Sunday, July 1, 2012
40 Year Itch : Song Sung Blue Hits #1
The Billboard Top Five
Week of July 1, 1972
1. Neil Diamond - Song Sung Blue
2. Sammy Davis Jr. - Candy Man
3. Billy Preston - Outa -Space
4. Bill Withers - Lean On Me
5. Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose - Too Late to Turn Back Now
Neil Diamond followed his chart topping hit with a series of "Hot August Nights" concerts at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles ( recorded for his live album) and then a 20-concert stand at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York.
Burned out, he announced he'd be taking a break from performing, telling the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner: "I felt strongly about taking a sabbatical. I wanted a normal existence. I wanted to remove myself from celebrity status..to do things people take for granted, like driving my son to school and having breakfast with my wife. I wanted to re-establish personal relationships with family and friends...to be home for birthdays and Christmas. To make up for times I wasn't around...to stop seeing my life as a juggling act."
The break lasted just over three years.
As late as the 1990's there were always "Neil Diamond sightings" around the Aspen/Basalt area of Colorado, tho' nobody could be sure. If it was Diamond, it was a bearded, dressed-down Diamond.