A Minute With: Barbra Streisand's songwriters

Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:10am EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Husband and wife songwriting team Marilyn and Alan Bergman have won three Academy Awards and two Grammys, but their biggest reward in a long career just may be writing for Barbra Streisand.

They have penned the words of songs such as "The Way We Were" and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." While they have written for other singers ranging from Frank Sinatra to Sting, it is Streisand they hold dearest.

The Bergmans first saw her as a teenager in a Greenwich Village club. They immediately took to her and she to them.

Streisand recently released a new album, "What Matters Most," as a tribute to the Bergmans and their music. It includes "The Windmills of Your Mind" and Streisand's version of Sinatra's "Nice 'n' Easy." The Bergmans spoke with Reuters about the album and their long relationship with Streisand.

Q: You have won numerous awards and been feted many times. So, how special could this have been?

Marilyn: "We almost fell off our chairs. Barbra is our muse. She has recorded over 50 songs of ours, which makes her role in our musical lives and personal lives a very special one."

Alan: "And when she does our songs, she finds things that always surprise us. She deepens them. She gets all the nuances, everything, so it's thrilling."

Marilyn: "Other people have sung 'Windmills of Your Mind,' but really, we think hers will be the definitive version."   Continued...

<p>Alan and Marilyn Bergman at the 26th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood, April 22, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>