I was going to feature his ending song America from the movie The Jazz Singer which I reviewed here, but since it already appeared in that article I will skip right on to another grandiose song from the movie soundtrack – Hey Louise. Neil Diamond is certainly a glitzy entertainer who also took part in The Band’s send off concert – The Last Waltz singing Dry Your Eyes.
His songs are still immensely popular in particular Sweet Caroline which gets played often at large sporting events to cajole the crowd. We listened to his music frequently in my youth. I haven’t heard much from him besides his greatest hits and The Jazz Singer soundtrack.
This soundtrack was an enormous success unlike the movie with the critics. It was Neil Diamond’s biggest selling album in the United States, selling over 5 million copies reaching #3 on the pop albums chart.
Interesting, Hey Louise didn’t comprise one of the three songs from the album which became top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Love on the Rocks, Hello Again and America reaching attained Nos. 2, 6, and 8 respectively.
Hey, my Louise
If I take you home
Will you make me plead?
My sweet amour
If I come to close, will you close the door?
Oh ma cherie, do you know my name?
I remember yours
And I know what you need
What you need my Louise
Sadly, I read here that 81 year old Diamond announced in 2021 that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which is affecting his speech and movement- the disease is currently incurable.
Diamond has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to a Jewish family. All four of his grandparents were immigrants, from Poland on his father’s side and Russia on his mother’s. He was a member of the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club, along with classmate Barbra Streisand. Diamond recalled they were not close friends at the time: “We were two poor kids in Brooklyn. We hung out in the front of Erasmus High and smoked cigarettes.” Later on in this music library project a song duet by Barbra and Neil will feature called You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.