DESPERATE to jump-start his music career, JOHN TRAVOLTA cor­nered his idol BARBRA STREISAND at the Oscars and begged her to do an album with him.

The 59-year-old “Grease” star – who’s been a huge fan of Babs since his 20s – is trying to bounce back from his train wreck of a Christmas CD and much-maligned video he did with Olivia Newton-John last year.

The album’s single, a duet he sang with Olivia called “I Think You Might Like It,” was widely panned by fans and critics. And its cheesy promo­tional video was targeted for special ridicule.

It features a waxy-looking Travolta with close-cropped, jet-black hair landing a plane in time to meet Olivia for Christmas. Bloggers blasted it as creepy and bizarre.

One critic cracked that it has “the production values of a car-dealer commercial.”

Travolta also recorded a track with Streisand on the Christmas album, and de­spite its tepid sales, he still “believes that when it comes to music, Barbra has the Midas touch,” revealed an insider.

“John sees a collaboration with her as a resurrection for his music career. That’s why he jumped at the chance to pitch his album idea to her backstage at the Academy Awards.”

The “Saturday Night Fever” star hopes to record a smash hit with Streisand by follow­ing the example of Frank Sinatra, whose “Duets” album went triple-platinum 20 years ago.

“JOHN SAYS THERE’S ALWAYS been a market for this type of album,” disclosed the source. “It appeals to the older gen­eration, which he thinks is too often ignored by the music industry.

“He wants back into the world of mainstream music and thinks the time is perfect right now.

“He’s very hopeful his idea will work.”