Erlichman Back as Streisand's Manager
By Paul Grein
Feb. 15, 1986
Marty Erlichman has resumed management of Barbra Streisand, whose career he guided from 1960 to 1976. Erlichman succeeds Jon Peters, who took over as manager during the making of “A Star Is Born.”
Erlichman says he and Streisand got back in touch a few years ago. “We hadn't seen or spoken to each other for a couple of years, and then through a mutual friend she found out that we were both up skiing in Utah. She called me and we got together. After that, we stayed in touch more regularly.”
Erlichman officially resumed his duties as Streisand's manager at the beginning of the year. “I've spent most of the past six weeks just playing catch-up,” he says, “going back over old contracts and commitments.
“She and I jumped right into it like there had been no gap. It's like we were married for 16 years, and then split; when you get back together you kind of know each other. Age has worked well for both of us in the sense that we can talk more shorthand than we used to.
“Most of the names are the same, too. As Barbra's manager, I had direct dialog with the people who are now the presidents of all the record companies. Walter Yetnikoff was a CBS lawyer at the time under Clive Davis, Elliott Goldman at RCA worked for Yetnikoff and Clive, Dick Asher at PolyGram was at CBS, Irving Azoff used to call me for advice on management when he had the Eagles. I guess it is true: What goes around comes around.”
After splitting with Streisand, Erlichman produced two films, “Coma” with Genevieve Bujold and Michael Douglas and “Breathless” with Richard Gere. But he says that he longed to return to management.
“I guess I've always dug this,” he says. “We had such a run together, Barbra and I. We started together and grew together. To me Barbra was always like a live Erector set: Whatever you could think of, she could make happen. It's one thing to say ‘Central Park,’ it's another to get 150,000 people there.”
Though Erlichman wasn't involved in the conception of Streisand's current “Broadway Album,” he notes: “I was thrilled, because that's the roots that I remembered most. And Columbia told me that they now believe it will be the biggest-selling album she ever had.”
Erlichman says that Streisand's next album will probably be a contemporary pop album. “There will certainly be another Broadway album,” he says, “but I don't believe it will be the next one. Barbra has been immersed in getting the script ready for her next movie (“Nuts,” directed by Mark Rydell for Warner Bros.), so we're just starting dialog on who'll produce the next album.”
Other future projects include several video releases. CBS/Fox Home Video will market Streisand's recent HBO special, “The Making of The Broadway Album,” as well as three of her early CBS-TV specials. Included will be the first two, “My Name is Barbra” and “Color Me Barbra,” and either “A Happening in Central Park” or “Belle of Fourteenth Street.”
No release date is set for the home video release of the TV specials; the “Broadway” video is set for spring release, at a $29.95 list price.
Erlichman is also beginning to work on an ambitious multi-media project which will trace Streisand's career from the early days to the present. He envisions the project, which he has tentatively dubbed “Legacy,” to encompass a multi-record album on Columbia, a home video release on CBS/Fox and a print component.
“There's a lot of virgin material that has been recorded and has never appeared in a collected form,” he says. “There's the Garland appearance, stuff we did at the International Hotel, the audio portion of early TV appearances. I've got the first demo record that she made when she was 14, singing ‘Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.’”
- Following The Broadway Album, Streisand released a live album (One Voice), a soundtrack album (Nuts), then a pop album (Till I Loved You). Her Broadway follow-up did not come out until 1993 (Back to Broadway).
- Martin Ritt directed Nuts. Mark Rydell was in talks to direct, but ultimately did not.
- “Legacy” became Just For the Record—Streisand's 4-CD retrospective of her career—and was released in 1991. A video version of the collection was created but never released.