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Neil Diamond and the Power of Music

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this commentary but, after hearing Neil’s recent announcement that his live performing days were over because of Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis, I knew that I had to write about music … his music and, in particular, one of his songs.

When Neil came on the music scene and began having hits in the late 1960’s, I didn’t pay much attention. I’ve always had a greater love for instrumental arrangements and recordings, unless there was something special about a particular song that grabbed me. A few years later, when he released “Sweet Caroline,” I did begin to pay more attention––but not a whole lot.

Then came 1980 and the release of his version of the movie, “The Jazz Singer.” It contained several songs that I really like, but one that really hit home is still one of my favorites today. To me, the message is great as is the arrangement … and I consider it a July 4th-appropriate patriotic tune! Of course, I’m talking about “America.” If you haven’t heard it lately, give it a listen:

Neil, my prayer is that the Parkinson’s will not weigh you down for a long time to come, and that there are more great tunes still in your soul awaiting your committing them to paper for either you or someone else to record.

As you may know, while I cannot read music, sing or play an instrument, music has played a major role in not only my personal life, but has been key in much of my working life over these past 60 years. Plus, I am married to a lady who is a true professional and communicator when it comes to not just singing the notes, but reaching into the hearts of those listening.

Another song that’s very special to me is one sung by ABBA, as it says exactly what I feel – and would hope you do too … thank you to the Great Creator for the gift of music, as well as to all the hundreds of individuals who have been inspired over the years to compose melodies which have brought joy and comfort to our individual hearts:

I know what you are thinking … here’s a guy who says his primary love is instrumental music. Well, all I can say is … this is the “spice” which is needed in every life. Or, simply, there’s that wonderfully appropriate slogan for Tower Records, the record retailer that was once big in the U.S. as well as in overseas places like Brazil and Japan, which says it perfectly: “No Music … No Life!”

 

February 5th, 2018

Posted In: Radio

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