Neil Diamond (January 24, 1941)
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Diamond is probably the most famous Jewish male musician. He is known in some circles as "The Jewish Elvis."
He began his career as a songwriter, working in New York City near the end of the Tin Pan Alley era in the mid-'60s. His songs were recorded by Jay and the Americans, Cliff Richard and The Monkees.
He went to Erasmus high school in Brooklyn, New York, where he sang in the chorus with Barbra Streisand (they never spoke). He later went to Abraham Lincoln High, which is where he graduated. Carole King and Neil Sedaka also went there.
Unlike many Rock Stars, Diamond tends to stay out of trouble. Will Ferrell used to imitate him on Saturday Night Live, poking fun of his mild demeanor in bits where he would use crude language and talk about things like hanging his agent out of the Brill building.
Neil Diamond is his real name, but despite this good fortune, he considered using that stage names Eice Cherry and Noah Kaminsky.
He wears shiny shirts adorned with beads on stage. This can come off as cheesy, but he does it to make himself easier to see.
In 1968, Neil Diamond and Bert Berns, founder of Bang Records, had a disagreement about the path Neil Diamond's career was to follow, and as a result, Berns refused to release the song "Shilo" as a single. After a heated confrontation, Neil Diamond left Bang Records and signed on with Uni Records.
John Lee Hooker
Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed Bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write The Blues.
Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.
Mark Arm of Mudhoney
When he was asked to write a song for the Singles
soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.