Music’s Golden Girls Return

You hear much piffle these days about ladies ruling pop and blokes being rubbish at it, but there have always been brilliant female artists and none more so than Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand and Doris Day, who are all releasing new albums in the next few weeks. Hands up who thinks Cher Lloyd will still be around in 50 years time? For Dolly, her gazillionth album Better Day is accompanied by a string of tour dates for the irrepressable whirlwind; Doris Day is producing her first new album in 17 years with My Heart; and Babs is releasing What Matters Most, a collection of songs written by her longtime collaborators Marilyn and Alan Bergman…

First up, Dolly. She’s already the most-honoured female country star of all-time and also one of the most sought-after chatshow guests going, with her quick wit and way with a one-liner. “I wanted to do an album that would be uplifting and positive as well as inspirational,” says the seven-time Grammy winner. “Times are hard all over. People need to feel better and I thought Better Day was a perfect title because it says ‘hope’.” The Better Day world tour is already galloping around the US and reaches the UK on August 20th.

Second up, Doris. At 87, she’s unlikely to be following Dolly’s world tour example, but nevertheless My Heart promises nine brand-new recordings produced by Day’s late son Terry, along with a co-write with Beach Boy Bruce Johnston proving that Doris still has a mighty black book at her disposal. “I had to sing some modern songs because I’d already done all the old ones,” Doris remarked.

Last but not least, there’s Babs, whose What Matters Most album is her first for two years and comprises ten original songs penned especially for her by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, her longtime collaborators who were responsible for such hits as You Don’t Bring Me Flowers and The Way We Were. Reflecting on her long-held desire to devote an entire album to the music of the Bergmans, Streisand noted: “Alan and Marilyn have a remarkable gift for expressing affairs of the heart.” The duo, meanwhile, shot right back: “When we write a song, we hear Barbra. She makes the connection from the heart to the mind and it emerges through her voice.” Here them gush about each other in the following video…

Barbra Streisand’s What Matters Most is out on August 22nd; Dolly Parton’s Better Day is out on August 29th and Doris Day’s My Heart is out on September 5th.

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