“I love the way you talk… It’s such a great accent.” That’s how Barbra Streisand begins a 1964 interview in her Funny Girl dressing room at the Windsor Garden Theatre on Broadway with the late Australian radio reporter Binny Lum, who passed away last year at age 97.
Thanks to Australia’s National Film & Sound Archive, that conversation and many other Lum celeb chats can now be accessed over the Internet. The institute has lovingly archived the work of Lum, who hosted an afternoon show on Melbourne’s 3XY. Per the institute, here’s how Lum in her memoirs framed the Streisand conversation:
I guess Barbra looked fairly basic, in slacks and a sloppy joe top, but her personality was a different thing. She had a disarming, down-to-earth naturalness which the Americans might call “kooky”…
She spoke of a trip to London, which she’d loved, mentioned that her present apartment was one where Yip Harburg, the lyricist, had lived and so on – a delightful, inconsequential chat which was just what I wanted; it typified this young star.
A total of 139 Lum conversations (!) have been posted (alphabetically by first name) on the Film & Sound Archive’s Sound Cloud channel; the audio files encompass everyone from Fred Astaire and Danny Kaye to Vivien Leigh and Edith Head. Wow. We would like to send a heaping, early U.S. Thanksgiving thanks to the organization for this beyond-delightful treasure trove.
Be sure to listen past the formal end of Lum’s conversation with Streisand. The performer lays down a bunch of different, funny, accented and occasionally giggle-interrupted bumpers for Lum’s Melbourne radio station.