Letter found among Dylan's recently-acquired personal archive
Barbra Streisand has commented on a recent letter that was found in the personal archives of Bob Dylan, addressed to the folk icon from Streisand in the late ’70s.
Dylan’s personal, secret archive containing over 6,000 letters, notebooks, instruments and more items was recently announced to be going on permanent display in 2017 in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to a post on the NY Times last week (March 2), a handwritten card from Barbra Streisand, postmarked November 1978, was among the items, in which she thanked Dylan for sending flowers and suggests that they make a record together. The same post prompted Streisand to contact the newspaper with some back story.
The New York Times today (March 7) published a statement that was handed in from her official spokesperson, saying:
“I read the recent story in The New York Times about Bob Dylan’s archive, and I was so touched to find out he had saved a note from me.
It prompted me to go back into my own archive and retrieve a letter I had saved from him.
As I remember it, first he sent me flowers and a lovely note, asking me if I would like to sing with him. In return, I sent him the note that’s in his archive, thanking him for the flowers and the invitation. But for whatever reason, it never happened at the time.
Years later … when “Yentl” was about to come out … he sent me his latest album, along with the letter I still have. In it, he writes, “There are some songs on this album which I’m sure you would love to do.”
He adds, “I’m looking forward to seeing your movie. Maybe you can direct me in one of mine.” And then he goes on to say something that still means so much to me: “You are my favorite star. Your self-determination, wit and temperament and sense of justice have always appealed to me.”
I thought scholars, and fans, might like to know the story behind my note. And I plan to send a copy of his letter to Bob, so it can be included in his archive, as well as mine.”
On March 2, it was announced that a secret archive of Bob Dylan memorabilia had found a new home for it’s permanent display.
The vast collection of items relating to the songwriter – including more than 6,000 letters, notebooks, handwritten lyrics, instruments and much more – will find residence in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the Brady Arts District which also houses the Woody Guthrie Center.
According to The New York Times, the University of Tulsa and The George Kaiser Family Foundation paid an estimated $15-20 million for the full collection. On arrival in Oklahoma, the process of cataloguing the items will take two years.
According to a press release, some of the items include a notebook filled with lyrics circa ‘Blood on the Tracks’, Dylan’s wallet from 1966 containing Johnny Cash’s address and phone number, as well as a business card from Otis Redding, a leather jacket Dylan wore at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival appearance and lots more.
The material will be displayed alongside “a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence, a cache of Native American art and the papers of Guthrie,” the Times reports.
In a recent press release, Dylan said of the announcement: “I’m glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations. To me it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honor.”
Last month, Bob Dylan announced he was working on another album of cover ‘standards’, according to reports (February 15).
Last year saw Dylan release his 36th studio album ‘Shadows In The Night’, which featured jazz and pop standards made famous by Frank Sinatra.
Billboard reports that Dylan is now back recording at Hollywood’s Capitol Studios, where Sinatra himself recorded.
Engineer Al Schmitt confirmed that Dylan is working on the follow-up to ‘Shadows In The Night’, although he didn’t confirm whether the songs would again be Sinatra covers.
“It’s going along great,” Schmitt said. “[Dylan] sounds great. His mood in the studio is fabulous. We’re having a good time. We’re like two old shoes together now, we’re so comfortable with one another now.”
Schmitt added of Dylan: “He’s extraordinarily smart and he’s so aware of everything that’s going on, so he knows what’s happening at every moment.”
‘Shadows In The Night’ was Dylan’s first album since ‘Tempest’ in 2012.
Dylan toured the UK in support of ‘Shadows In The Night’ in 2015, playing a number of dates at London Royal Albert Hall, Manchester O2 Apollo and Cardiff Motorpoint Arena last October.