra Streisand fans -- of which there are none more devoted than moi -- is the just-out "Release Me," a collection of decades-old tracks that never saw the light of an album.

I will have much more to say about this fascinating CD later -- OK, I have to say right now that it would be worth having if only for "Willow Weep For Me," "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" and the "Finian's Ranbow"/"Brigadoon" medley.

But, this being Midweek Madness day, and what with Fab Babs firmly on my mind, I could not resist sharing a couple of really off-beat mementos of her musical past.

From her mercifully brief bubblegum period, a single released in 1968: "Our Corner of the Night."

This sounds like something left over from a Petula Clark or Leslie Gore session. Yes, it is kind of awful, but, hey, it's Streisand, so I have a strange affection for it.

Then, how about some get-down-and-get-funky Barbra from the '70s? Lawdy, this excerpt from a recording session leaves me simply speechless.

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes, Midweek Madness
        

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at baltimoresun.com/artsmash. This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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