Neil Leslie Diamond is born in Brooklyn, New York, to Rose and Akeeba (Kieve) Diamond, children of Jewish immigrants.
Neil’s maternal grandparents were Abraham and Molly Rapaport, who emigrated from Russia. His paternal grandparents were Abram and Sadie Diamond, who emigrated from Poland. Kieve was a shopkeeper who operated several businesses in various Brooklyn locations.
contributed by IAIS member “S”
Harvey Diamond, Neil’s only brother, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
The Diamond family moves to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Kieve is stationed in the United States Army.
Kieve opens Diamond’s Dry Goods in Flatbush.
Neil enters Erasmus Hall High School, where his activities include Mixed Chorus.
Neil writes his first song, “Hear Them Bells.”
Rose and Kieve move the Diamond family home and business to Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach.
Neil enters Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, where his activities include membership in both the Choral Group and the Fencing Team.
Neil receives his first guitar as a birthday present.
Neil graduates from Lincoln High.
Neil enters New York University on a fencing scholarship.
Neil and Jack Packer begin working together on Neil’s music and decide that they should record demos at Tin Pan Alley.
Neil makes his first public appearance, singing with Jack Packer, at the Little Neck Country Club on Long Island, New York.
Jack Packer introduces Neil to Murray Miller who in turn, introduces Neil to Allied Entertainment Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Saxon Music.
Subsequently, the singing duo, “Neil and Jack” sign a recording contract with Allied to record on the Duel label.
Neil and Jack record “What Will I Do?” and “You Are My Love at Last,” for the Duel label.
Neil and Jack record “I’m Afraid” and “Till You’ve Tried Love,” for the Duel label.
Neil drops-out from New York University, ten credits short of a Pre-Med degree.
Duel Label releases “What Will I Do?” and “You Are My Love At Last,” recorded by Neil and Jack.
Duel Label releases “I’m Afraid,” and “Till You’ve Tried Love,” recorded by Neil and Jack.
Neil auditions “Clown Town” for Columbia Records where he meets Tom Catalano.
Rocky Fellars records Neil’s Christmas song, “Santa Santa,” for the Scepter label, “Santa Santa” becomes a hit only in the Fellers’ homeland, The Philippines.
Neil begins working for Roosevelt Music as a songwriter, earning $35 per week.
Songs Neil writes while at Roosevelt include “Ten Lonely Guys,” which charts in Billboard’s Hot 100 for Pat Boone.
Neil begins work in Tin Pan Alley as an employee of Sunbeam Music while maintaining enrollment at New York University.
While at Sunbeam, Neil writes 17 songs, including “Blue Destiny.”
Rocky Fellars records Neil’s “We Got Love,” on the Scepter label.
Neil marries Jaye Posner, a schoolteacher.
Neil records “Clown Town” and “A Million Miles Away,” for Columbia Records.
Neil records “I’ve Never Been the Same” for the Columbia label.
Jimmy Clanton records Neil’s “I Care Enough” on the Ace label. (co-written with Richard Gottehrer)
Columbia releases “At Night” and “Clown Town.”
The MGM label releases Neil’s “Fool That I Am,” recorded by The Solitaires.
The Honeydogs record “It’s So Strange (The Way Love Works),” which Neil co-wrote with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. This recording has never been released.
Columbia releases “That New Boy In Town,” co-written by Neil and Carl D’Errico and recorded by Jan Tanzy.