Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Streisand, Bassey, Jones and Adele at the Oscars - wow.

A woman who has not sung at the Oscars in 36 years and one who has never sung but should have, will be front and center – and providing some powerful vocals – in a Diva-studded line-up.

Two-time Oscar winner Barbra Streisand, who has sung on the Oscars only once before, will perform Sunday night. Streisand last sang the love theme from A Star Is Born on the March 28, 1977 show, winning the Best Original Song Oscar for Evergreen that same night.

Joining Streisand will be the immortal Shirley Bassey in what is being called a ‘special appearance’ by the Academy. I am assuming that Bassey will perform as part of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films. She did three Bond films: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. Oh to hear her do any of those again.

Streisand won an Oscar for 1968’s Funny Girl. She was also nominated for Best Actress again for her role in The Way We Were (one of those films that I can watch over and over and thoroughly enjoy). She lost that year to Glenda Jackson in a Touch of Class. However the theme from The Way We Were, did win best song for Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

I once saw Streisand live. Terry and I were delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 2000. Streisand helped close the Convention with a performance at the Shrine Auditorium. Terry and I were thrilled even if we were in the nose-bleed seats.

In addition to fifty years of Bond films, Shirley Bassey has her own “Diamond Jubilee” with a career spanning over six decades. She has recorded over 44 albums, sold over 135 million records and has sold out concert halls across the world. In June 2012, she was one of a number of esteemed artists, including Elton John, Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox, who performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert.

Streisand and Bassey will be joined by a couple of other impressive singers: Adele (the theme from Skyfall is nominated and she will sing it - it is the only Bond song to ever have been nominated) and Norah Jones.

This is more musical sizzle than the Oscars have had in a long time. In fact many other performers who take the stage Sunday night with this impressive line-up may feel as George Gobel once said that he did: In making an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the company of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, Gobel said that he felt like the world was a tuxedo and he was a pair of brown shoes.

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