Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand were two of the most famous celebrities of their day, however, that doesn’t mean their interactions were always respectful. In fact, Streisand left him “speechless” after he said something demeaning about her husband, Elliott Gould. Here’s what Streisand said — and how she performed a duet with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll long after his death.
Elvis Presley questioned Barbra Streisand’s marriage to her face
In her book Elvis and Me, Priscilla Presley discussed the time her husband spoke to Streisand after one of her performances. “One night we visited Barbra Streisand backstage at the International Hotel, now the Hilton,” Priscilla wrote. “It was a classic Streisand performance and Elvis, after a few too many Bloody Marys, wanted to tell Barbra his impressions.”
He immediately asked Streisand about her marriage. “We were ushered backstage to her dressing room and Elvis’ first words upon meeting her were ‘What did you ever see in Elliott Gould? I never could stand him,’” Priscilla wrote. “In typical Streisandese, she retorted, ‘Whadaya mean? He’s the fa-tha of my child’ — leaving Elvis speechless.’”
What happened when Elliott Gould tried to get Elvis Presley to loosen up
Gould also had a memorable interaction with Elvis. During an interview with The Guardian, Gould recalled meeting him in his Las Vegas dressing room in the 1970s. Gould noticed they were under the watchful eyes of Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Gould felt that Vernon and Parker didn’t want to let the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll out of their sight because he made them so much money. In response, Gould told the King “leave ‘Elvis’ here and come out, be a free spirit. Elvis says to me, with his gold gun in his belt: ‘You’re crazy, man.’ I said: ‘Elvis, I ain’t crazy. I’m scared, just like you.’”
The virtual duet between Barbra Streisand and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Streisand opened up about her feelings about Elvis. She admitted she didn’t “get” his records at first, but, as time went on, she came to appreciate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Streisand praised his sexual energy and his star quality. In 2014, Streisand released a version of “Love Me Tender” on her album Partners that incorporates elements of her Broadway-style sound and early rock ‘n’ roll.
This version of the song combined her vocals with Elvis’ to create a virtual duet. Streisand had an easy time performing her virtual duet with him because she met him on multiple occasions. In addition, she felt as if their spirits were coming together while she recorded “Love Me Tender.” Partners reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Elvis and Streisand made commercial magic together, even if he made some tipsy comments about her husband.
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