My Name is Barbra (1965)

Catalog Number(s):

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My Name is Barbra LP cover

LP Back Cover

(Top: The LP cover and back cover; Below: The CD cover.)

My Name is Barbra CD cover

 

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Tracks

  1. My Name Is Barbara [0:53]
    (L. Bernstein)
  2. a. A Kid Again [1:27]
    (J. Melfi / R. Perry)
    b. I'm Five [0:38]
    (M. Schafer)
  3. Jenny Rebecca [3:03]
    (C. Hall)
  4. My Pa [2:30]
    (M. Leonard / H. Martin)
  5. Sweet Zoo [1:36]
    (J. Harris)
  6. Where Is The Wonder [2:18]
    (M. Barr / D. McGregor)
  7. I Can See It [3:06]
    (T. Jones / H. Schmidt)
  8. Someone To Watch Over Me [2:43]
    (I. Gershwin / G. Gershwin)
  9. I've Got No Strings [2:49]
    (L. Harline / N. Washington)
  10. If You Were The Only Boy In The World [3:28]
    (C. Grey / N. Ayer)
  11. Why Did I Choose You [3:46]
    (M. Leonard / H. Martin)
  12. My Man [2:57]
    (I. Bibo / L. Woods / M. Yvain)

* Track 11, "Why Did I Chose You", is actually longer on the CD (3:47) than it was on the original LP (2:49). The CD version of this track included an instrumental break that the LP did not.

* Track 6, "Where is the Wonder" was changed for the 1994 remaster. The 1987 version was 2:15 long. The 1994 remaster restored the last downbeat that ended the song, making the track 2:19. (Yes, it's nit-picky, but it's also the way the song was originally recorded and is the way it's supposed to end!) If you compare the two, you will hear that they simply faded Barbra's voice out on the 1987 CD.

About the Album

(Above: Advertising for the album. Scan courtesy of John Nolan)

The My Name is Barbra soundtrack album was released May 1965. (My Name Is Barbra, Two..., its sequel, was released October 1965 to coincide with the rebroadcast of the special on CBS.)

Barbra recorded the two albums in studio sessions at Columbia's Studio A, located at 799 7th Avenue in New York.

Roger Perry and Johnny Melfi wrote a Broadway musical called Nothing Can Stop Me Now. James Darren sang one of the songs from the show—“A Kid Again”—in his Cocoanut Grove act. Barbra Streisand was in the audience that night and told Perry and Melfi she'd like to record it.

Streisand recorded several numbers from the musical The Yearling, which opened December 10th, 1965 at the Alvin Theatre and closed after only three performances. The Yearling was based on the Pulitzer winning novel about a boy and his pet fawn by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Its composer was Michael Leonard (who reportedly coached Streisand vocally). From Leonard’s score, Barbra sang “I’m All Smiles,” “My Pa” (which was cut out-of-town), “Why Did I Choose You?” and “The Kind of Man a Woman Needs.”

My Love sheet music

Barbra recorded “My Pa” twice—Columbia released “My Love,” which was essentially the same tune with different lyrics, in March 1965 as a 45-rpm single (#4-43248) on the backside of “Why Did I Choose You?” [Read more about this in the Streisand Singles section!]

“My Pa” “My Love”

My Pa can light my room at night
with just his being near
And make a fearful dream all right
by grinning ear to ear.
My Pa can do most anything
he sets his mind to do.
He'd even move a mountain
if he really wanted to.
My Pa can sweeten up a day
that clouds and rain make grey
And tell me funny stories
that will chase the clouds away.
My Pa's the only one on Earth
I can tell my troubles to
His arms are house and home to me
His face a pretty poem to me
My Pa's the finest friend I ever knew.
I only wish that you
Could know him too.

My Love can light the darkest night
with just his being near
And fill my heart with music
no other heart can hear.
With one sweet gentle kiss
My love can lift me to the skies
And change the winter into spring
when he looks into my eyes.
My love can sweeten up a day
that clouds and rain make grey
And just his reassuring smile
will chase the clouds away.
My love is all the world to me
and I need nothing more
His arms are house and home to me
His face a lyric poem to me
The world has known no love like ours before.
My love is all that I am living for.

Dion McGregor and Michael Barr presented Streisand and her manager, Marty Erlichman, with “Where is the Wonder” back in 1962. She finally recorded it for this album. (Read more about McGregor and Barr and Streisand here.)

“I Can See It,” by Tom Jones (lyrics) and Harvey Schmidt (music), was from the long-running musical The Fantasticks. Including “I Can See It,” Streisand recorded four songs from their score ( "Soon It's Gonna Rain" and "Much More" on The Barbra Streisand Album; and a phrase of "Try To Remember" on Color Me Barbra.)

Barbra's version of “If You Were the Only Girl in the World” altered the lyric from Girl to Boy. It was written in 1916 by Nat Ayer and Clifford Gray.

Barbra's recording of “My Man” appeared for the first time on My Name is Barbra. The song has become a signature song for her. Maurice Yvain wrote “Mon Homme”; J. Charles and A. Willemetz wrote the French lyrics; Chaning Pollack wrote the English lyrics. The song was renamed “My Man” when Fanny Brice recorded it in America in 1921. Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf recorded their own versions of the song.

My Name is Barbra reel to reel tapes

(Above): Columbia released both albums together on reel-to-reel tape (Columbia H2C4), which is a format no longer produced.

The comedien Allan Sherman—he was a song parodist in the mid-1960s, most famous for the song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh"—released a comedy song album titled My Name is Allan Sherman. The album cover parodied Streisand's.

Allan Sherman album cover

Singles

Billboard Charts

The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine.

Here's the numbers for this Streisand album:

Gold: 500,000 units shipped

Note: The record company must submit an album to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) where it undergoes a certification process to become eligible for an award. The process entails an independent sales audit, which calculates the quantity of singles or albums shipped for sale, net after returns. The audit surveys shipments to the entire music marketplace, including retail, record clubs, television sales, Internet orders and other ancillary markets. Based on the certification of these shipments, a title is awarded Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum or Diamond status. The data here comes directly from official sources, mainly the RIAA online database.

Grammy Awards

(Below: an industry ad for Barbra's Grammy award)

Grammy ad

 

CD Packaging Notes

The CD first appeared on shelves in September 1987. Retaining the same catalog number, the CD was then remastered in 1994. The CD art has stayed the same throughout all of the different versions. The CD cover replicates the original LP cover exactly. However, the back of the CD does a poor job reprinting Peter Oliver's striking photos of Streisand wearing a green gown.

CD back cover

The original LP's back cover was all black and Streisand's feet were not cut off as they are on the CD.

Album Cover Outtakes

Barbra's brother, Sheldon J. Streisand, took the photograph of Streisand as a child which appeared on the front cover of this album. Robert Cato (Columbia Records graphic designer) and Sheldon Streisand were both nominated for a Grammy Award for the front cover photograph.

Peter Oliver captured the shots on the back cover.

MNIB outtake

End.

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