Born on January 24, 1941 as Neil Leslie Diamond to parents Akeeba Diamond and Rose Rapoport. Neil is the eldest of two sons.
Brooklyn, New York
Diamond began singing and playing the guitar in his teens, reportedly after seeing Pete Seeger perform. While attending New York University as a premed student (later shifting to commerce), he wrote songs and pitched it to music publishers. His first venture into recording was as part of a duo called Neil & Jack (with Jack Parker). Their pairing resulted in two singles: "You Are My Love"/"What Will I Do" (1960) and "I'm Afraid"/"Till You've Tried Love" (1961). The duo broke-up in 1961.
Neil continued writing songs and in 1962 he collaborated with 9 other writers for the song "Ten Lonely Guys" recorded by Pat Boone. This was followed by the song "Santa Santa" recorded by the Rocky Fellers and released that same year. His first hit song, "Sunday and Me', was recorded by Jay & The Americans and released in 1965. His next recording, "Solitary Man," came out in 1966 under Bang Records, followed by the song "Cherry, Cherry". The song, "I'm A Believer", was originally intended for Diamond's album but was eventually recorded by the Monkees. The said song was a chart-topper in 1967.
Songs He Wrote:
Songs Neil Diamond penned or co-wrote include:
"I Got the Feelin' (Oh No No)" "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow" "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" "Kentucky Woman" "Red Red Wine" "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)' - Became platinum and was covered by other artists including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley "Holly Holy" "Cracklin' Rosie" "I am...I Said" - Grammy nominated for Best Pop Vocal "Song Sung Blue" - Grammy nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Other Songs He Wrote:
Personal Struggles/Love Life:
Diamond was embroiled in a lengthy lawsuit against Bang Records which was eventually settled in 1977. He was married to Jay Posne (a teacher) with whom he has two daughters. The two divorced in 1969. That same year Diamond married Marcia Kay Murphey with whom he has two sons. They were later divorced in 1996.
Neil Diamond used the pseudonym Mark Lewis when he co-wrote the song "Ten Lonely Guys" recorded by Pat Boone.