22nd Grammy Awards
Aired: February 27, 1980 on CBS
Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond recorded “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” in 1978. Diamond reminisced about the recording session: “It was the two of us with a piano and we sang it, and they put the strings on it later. And just — I think two or three takes. And, you know, it was easy … I mean, she’s, you know, probably the greatest female singer of my generation.”
“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” first appeared on the 1978 album, Barbra Streisand’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2. The single was a number one hit for Barbra and Neil.
It wasn’t until the Grammy Awards in 1980 that they finally sang it live together. It’s amazing to hear the audience scream and react to Streisand on stage. Up until the final moment when Streisand’s hand caressed Diamond’s face, the crowd responded like Beatles fans to her every movement. When the performance was finished and the audience rose to its feet, Streisand looked as if she had just survived an amazing roller coaster ride.
Grammy Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich recalled that Streisand phoned him at home late the night before the show to ask which hand she should use to caress Neil Diamond's cheek.
“Do you know that I staged it?” Barbra told the Grammys in 2011. “Well, what happened was I came to the rehearsals and they wanted to have three stools there. The one in the middle would hold a bouquet of flowers. And then Neil and I would sing this song. I said, ‘Do you mind if I give you my opinion on how this should be staged?’ I said Neil and I would come onstage from two different sides. There would be no announcement of our names. I made up a whole backstory about this couple. We've [been] married for 15 or 20 years and we're breaking up. We really are sad to do it, but we've had it. We don't give each other anything anymore and so we slowly walk together. To me, that's the way it should have been staged — very simply and coming together to say goodbye in a sense.”
In 2004, the pantsuit Streisand wore to the Grammys was auctioned starting at $2,000. The auction catalog described the outfit as “a custom crepe silk two piece pantsuit adorned with silver rhinestones, top featuring shoulder pads, an inner front layer, a high neck collar which features fabric covered buttons in the back, full length sleeves and a gathered front, pajama style pants clasp and snap at the side, having self waist and hidden side slit pockets.”