"Setting The Matter Straight"

An Addendum to my Truth Alert about Pete Hamill’s 1963 Article in The Saturday Evening Post.


I wanted to write an addendum to the Truth Alert I posted below because I couldn’t stop thinking about which “friend “could possibly have so misjudged me. I decided to track down Pete Hamill, who wrote the 1963 article that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.

I found Pete down in Mexico and asked him if he remembered who this so-called “friend” was that falsely quoted me. He said it was either a Harvey something, possibly a partner at a public relations firm that represented me years ago, or Max Gordon, the owner of the nightclub, the Blue Angel, where I had performed. My interaction with both of these men was very limited. I said hello to Harvey Sabinson maybe twice in the 26 years his PR firm, Solters and Sabinson, represented me and I had never socialized with Max Gordon. I was happy to finally find out that the source who provided the erroneous quote was not a friend, but a business associate with whom I had virtually no relationship.

I have been in the process of writing my own book, My Passion for Design, and I know how important it is to make sure that the information I include is accurate. I always hope that the journalists who choose to write about me hold themselves to the same standard.

ps. I really dislike that all these years Brooklyn had to be demeaned. I’m very proud to have come from there.

Original Truth Alert:

There are some quotes that are so erroneous and so offensive that they have to be stopped in their tracks.

A 1963 article by Pete Hamill in the Saturday Evening Post stated:

"'To Barbra," ONE FRIEND SAYS, "Brooklyn meant baseball, boredom and bad breath.'"

That conclusion couldn't have been further from the truth. But a book published subsequently actually attributes that offensive phrase to Barbra Streisand herself, either carelessly or intentionally twisting Hamill's report.

Setting the matter straight before it gains any traction: she never said anything like that, she never thought anything like that and she seriously doubts that any friend of hers could have so misjudged her.

Comments for this Truth Alert

My daughters and I were watching Hello Dolly from 1969 and they wanted to know if red is Barbra's real hair color?

So what DOES Brooklyn mean to Barbra Streisand? (Alliteration encouraged.)

Given the pride with which she speaks of Brooklyn, New York and her roots throughout her career, I've always felt this quote, although humorous in a snarky way, did not ring true of Barbra.

Barbra, it's such a shame that you have to justify yourself because of some crap journalism! Your true fan's (of which I am one! used to download all your albums by <a href="http://www.mp3hunting.com">mp3 search</a> ) love you for who you are and don't believe all the rubbish that's written about you. Keep up your awesome, creative genius!

As a responce to your "ps.",

You should be proud to come from Brooklyn darling! Brooklyn is great, and so is NY!

As for the rest of the truth alert, they're just being immature and wanting attention. Don't let these stupid little things bother you Babs!

-Hailey H.

We all have to put up with negativity and falsehoods written or said about ourselves, if we have any strong beliefs or passions. But as painful as it is in our private lives, it must be incredibly painful when the false information becomes public information purported to be the truth.
You have my sympathies and understanding.

Anyone who writes a book that denigrates another human being, wreaks of jealousy, revenge, and/or opportunism and has no validity. What a putz! I have learned long ago that people are threatened by a smart and powerful woman. We who have loved and followed Babs career can never be fooled by this kind of garbage.

It must be annoying to be misquoted and even worse have quotes made up. A big red flag for me is when the quotes are from anonymous sources. Funny how those quotes from anonymous sources almost always are negative or derogatory. Would a friend give a writer such a quote?
Hang in there Barbra, the truth is more powerful than lies.

I have actually seen this quote attributed to Barbra more than once--I just assumed it was true! I am glad she is setting the record straight! It's just like when some reporter compared Renata Tebaldi's voice to Coca-Cola, and now every book attributes the qoute to Maria Callas, just to make her look mean. Why do they pick on divas?

There have been several biographies. Is there one you can recommend that we, your devoted fans, read? (Saw you at McCormick Place in Chicago in the 60's!)

In two editions of my book, "The Barbra Streisand Scrapbook" (Citadel), I have clarified this quote and said just what Barbra said in this Truth Alert.
She also wrote to Playboy in 1977 after the Larry Grobel interview to set the record straight about this 'unquote.'
For whatever reason, writers fail to find the truth sufficient and print this wrong Brooklyn information. It's annoying how it lives on.

Allison J. Waldman

In concerts and televised interviews Barbra has often waxed nostalgically of being in the choir at Erasmus Hall High School, eating a Mellow Roll at the Loew’s King on Flatbush Avenue, and harmonizing as a child in the hallways and on stoops of her apartment in Brooklyn. These all seem like loving remembrances of a time and place that would eventually inspire an unparalleled, multifaceted career.

I am so glad to see that somebody has the intelligence to stand up for the truth. Barbra has never been remiss about accepting blame for what she feels she did. Why then should she be blamed for things she never did or said?

I read that comment and it has always been attributed to her. I was curious about it because it just does not sound like something she would say.

I'm glad and here is hoping that THE TRUTH WILL OUT

Anyone who has followed Babs over the years knows how much she loves her home.
There is no disregard for Brooklyn. Many times at her concerts she has shared with us
her memories and mad us feel like family. I do not know her personally but would be honored to call her friend.

Babs keep following your heart. Your fans know and love you.
Happy New Year to all.

I was so happy to see that Barbra has issues a new truth alert regarding this very old, very irritating quote. I have felt for decades that it was ludicrous, and have become annoyed every time it has reared its ugly head over the years. It is amazing how these things persist. It is my fervent hope that one day Barbra will write a comprehensive autobiography which takes apart some of the countless inaccuracies and misquotes attributed to her during her long career. The awful thing is that so many people will believe ANYTHING just because it appears in print. As a librarian, working every day with hundreds of readers, it shocks me how people read something, and never question the validity or the facts of anything! Bravo, Barbra!