The Earth Day Special (1990)
Executive Produced by Richard Baskin (Barbra Streisand's boyfriend at the time), The Earth Day Special was an environmental and ecological show about Mother Earth getting sick and what the community did about it. An all-star cast appeared in the show, including Bette Midler as Mother Earth, Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, and even James Brolin! (who Streisand married in 1998 ... How does that song go? ... “Isn't it a pity we never met before?”) Performers who participated either donated their time or worked for scale.
Barbra contributed two performances to the show.
The opening narration was spoken by Streisand. Her narration, by the way, was written by astronomer Carl Sagan (Cosmos) and his wife, Ann Druyan. Barbra also sang a new vocal of "Somewhere" with a tweak to Stephen Sondheim's lyrics:
"... we'll find a new way of giving; we'll find a new way of living ... One Day."
At the end of the show, Barbra sang a Bergman/Legrand song, “One Day” [which has never appeared on a Streisand album]. The recording was produced by Jack Gold and mixed by John Arias.
“One Day” was recorded by Barbra for the album What About Today? She recorded it three times: March 1968, February 1969 and May 1969 with arrangements by Peter Matz and David Shire. Barbra Archives is not sure which arrangement was used for The Earth Day Special, but the recording was produced by Jack Gold and mixed by Streisand's recording engineer, John Arrias. (Arrias helped compile the 1991 retrospective, Just For The Record ... one can assume that “One Day” was probably rediscovered by Streisand and Arrias while working on the 4-CD set.)
The clip was staged simply: Barbra sang in close up through a rainy window. The song finished with a sweeping camera move from medium-shot to a full rear shot of Barbra and a very large window. The set was designed by Tom John, who was responsible for the sets on all of Barbra's early 1960s television specials.
The Barbra Streisand Music Guide reported that “One Day” appeared on a 4-CD box set called The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The mix of “One Day” was different on the box set: At the end of the song, while Barbra holds the last note, she overdubs a refrain of “Somewhere”: “Someday, Somehow, Somewhere...”
Finally, at the end of The Earth Day Special, Barbra made one last appearance. In a montage of helpful ecological tips from celebrities, Streisand looked into the camera and said, “It means the world to us!”
[ top of page ]