As the colorful foliage makes the landscape come to life, fall is a very beautiful season.  The cool crisp air of the autumn invigorates us.  When the leaves whirl, as they are blown by the wind, we can see the magic of nature.  Fall is an enchanting time of year, especially for those who are in love.  Neil Diamond’s song, “September Morn” completely captures the romance of autumn.  Diamond’s fall song is soft, and he sings it with passion.  In the following lyrics, he describes September as always being a romantic time: “September morning still can make me feel that way.”

Born on January 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York, Neil Diamond came from humble beginnings.  Raised in a family of Russian and Polish immigrants of Jewish descent, he adopted the ethic of working hard.  Rose was Diamond’s mother.  Akeeba “Kieve” Diamond, Neil’s father, was a dry goods dealer.  Diamond’s father proudly served America, in the Army, when he was deployed in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Destined to write love songs, Diamond was already very popular with the ladies in high school.  It is not surprising that he would have so many admirers since he wrote such beautiful poetry to the girls.  At Erasmus High School, he was a member of the Freshman Chorus Choral Club. Like Diamond, Barbara Streisand was also a member of the same choral group.  With her stellar voice, she would also become a star.

Neil Diamond captured the essence of the romance of September in his song, "Sept Morn." The foliage on this tree in Clifton, New Jersey shows us how romantic fall really is. [Image by Lucy Santos]
Neil Diamond captured the essence of the romance of September in his song, “Sept Morn.” The foliage on this tree in Clifton, New Jersey shows us how romantic fall really is. [Image by Lucy Santos]

For his 16th birthday, Diamond received his first guitar.  When Diamond attended Surprise Lake Camp, he was inspired when he heard Pete Seeger sing in a concert at the camp.  He reached an epiphany that he also wanted to be a singer and a song writer.

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Not only was Diamond a talented singer in high school, he was also a brilliant student and a great athlete in the sport of fencing.  On a fencing scholarship, he attended New York University as a pre-med major.  In 1960, he became a member of the 1960 NCAA men’s championship.

While he was studying to become a doctor at New York University, he was not really interested in his classes.  He was thinking about becoming a singer and a song writer.  With only a few credits left to graduate, he dropped out of college and accepted a job at Sunbeam Music Publicity writing songs.

Despite all of his talent, he struggled for years to become a star.  Destined to become a singer and songwriter, he worked very hard to achieve fame.  When his record, “Solitary Man” debuted, it did very well and solidified his career as a soloist.  After his first hit album, he wrote many other hits such as “You Don ‘t Bring Me Flowers,” “Hello Again,” “Song Sung Blue” and “Sept Morn.”

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One of Diamond’s most popular songs is “Sweet Caroline.”  This song is frequently sung at many games.  It is also the anthem for the Boston Red Sox.  The inspiration behind his song, “Sweet Caroline,” still remains a mystery.  In 2007, he said that the song was written for Caroline Kennedy.  In 2014, he said that the song was dedicated for his second wife, Marcia Murphy.  Since he could not find a good rhyme for Marcia, he used the name Caroline instead.  Regardless of the true inspiration behind the song, it is a catchy song that always makes us smile.

Never giving up on his dream certainly paid off for Diamond.  Selling over 150 million records globally, he is one of the world’s best selling artists of all time.  For his stellar career as a musician, he has received many distinctions and awards.  For being a top performer, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on March 14, 2011.  When he revived a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 10, 2012, he was immortalized in the music world.

Coming from a family of immigrants, Diamond never forgot his cultural heritage.  Fame and fortune never spoiled him.  Diamond’s song, “America” is very powerful and describes the immigrants journey to the promise land. During the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, “America” was played nationally as part of the celebration.  Diamond never forgot the sacrifices that his ancestors made helping him to achieve his American dream.