December 12, 2019
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
September 23, 1967
Top Pop Music Talent In Fine Rock Concert
By Paul Pihichyn
The talents of one of Canada’s top pop groups and the fastest growing name in the music field today, Neil Diamond, combined to make the rock concert at the Wheat City Arena Friday night one of the finest teen shows to appear in Brandon in many months.
It started with the Guess Who, four young men from Winnipeg who have blazed a name for themselves in Canada and abroad.
Swinging through some of the older songs–“Lucille,” “You Can’t Sit Down,” and “Good Thing,” they soon settled into the familiar pattern of original hits like “His Girl,” “Clock On The Wall,” and the song that started the career, “Shakin’ All Over.”
The Guess Who belted out the sounds for over an hour and a half, but the audience had come to see Neil Diamond…and he hadn’t arrived yet.
Ten o’clock came and still no Neil. The crowd was growing impatient. And the Guess Who were getting tired.
Then the cry went out. Neil had arrived.
First his back-up group, the Brighton Beach Express came out, set up their equipment and stood ready.
Jim Christie, a radio disc jockey from Winnipeg came on stage and introduced the star. A hush fell over the 1,500 plus at the arena.
Then he was on stage. As he picked up the mike and began to sing, screams of delight rang out. And then it began.
Running right through all of his hits, Neil Diamond held the audience in a spell. At one point, he dedicated a song to the row of “teenyboppers” that lined the stage. The song was “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon.”
Neil Diamond is rapidly becoming a giant in the pop music field. A native of New York City, he has written songs for many top groups, including the Monkees. One of his compositions, “I’m a Believer,” has sold 10,000,000 copies to date, a sales record in the music field.
Following the show, Neil said that he had been recovering from a severe cold and that his singing was not up to par.
From a behavior point of view, the audience was perfect. One official at the arena said he had fears of what might happen, but that everyone was orderly.
A small group of Calgary-bound hippies stopped off at the show as they passed through Brandon. One of them said they had been forced to leave Toronto and heard about the Brandon show when they were in Winnipeg. Three of them said they liked Brandon and “just might settle here.”
Actually, the hippies many have gone unnoticed had it not been from the incense they were burning as they mingled with the crowd.
Most people in the audience were unimpressed by the eastern flower people and one girl said she hoped they would keep right on going.
Neil Diamond and his group left the city after the show to return to Winnipeg. They perform in Winnipeg tonight at the University of Manitoba.
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