READ THIS: Dennis Morgan began working with Neil when he ran the San Francisco office for MCA/Universal Music Group. Neil appeared regularly at the Circle Star Theatre in San Mateo. And they were the most sought after highly prized 'ticket-comps' Morgan had in his promotion arsenal for use with the radio and press crowd.
Truth be told, he probably generated more airplay and press in the Bay Area for other--more needy Universal recording artists by leveraging Neil Diamond concert tix.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, Neil was one the more successful rock music performers, scoring an extraordinary number of charted hits. Morgan recalls how distressed his mentors at Uni Records were (Russ Regan, Pat Pipilo, and Rick Frio) when Neil decided to leave the label and sign with Columbia Records/Sony Music. At the time, there may have been a turf battle underway in the corporate suite--especially after the late Artie Mogul and his A&R staff headed by Don Shane signed Andy Kim (Sugar, Sugar) who had reinvented himself in the image of Neil Diamond with the mid-chart hit single, 'Rock Me Gently'. In the end, Columbia Records won simply by making an offer Neil couldn't refuse.
As critic William Ruhlmann once wrote: "Neil Diamond claims worldwide record sales of over 140 million copies, and he was ranked third, behind only Elton John and Barbara Streisand." Neil's songs have been recorded by a vast array of performers from all musical genres.
He posted the 'Cherry Cherry' video as a reminder that Neil has been continually passed over for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since his eligibility in 1989. And that is a damn shame.
From the forthcoming Dennis Morgan semi-autobiography, 'All The Dark Horses; All
The Kings Men'.