Friday, August 14, 2009
Back Home, Neil Diamond Catches Up With CBS 2
It's a hot August night and singer Neil Diamond is ready to heat things up even more. The legendary singer from Brooklyn has been churning out hits from "Sweet Caroline" to "America" for nearly five decades, and still commands the stage in front of legions of loyalists. "Cracklin' Rosie" makes Neil Diamond smile, and it has his audiences smiling, singing, and dancing along with him. His fans are exuberant, passionate, and devoted. From teenagers, grandparents, and everything in between, all are hopelessly devoted to the adult contemporary legend, who hardly resembles a 68-year-old. CBS 2 HD met up with Diamond on the Brooklyn Bridge recently to talk about his CBS special. Standing there brought back some special memories for him. "It's my hometown. This connects right up to Manhattan, it's part of me, it's like in my genes," he said. Also in the special, Diamond returns to his childhood neighborhood where some fans learn something new. "Yeah, I grew up here! I grew up on Argyle and Westminster Road," he told an excited couple who ran into him on the street. "That's amazing that these people know me," he humbly admitted. But nothing is quite as amazing as his enduring career. His appeal and his music is as strong now as the day he burst on the scene five decades ago. With 37 top ten singles, he says he doesn't have a favorite. He is, though, taken aback by the impact his songs have had. "It's always amazing to me because so many stories and so many people have taken this music to heart and made it a part of their lives," he said. And although being on the road does get tiring, performing is what keeps him coming back for more. "The moment you step on stage, it all disappears, and you know what you're there for," he said. The CBS special, "Hot August Night," airs Friday night on CBS 2 right after the Jets preseason football game.