My selection today on Worst Hits of the 70’s is You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. This song went to #1 in 1978. Most of you probably know the story- the song was written by Neil Diamond and Alan and Marilyn Bergman for a television show All That Glitters. Diamond released it on his I’m Glad You’re With Me Here Tonight album and Babs covered it on her Songbird album. We would have all probably been safe from it but others got involved-radio people who heard the songs and spliced the two versions together making it a duet recording. If you listened to Casey Kasam and American Top 40 back at the time it seemed as if he told the story every other week that the song was on the charts. My guess is there wasn’t a recording studio in the world big enough to fit the two egos of Neil and Babs into it at the same time.
Back in the day I had a pretty good radar on what would be a hit- [today I admit I am totally clueless } and the first time I heard this song I knew it would go to #1. Two superstars together on a dreadful song- it couldn’t miss and it didn’t. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers was #1 on the Billboard charts for two weeks.
I never took Neil Diamond very seriously until the summer of 1992. I thought of him as a ‘file under easy listening’ type. That summer my brother and I spent going across country going to historical sites and as many baseball games at different major league parks as we could. One day we were in Seattle and stopped at a mall before the game. For some reason a new release caught my eye- Neil Diamond “The Greatest Hits 1966-1992.” It was a double album. I bought it. After the game that night in Seattle we needed to drive all night to gain some ground to get to Oakland in two days for a ballgame. We listened to the Neil Diamond album all night. I had to admit he had some great songs- and also there was a high entertainment/comedy value to some of his songs. On that CD there is a live version of Brother Loves Traveling Salvation Show- that is just downright hilarious. One thing this Greatest Hits does exhibit is the late 70’s decline- and he certainly ‘jumped the shark” with You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. As far as Babs goes- I have not been converted. I know she is/was a great talent etc- but I’ve never been a fan. When is she leaving the country by the way? Didn’t see pledge to leave if Trump was elected?
Both Diamond and Streisand went to the same high school Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, New York. They were in the school choir at the same time. Erasmus High School has dozens upon dozens of famous alumni- some states don’t have the star power that this high school has- the great American Chessmaster- Bobby Fischer, Mae West, Al Davis, Clara Bow, Joseph Barbera, Clive Davis, Moe Howard, Barbara Stanwyck and that is just the tip of the iceberg.