People (1964)

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People album cover

Original front & back LP covers. Back cover album scan by Kevin Schlenker

Back cover, PEOPLE album

UK People album

(Above: In 1966, Hallmark—a U.K. label—released Streisand's “People” album [catalog number: SHM 871] with a completely different cover. Pickwick, which owned Hallmark, was the first company to put in place exclusive licensing deals with the major record companies. For many years it was the official budget outlet for labels such as RCA and CBS — i.e. Columbia.)


  1. Absent Minded Me [3:07] *
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  2. When In Rome (I Do As The Romans Do) [2:57] *
    (C. Leigh / C. Coleman)
  3. Fine And Dandy [2:49] **
    (K. Swift / P. James)
  4. Supper Time [2:47] **
    (I. Berlin)
  5. Will He Like Me? [2:34] **
    (S. Harnick / J. Bock)
  6. How Does The Wine Taste? [2:36] *
    (M. Dubey / H. Karr)
  7. I'm All Smiles [2:09] **
    (M. Leonard / H. Martin)
  8. Autumn [1:57] **
    (R. Maltby, Jr. / D. Shire)
  9. My Lord And Master [2:59] *
    (O. Hammerstein II / R. Rodgers)
  10. Love Is A Bore [2:08] *
    (S. Cahn / J. Van Heusen)
  11. Don't Like Goodbyes [3:14] *
    (T. Capote / H. Arlen)
  12. People [3:40] *
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)

* Arranged & Conducted by Peter Matz
** Arranged & Conducted by Ray Ellis


About the Album

(Below) Streisand recording the album at Columbia's Studio A, New York. Streisand recording

People — the album — was Barbra Streisand's fourth studio album for Columbia Records. Its title and last song were from Funny Girl, which was a hit for Streisand on Broadway at the time. Mike Berniker, who had produced Barbra's first three albums, was unavailable for this one, so Bob Mersey assumed the role. Also, arrangements for the songs on the album were done by Peter Matz and Ray Ellis. Ad for People singles

People ad

Barbra recorded some of the People album in July 1964, and that session produced a 7-inch single (#4-43127) of “Absent Minded Me” (a reject from Funny Girl to be included on the People album) and “Funny Girl” (an uptempo song by Styne/Merrill that precedes the ballad they wrote for the film).

Meanwhile, Barbra went back into the studio with producer Bob Mersey on August 4 and 11, 1964 and laid down the majority of the tracks that appear on People.

Also, Barbra recorded “Don't Like Goodbyes,” “Autumn” and “Will He Like Me” twice—with Peter Matz and Ray Ellis arrangements. Ray Ellis recorded all of his arrangements with Barbra in one session on August 21, 1964.

People Recording Sessions:

December 20, 1963 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)

Produced by: Mike Berniker
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

I'm All Smiles sheet music

July 24, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)

* Released as Columbia single #4-43127

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

August 4, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)

* released on 1965 album “My Name Is Barbra, Two”
** unreleased; remade in 1965 for “My Name Is Barbra, Two”

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

August 11, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)

* remade in 1968 for the “What About Today?” album
** unreleased; remade in 1965 for “My Name Is Barbra, Two”

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

August 21, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)

* unreleased

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Ray Ellis

Recording People album

(Above) Left to right: Robert Mersey, Streisand, and Peter Matz in the studio recording the “People” album.

More About the “People” Songs

Irving Berlin wrote “Supper Time” for the 1933 musical revue As Thousands Cheer. Ethel Waters sang it in the show – a song in which an African-American woman is preparing dinner, only to find out her husband has been lynched.

Writing duo David Shire and Richard Maltby recorded a cast album of their college musical collaboration, a musical called Cyrano“Autumn” was sung by Cyrano de Bergerac in the show. 

“How Does The Wine Taste?” came from a 1962 musical called We Take The Town, which never made it to Broadway. The show, which closed in Philadelphia, starred Robert Preston (as Pancho Villa) and was based on the film Viva Villa! Producer Stuart Ostrow said Streisand auditioned for the role of “an aristocratic Mexican lady.” Robert Preston, however, “wanted a straight actress and turned me down,” Ostrow recalled. Streisand, of course, recorded “How Does The Wine Taste?” from the show's score.

Barbra's Italian spoken section in “When In Rome” goes something like this:

E molto difficile resistere agli uomini di Italia
Per esempio, per esempio i biondi,
I biondi di Firenze, di Venezia
E i bruni di Palermo, di Milano...

Roughly translated, Streisand says she can't resist Italian guys, nor the blonds of Florence or Venice, nor the the brown haired men from Palermo or Milano ... do ya know what I mean?

Songwriters Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote “Love is a Bore” for the 1964 World's Fair version of Sid and Marty Krofft's marionette show, Les Poupees de Paris. The show was an interesting French “musical revue” for adults, performed by 240 puppets on elaborate sets. Cahn and Van Heusen wrote the songs for the show, which were sung by famous performers like Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Liberace. Pearl Bailey sang “Love is a Bore” for the show (a soundtrack album was released in 1965 by RCA Records.)

“Don't Like Goodbyes” is Harold Arlen song with lyrics by Truman Capote from the Broadway musical House of Flowers.  Barbra has recorded several other songs from that score: the title song, “I Never Has Seen Snow,” and “A Sleepin’ Bee.”

When People was finally released — September 1964 — Barbra recorded an open-ended interview to publicize the album. The interview LP was sent to radio stations with a script so DJ's could "interact" with Streisand on the air. Click the button to hear it:

Below is a scan of a Oct. 18, 1964 Times review of Barbra's People album (courtesy of Joe Petrollese, from his collection):

Times review of People album

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

Platinum: 1 million units shipped.

People at #1 on the charts

(Above: People at #1 on the album chart for the week ending Nov. 7, 1964. Scan courtesy Peter Curl.)

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

People was awarded in 1965 at the Grammy Awards: Peter Matz won in the category Best Accompaniment Arrangement for Vocalist or Instrumentalist; Streisand won for Best Vocal Performance on “People.” People was nominated but did not win for Album of the Year and the song “People” was nominated for Record of the Year.

Streisand posed at the April 13, 1965 Grammy ceremony with Louis Armstrong, who won Best Male Vocalist for his big hit, “Hello, Dolly!”. (Did Streisand and Armstrong ever dream they would appear on screen together four years later in the film version of Dolly??)

Streisand, Armstrong win Grammys

1994 & 2002 Remastering

Barbra's 1964 album, People, has had four incarnations on Compact Disc. In 1994, Streisand's sound engineer, John Arrias, remastered and remixed many of her albums for CD. Arrias' 1994 remastering sounds much nicer than the 2002 version.

People stickers

2002 Remaster: Remastered from the original master tapes by Stephen Marcussen; Digitally edited by Stewart Whitmore for Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, CA.

The 2002 CD is red with a Columbia Records logo imprinted on it.

Comparing the Arrias 1994 remaster to Marcussen's 2002 remaster is interesting. To my ears, the 2002 CD sounds "hot". Ms. Streisand's high notes and the trumpets on this album sound as if they're distorting. (Too much EQ?)

I prefer the 1994 version over the 2002 remastering.

U.S. fans had another problem with the 2002 reissue of People: Sony BMG released the album in Europe with a bonus track that was not on the U.S. version: “I Am Woman [Single Version]”, which has never appeared on a Streisand album or in digital form until 2002 ... in Europe only. It's unfortunate the U.S. CD did not include this rare track.

Below: The 2002 Europe version of People lists the bonus track on the back cover as Track 13.

Bonus track on back cover

CD Packaging Notes

The 1994 CD (below, left) cropped off Streisand's feet on the front cover and reproduced the six photos inside the CD insert. The 2002 CD (below, right) replicated the LP back cover—with the addition of a bar code, which record companies now use to track CD sales.

1994 CD cover

Album Cover Outtakes

The cover image of Barbra's album, People, was photographed while Barbra was in Chicago ... at Michigan Avenue Beach near the famous Drake Hotel. The pictures, below, are alternates from the same photo shoot by Don Bronstein. Imagine Barbra and Don Bronstein snapping photos at dawn after her show at Mr. Kelly's .... (Bronstein won a Grammy for Best Album Cover— Robert Cato, who shared the award, was art director for Columbia Records). Streisand posed differently, tied her red-striped shirt around her waist, and also wore a mumu for some shots.

David Marienthal (son of George Marienthal, who created Mister Kelly’s) wrote a 2016 blog entry about Streisand that contained some amazing remembrances:

“My cousin Susan Marienthal Hillman was there for that shoot,” he wrote, “accompanying her husband Don Bronstein, the photographer. It was for Columbia Records — he was on their staff and had done many covers for their records. Don took pictures of Barbra all over Rush Street and in front of Mister Kelly’s, and they got to know her. And then they wanted to go to Oak Street Beach; by then it was three or four in the morning, so Barbra changed her clothes in an underpass on the way! Susan said Barbra was delightful about doing a whole all-nighter. Marty, who was her manager even back then, came along, and they were there for hours until the sun started to come up, because, that’s what he wanted for the picture.”

Streisand photographed on Chicago beach People proof sheets

Hank Parker, Columbia's staff photographer, shot Barbra dressed in various outfits for the back cover. Below are some of those outtakes.

Alternative shot of Streisand wearing football helmet

Parker outtakes People outtake


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