TDR-Sad News: NEIL DIAMOND RETIRES FROM TOURING. The news that Neil Diamond (Neil Leslie Diamond) has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease reminded me of the day that Glen Campell announced that he was suffering from dementia. At first there's shock, but then the realization that Musical Stars are subject to the same tragedies in life as the rest of us, as we saw when AC/DC founder Malcolm Young recently passed away at 64 after a long bout with dementia. But Neil Diamond always seemed so strong and energetic it took a few minutes to digest, he has enjoyed a very successful career for over 50 years.
Diamond has scored 38 Top 10 Hits on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart and sold 130 Million Albums world-wide. He was inducted into The Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1984 and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Also that year he was an Honoree at the Kennedy Center Awards, and will be presented with both the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award this year. In comparison with most artists of the Golden Era his accomplishments are astounding, and through it all he's been a good and decent person.
Neil Diamond's Top Ten Singles include: "Cracklin' Rosie", "Song Sung Blue", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", "America" and "Heartlight." At 16 Neil had been at summer camp in the Catskills when Peter Seeger came to perform...the young Diamond boy was so impressed by Seeger and his songs that he purchased a guitar on returning to Brooklyn and began to write songs. He had another talent in his teens, he could write poetry, it didn't take him long to figure out that when he wrote poetry about the young ladies he'd become very popular, and that skill of course, would also come into play writing songs, as it did with his contemporary Leonard Cohen.
Neil Diamond attended NYU on a Fencing Scholarship, and was a member of the NCAA Men's Fencing Championship in 1960. Bored in college he'd often skip school to take the train to Tin Pan Alley and try to sell the songs he was writing. Then, just 10 credits short of graduating from College he got an offer from a publisher and dropped out of school...he said he's never regretted not graduating. From there on it's Musical History with him having one Hit Record after another, and his Tours selling out almost as soon as they were announced. In March he was scheduled to Tour Australia and New Zealand on his 50th Anniversary, and one of the first announcements he made about his sickness was to those people down-under who had already bought tickets to see him this Spring.
For the TDR Tribute Video, Scott selected a clip from a BBC Concert in London in 1970 with Neil singing "Crackling Rosie" Live with the usual Brit Quality Audio and Video. From those of us here at TDR we send Best Wishes and Good Luck to the legendary Neil Diamond who has brought great music and joy into so many lives. @therealdonrocks