I Love Liberty (1982)

I Love Liberty title shot
  • Broadcast on ABC March 21, 1982
  • Created & Developed by: Norman Lear
  • Produced & Directed by: Bill Carruthers
  • Executive Producers: Norman Lear, Bud Yorkin
  • Written by: Richard Alfieri, Rita Mae Brown, Rick Mitz, Arthur Allan Seidelman and Norman Lear
  • Musical Supervised & Conducted by: Peter Matz
  • Special Musical Material: Larry Grossman
  • Barbra Streisand Segment Produced by: Joe Layton
  • Barbra Streisand and Kenny Rogers segments previously recorded.
Streisand sings America

Televangelist Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979. Its action committees, comprised of conservative Christians, campaigned on moral issues that they felt represented the opinions of the majority of Americans—abortion, homosexuality, and media programs that were anti-family.

Norman Lear, who created the popular but controversial television shows Maude and All in the Family, was at the center of one of the Moral Majority’s campaigns. Falwell labeled Lear “the No. 1 enemy of the American family.” Lear, in response, turned into a political activist. He established People For the American Way to counteract the negative activities of the Religious Right.

Lear and his partner Bud Yorkin produced a two-hour television special for ABC in 1982. I Love Liberty was, as Lear described it, “a patriotic reaffirmation, a paean, a tribute to the guaranteed liberties in this country that is unique in the world.”

Ad for I Love Liberty

Streisand, who has always done what she can to promote civil liberties, wanted to be involved in Lear’s special. Barbra taped a special segment for I Love Liberty. Joe Layton (My Name is Barbra, The Belle of 14th Street) produced Barbra’s segment (the song “America the Beautiful”) with the U.S. Air Force marching band in the background.

“I thought it was important to sing against the Moral Majority,” Streisand stated.

Streisand lip-synched “America the Beautiful” and looked fetching in her all-white pantsuit and curly, brown hair. Her segment was taped in London while Streisand did preproduction work on Yentl.


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