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Has Neil Diamond Been Snubbed?

Public-radio show debates why he’s not in rock Hall of Fame

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(Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Neil Diamond, sometimes dubbed the “Jewish Elvis,” is back in the spotlight this week with an upcoming Christmas album and a new book, Neil Diamond is Forever by Jon Bream, who debated the star’s merits with humorist Dave Barry on WNYC yesterday. They focused on the seemingly age-old question: Why hasn’t Diamond been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Sure, bands like Kiss waited ten years before getting a nomination, but Diamond has been making music for 40 years, and his songs have been covered by more than 100 artists. Still, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner’s selection committee passed over Diamond again in favor of other smooth favorites such as LL Cool J and Donna Summer. Love him or think his lyrics are pure cheese (or both), with 37 hit singles and 16 Top Ten albums, it is difficult to claim that he hasn’t contributed “to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll,” the Hall of Fame’s requirement.

Diamond’s rabid fans will have to comfort themselves this year with the schmaltz on his October 13 album, A Cherry Cherry Christmas. And in defense of his Yiddishkeit, it even contains one Hanukkah song, a “party-time” version of Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song” with DJ Ashba.

Neil Diamond: Are You a Believer? [WNYC]

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Daniel says:

Neil has my vote. He’s one of the great entertainers of the 20th century. As I sit here drinking burgundy, who could forget “Red, Red Wine” (covered by UB40), or a zillion other songs?

The fact that Neil Diamond has not been inducted into the RRHoF is more than a mere oversight. It is blatant disrespect for someone who should have been inducted several times over.
If the commitee members are driven by anything other than a musician’s accomplishments and contributions then the RRHoF has very little merit and is a hollow award.
Considering some of the unworthy people which have found there way into the Hall, I have very little respect for the institution.

This makes me think it is a personal grudge, perhaps, that is preventing the powers that be to induct Diamond. He has been eligible since 1989, and if you look at his early hits, they were quite fantastic. Sure, his music became a bit over the top in the 1980’s, more of the easy-listening or adult contemporary variety, but his early hits were pure rock and roll. There is no excuse for him not being inducted. I would love to hear one.

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Has Neil Diamond Been Snubbed?

Public-radio show debates why he’s not in rock Hall of Fame

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