July 24, 8 p.m. | Rogers Arena
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Neil Leslie Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941, into a family descended from Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants who worked as dry goods merchants.
Along with classmate Barbra Streisand, he attended Erasmus Hall High School. There, he sang in the chorus and began developing his musical skills after receiving his first guitar at age 16.
While writing music was an immediate passion, Diamond was also an accomplished athlete who was good enough with a sword to attend NYU on a fencing team scholarship. However, the draw of songwriting was too strong and he eventually dropped out of university to ply his trade at such publishing houses as the Brill Building, home to many a legendary tunesmith.
As he tours on his 50 Year Anniversary Tour, Diamond can certainly kick back knowing he made the right choice in career. But the man with 38 Top 10 singles to his credit didn’t always have an easy ride — for much of his career, his biggest successes were writing for other acts. Even after he was a star, it was often cover versions of his material that gained more attention than his own versions.
Here are 10 Neil Diamond tunes that were (mostly) made more famous by other artists than by their composer:
1. Sunday and Me, Jay and the Americans (1965)
Credited by most music historians as Diamond’s first real hit, this single reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This was far from the top position reached by the clean cut Jay & the Americans, who made a career that continues to this very day off the songs Cara Mia and Come A Little Bit Closer.
2. Where Do You Run, Billy Fury (1965)
Diamond’s skills crossed the Atlantic on numerous occasions. This was one of the first times, when English film star and early rock n roll superstar Fury covered this tune. For all those scratching their heads going “Billy who?,” Fury dominated the UK charts until fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles knocked him down a few notches. The Fab Four had once auditioned to back Fury on a tour and not been hired.
3. I’m A Believer, The Monkees (1966)
This dittie was recorded by the made-for-TV band, The Monkees. It hit Billboard’s No. 1, stayed there for seven weeks and was the biggest selling single of 1967. …
Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment