Neil Diamond: Good Times Never Seemed So Good

[column size=one_half position=first ]neil_diamondNeil Diamond is one of the most successful recording artists in American history. He has sold more than 125 millions records, third behind Elton John and Barbra Streisand, with whom he sang “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”

The list of honors that have followed all these sales is suitably long: He is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1984), the rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2011), a two-time recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award (2000 and 2011) and a Kennedy Center honoree. He has had 10 number one singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.

[/column][column size=one_half position=last ]Diamond is a success story: He grew up in Brooklyn and initially wanted to be a laboratory biologist. The bios — especially William Ruhlmann’s at AllMusic,trace Diamond’s long career.

Three funny details: Diamond wrote The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer” and was a member of the 1960 NCAA men’s fencing championship team, where he specialized in saber. He warmed up fencing exercises through his career.

William Ruhlmann at AllMusic outlined Diamond’s progression. He started as a songwriter in the Brill Building in New York City and soon began recording his own songs. This gave him a higher profile than if he simply wrote for others. Diamond became a popular performer. His music “softened,” according to Ruhlmann. Though the critics didn’t approve, he grew ever-more famous.

Some interesting details: Diamond wrote The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer” and was a member of the 1960 NCAA men’s fencing championship team, where he specialized in saber. (He used fencing exercises to warm up through his career). Diamond once had an office over the famous Birdland jazz club in New York.

AllMusic and Wikipedia were used to prepare this post. Homepage Photo: Irisgerh. Photo on this page: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune [/column]

[cue id=”19026″]

[ninja-inline id=13465]

About The Author