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December 18, 2014

Streisand and Freeman among 2008 Kennedy Center Honorees

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 9th 2008 5:21PM
Streisand concert Kennedy ctrWhen I read the release today announcing the artists who will receive the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors -- actress/singer/director Barbra Streisand, actor Morgan Freeman, singer George Jones, choreographer Twyla Tharp, and musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who -- my first reaction was, "It's about time!"

That was mostly about Barbra Streisand finally being named. Streisand, who's been recognized with every major show business award (two Oscars, multiple Emmys and Grammys, a special Tony, Peabody awards, an AFI, more Golden Globes and any other performer, and lots more) has been overdue for this one. It's been a glaring omission in her resume. Of course, the catch with the Kennedy Center is that you have to be there to get it.

Apparently, Barbra decided that this was the year to go. She's being honored for her films (Funny Girl, The Way We Were, et. al), as well as her music, TV, theater and live performances.

This Kennedy Center show will also be significant -- and poignant -- because Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman recently survived a serious car crash. Like Streisand, Freeman is an easy choice. His body of work makes him very worthy. The Shawshank Redemption is a Freeman classic.

Dancing legend Twyla Tharp and country music star George Jones are equally worthy, and it was great that The Who's two key members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are included. Tommy alone pioneered the idea of rock opera.

The Kennedy Center Honors will be celebrating its 31st year, and all 31 have been on CBS. The TV special will be taped on December 7, with the President and Mrs. Bush present along with the honorees as their artistry is feted by fellow artists in performance and tributes. The broadcast date is TBA, but is usually within a couple of weeks of the taping. This will be one that I will definitely be watching.

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Andrea T.

Who came up with this years honorees list? I can think of several talented singers in the entertainment industry more deserving of this than George Jones and Pete Townsend. How about the incredible married singing duo who have been going strong for 50+ years Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. I e-mailed you last winter as did several others suggesting that maybe it was time you recognized their talents and contributions to the entertainment industry. Guess who won't be watching the program after watching every year for twenty+ years...me that's who!

October 30 2008 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JRW

Are you kidding me? Someone had a reaction of..."It's about time!"... when reading the list of those selected to be honored by The Kennedy Center. Please. This has become about creating a TV show, pure and simple, not about honoring deserving artists. (We need one of these, two of those, etc., etc.) The people who make these selections scanned the entirety of American theater, music, film and television and found not a single person more deserving than Roger Daltrey or Pete Townsend, two members of the rock group the Who? Nice musicians, no doubt, but being honored by the Kennedy Center? And now? This diminshes all who have come before (No pun intended) and the entirety of the honors' idea. Just off the top of my head I could come up with a person far more very deserving of being honored than any on the list: Doris Day. From seeing a biography on her, I found out she was a very successful Big Band singer, having THE top song of World War II, "Sentimental Journey." She was THE top movie star of the 1960s. She had a very successful TV show and she has devoted her life to saving dogs and other animals. And she doesn't come to mind of anyone at the Kennedy Center?? They think of Pete Townsend and/or Roger Daltrey? Are they reduced to scraping the bottom of the barrell now?

September 10 2008 at 8:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JRW's comment
Allison Solow

I think you're wrong. I agree that Doris Day is VERY deserving, but she has refused the award. If you read her biographies, you know that. Streisand is even more deserving than Doris when you realize the body of her work and the pioneering efforts she's made as a woman in show business. I'd like to see Doris right up there with her.

September 10 2008 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

I always enjoy the Kennedy Center Honors, but I'm curious what they will do in the Pete Townshend tribute -- an all-boy chorus singing See Me, Feel Me?

September 10 2008 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shelley

I'm so happy for Barbra! Of course, you know she would rather be there with a democratic president but, whatever...
she is the BEST!!

September 09 2008 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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