Barbra's Singles

You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Duet with Neil Diamond) (#3-10840)

You Don't Bring Me Flowers (3:14) (N. Diamond, A. Bergman, M. Bergman)

You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Instrumental w/ Soloist Alan Lindgren) (3:14)

Released October 1978

You Don't Bring Me Flowers single

About the Single

Sheet music

(Above: YDBMF sheet music)

Streisand and Neil Diamond’s duet on “You Don't Bring Me Flowers” debuted at No. 48 and went all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts by November 1978.

The story most Streisand fans know by now is how the duet of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” with Neil Diamond came to happen. In a nutshell, a disc jockey named Gary Guthrie got creative and edited together Barbra’s solo version of the song with Neil Diamond’s solo version and started playing it on air, which created a hit. Columbia Records requested that Streisand and Diamond actually record the song together. Bob Gaudio, who usually worked with Diamond, produced the duet; Alan Lindgren arranged it. The superstar duo recorded it at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles. In October 1978, Streisand and Diamond's “official” single was released. It appeared on this second collection of Streisand hits.

Gary Guthrie set the record straight in 2009 in a Billboard Chart Beat column by Gary Trust:

There's some misinformation about how Barb and Neil came about. For example, most accounts have me listed as a “deejay,” even though I was rarely on the air. The short story is this: Becky, my wife, and I were going through a very amiable divorce. The previous Fall, we had heard Neil's version at a friend's house and I noticed how it made her cry. Fast forward to Spring 1978 and Barbra's new album (another of Becky's favorites) came out and, dayumm, there it was again.

There was just something that clicked in my head and I decided to do it for her. Since we weren't really sleeping in the same bed at that time, my nights were open and I'd hang out at the station and play with the mix, then take it in to whoever (was on the air and) have them play it while I went out to my car and listened to how it sounded.

There was a lot of back and forth with that late at night before I ever unleashed it on the daytime public. Once I did, however, all hell broke loose. Requests, record store calls, you name it.

I had two friends who had an in at Columbia — one who had been their Nashville VP and one who was their local guy in Miami — and I asked both to help me get this up the ladder. They did their job well.

Word spread quickly, and my 15 minutes of fame was in full force. People magazine, the LA Times, Good Morning America, Merv Griffin, Casey Kasem, even the Aussie version of Johnny Carson came calling for the story.

Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond performed the song live on the Grammy Awards February 27, 1980.

(Below: Germany and Holland picture sleeve)

Germany picture sleeve

Billboard Charts

The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine.

Here's the numbers for this Streisand single:

A Gold single is awarded after 1 million copies sold, and a Platinum single after 2 million copies sold.

Below: YDBMF at #1 on the Hot 100 Chart the week ending December 2, 1978. Scan by Peter Curl.

YDBMF at number one

Grammy Nominations

End.

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