Alan and Marilyn Bergman give Streisand more to sing about

Their longtime bond includes the new album ‘What Matters Most.’ On it, Barbra Streisand sings 10 Bergman numbers she had not previously performed. The lyricists reflect on their connection with the singer.

Los Angeles Times    August 21, 2011
By Susan King

Lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman’s professional and personal lives have been intertwined with Barbra Streisand’s for five decades — from the night they first saw her as a teenager singing in New York to their latest collaboration, the CD “What Matters Most,” which features Streisand interpreting 10 of the couple’s songs she had not yet performed.

And in between those years, the Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar- and Tony Award-winning Streisand has performed dozens of their songs, including “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”; the Oscar-winning title tune of the 1973 Streisand-Robert Redford love story “The Way We Were”; and the songs in Streisand’s directorial debut, 1983’s “Yentl,” which includes the Oscar-nominated “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel.”

 Alan and Marilyn Bergman’s Biography

1995 Alan & Marilyn received Honorary Doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music and were recipients of the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award. 1997 brought them the Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award, and in 1998 they received a cultural Medal of Honor in Spain. In 1999, their talent was celebrated with an evening of Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman at Carnegie Hall. June 2000 brought them the National Music Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award. In June of 2002 they were honored with the Governor’s Award from the National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), and the Fall of 2003 brought them the first ever Johnny Mercer Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Alan & Marilyn were honored at The Flanders Film Festival with the World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award. Last year they received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Massachusetts and their work was celebrated with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Savannah Film Festival.

Marilyn Bergman served as President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the world’s foremost performing right organization, for fifteen years. She was elected in April 1994 after five terms as the first woman ever to serve on ASCAP’s Board of Directors. Marilyn completed her term as President in April 2009, but continues to serve on ASCAP’s Board. In 1996, she received the first Lifetime Achievement Award for a Distinguished Alumnus from The High School of Music and Art, and also that year was presented with France’s highest cultural honor, Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters medal. In 1998, Marilyn received an Honorary Doctorate from Trinity College. In 2002, Marilyn was appointed the first Chairman of the Library of Congress National Sound Recording Preservation Board.

Alan Bergman serves as a member of the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the Johnny Mercer Foundation Board, the Artists’ Rights Foundation Board and the Jazz Bakery Board of Directors. Alan and Marilyn are both on the Executive Committee of the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Alan and Marilyn were born in the same hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Marilyn was a music major at New York’s High School of Music & Art, going on to study Psychology and English at New York University. Alan studied Music & Theatre Arts at the University of North Carolina, continuing toward a Masters Degree at UCLA.




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