2012 has been a banner year for those of us who have followed Barbra Streisand's career for more than five decades. How many fans get to see their favorite have a Top Ten album, a record-setting concert tour, and a movie expected to be a big Christmas hit--and all at 70 years of age?
I became a Marilyn Monroe fan in 1960, and I never imagined that fifty years later she'd be as fresh in the public's mind as she was then--on the cover of Playboy this month for goodness's sake! No other movie star has ever had that kind of impact for so long.
I'm equally fortunate as a fan of Streisand's, whom I began to follow in 1965. As special, as extraordinary as she was, few could have predicted that half a century later she would be as vital a part of the culture as she was in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. None of her contemporaries has achieved the same level of success for so long.
On Barbra's first album, the composer Harold Arlen wrote these liner notes: "I advise you to keep watching Barbra Streisand's career. This young lady (a mere twenty) has a stunning future. She listening, keep watching. And please remember, I told you so."
Even Mr. Arlen would be surprised by just how stunning Barbra's future has been.