WJR Detroit Radio

Barbra Streisand's made her radio debut when she was in Detroit, Michigan in 1961 appearing at the Caucus Club.

The club's publicist, Ross Chapman, booked Barbra on The Jack Harris Show, which was broadcast on Detroit's WJR radio station at 9:30 a.m. from the 21st floor of the Fisher Building. Harris would sing and interview guests on his show. In 1965, Jack Harris told the Detroit Free Press that he remembered Streisand as “a kook ... she used to get these 1920s clothes at rummage sales and that's all she used to wear ... but she was just great singing.”

Publicity ad for The Jack Harris Show

Barbra's first appearance on Harris' show was on February 24, 1961 — six days before she opened at the Caucus Club.

Chapman also booked Streisand on Bud Guest's local radio show, “Guest House,” which aired on WJR at 7:00 p.m. It was the February 28, 1961 show that featured Streisand.

The Detroit hosts interviewed Barbra Streisand on air, and she also sang for them. Barry Dennen auctioned some of the tapes of these shows in 2009 and (in no certain order) listed the songs she sang on air in Detroit: A Taste of Honey, Cry Me A River, A Sleepin' Bee, Lover Come Back to Me, When the Sun Comes Out, Soon It's Gonna Rain, Moanin' Low, and Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Streisand also was paid to record a radio commercial that the Caucus Club house pianist, Matt Michaels, hired her for. Michaels said the commercial was “for Edgewater, the amusement park. She was a screamer in the background.” But when Streisand played The Palace of Auburn Hills in 1994 she told the audience is was a cat commercial and that “it still pays me a residual of $14 a year!”


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