Today in 1978 Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand released their harrowing musical tale of a florist’s worst nightmare, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”

It was an enormous hit song, and one that pretty much happened by accident.

The song wasn’t even supposed to be a full song, at first.

Diamond had worked with a married songwriting team, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, to come up with a snippet of a song for a TV show called “All That Glitters.”

It was a parody of soap operas and the premise was that women were the breadwinners and men stayed home and watched the kids.

“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” was supposed to be a dude in the position of a real-world stay at home wife, complaining that his busy spouse thought only of work and never of him.

And it got cut from the show anyway (!)

But Diamond figured he had something, so he worked with the Bergmans to turn the snippet into a full song, which he added to his live show and recorded for an album.

A year or so later, Diamond’s fellow singing star and old high school classmate Barbra Streisand did her own version of the song.

And that would’ve been that, except that a bunch of radio DJs figured out that the two versions were so similar that you could essentially play them both at the same time and switch from one to the other to make it sound like a duet.

It was a mashup before mashups were a thing, and audiences loved it.

When the record company heard about what was going on, they got Diamond and Streisand to go back into the studio and record a new version together, so they could sell the duet as a proper single.

Two months after its release, this version of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” hit number one on the Billboard singles chart.

In this case, two really was better than one.

Today in 1989, a massive earthquake in California struck just as a World Series game was about to get underway in the Bay Area.

According to a biographer, retired baseball great and longtime San Franciscan Joe DiMaggio raced home from the game, went inside, and came back out holding a garbage bag containing $600,000.

So that’s where you’ve gone, Joe DiMaggio?

The Number Ones: Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond’s “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (Stereogum)

Book: Lawyer Cheated DiMaggio

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