Bill Hahn's Hotel
July 14, 1962
Barbra Streisand contributed her singing talents to a weekend fundraiser at Bill Hahn's in Westbrook Connecticut in 1962.
Situated on a bluff facing Long Island Sound, the resort has been described as having a casual, friendly, and modest atmosphere.
For the July 1962 fundraiser, Streisand appeared on stage for part of the five-hour show. Henny Youngman, Art Carney, and Barbra performed that evening.
Owner Bill Hahn booked young talent, including Woody Allen and Art Carney. Streisand probably played one (or more) other gigs at his resort, although those dates are unknown.
Robert Ruby, who was a member of a male singing group called The Montana Men (who shared Streisand's manager at the time—Irvin Arthur), wrote about the Hahn gigs in his book Ruby in the Rough: “On Saturday mornings the five of us piled into a rented station wagon and drove to Westbrook for that evening's show, and afterwards spent the night and the balance of the weekend at Seth Shapiro's family estate in Westchester. Occasionally, Barbra's mother and younger sister would come along. Neither Elliott [Gould] nor Barbra was hard to be with; he was quick and intelligent, she was naive to the point of absurdity. Strangers mistook her offstage daffiness for stupidity. In truth, it was a cover for her youth (nineteen) and stunning lack of interest in anything but performing. To me, se was as natural and friendly as a puppy and I never felt she was anything less than genuine. But most important, her magnificent talent towered above the rest of us.”
Ruby recalled the shows at Hahn's, too: “Everybody loved her, mainly because it was a Jewish sort of place. She'd giggle and laugh and they got everything ... At the end of the show Bill Hahn always made us get together to sing a closing number.”
In a 1980 newspaper article about Hahn's resort, Kim Nickerson, who was a waiter, recalled serving Streisand there. “Streisand was a young girl in blue jeans and she was outrageous. She was with an entourage: New York, artsy. Bill said to me, ‘You really ought to stay and watch the show,’ so I did. She got up and started to sing with such magnitude and resonance, everybody knew.”
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