Song of the Day, January 16: Queen Bee by Barbra Streisand

StreisandBeeToday’s song is Queen Bee. In 1976, Barbra Streisand was riding high. Already a Broadway star, her pop chart and movie careers were both gaining steam. For her next project, she chose to adapt the legendary film A Star Is Born, already a successful vehicle for Janet Gaynor in 1937 and Judy Garland in 1954. Teamed with Kris Kristofferson, she changed the starlet-makes-it-big story to an inside look at the music business. The film was very successful, as was the soundtrack, which featured the Streisand-penned Evergreen, a number one hit and Oscar winner.

A number of other writers — including Kristofferson and Kenny Loggins — contributed to the disc. Witty pop songsmith Rupert Holmes — who had worked with Streisand before and would go on to fame with Escape (The Pina Colada Song) in a few years — crafted one of the best musical numbers. Used as an early showcase for Streisand’s character, Esther Hoffman, it’s a great dissection of sexual politics. With clever wordplay that takes some of the sting out of the message, Holmes builds a delightful song. Streisand clearly has fun singing it, which makes it work beautifully in the film’s context.

Enjoy this great song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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