The Academy Awards

Neil appeared on the “Academy Awards” telecast as the presenter for the Best Song award. One of the nominees was “Evergreen”, the love theme from the movie, “A Star Is Born”. Most people are aware that this song was a big hit for the star of the movie, Barbra Streisand, but not as many are aware that she co-wrote the song with Paul Williams. The Best Song Oscar goes to the songwriter(s). So, Barbra was up for this Oscar.

Neil read off all the nominees and then was handed the envelope. He said, before he opened it, that he would read Barbra’s name no matter what it said. Well, that’s what he did, although I think it’s because “Evergreen” was really the winner. Actually, what he said was, “Barbra, come on up here and get your award.” And that’s what she did. I’m sure they hugged and kissed. Now, remember, this was about a year and a half BEFORE they did “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” together. Neil was not yet thought of as being in Babs’ league. However, it was known that they were both from Brooklyn and had sung in a school chorus together, so they were somewhat connected.

After they did the duet, “People” magazine printed a picture of the two of them together, and I recognized it as having come from that Oscar appearance.

— Regina Litman

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