America's Number One Vocal Group Of The Fifties!

 

I think this pretty much sums it up!!

 

For me The Diamonds were a band that my father, James Edward Morris spoke about with great affection. As I mentioned he worked for Astor Records in Sydney, and this was during the birth of Rock ‘N’ Roll till around 1963.

He was responsible for purchasing records for sale in the retail stores. He often told the story if he liked a song he would buy 200 copies and if he didn’t like a song he would buy 2000 copies. His love for music was really with Classical music but he was smart enough to know the younger generation was where it was going to explode.

My Dad & Mum at Chequers Nightclub
79 Goulburn Street Sydney NSW
Friday 29th June 1962

Part of my father's job was to also meet and entertain some of the artists that would tour. I was only 2 years old when The Diamonds toured Australia in January 1960 as part of the All American Rock Spectacular! which featured Duane Eddy, Johnny Restivo, Crash Craddock, Eddie Cochran and Santo & Johnny.

 

I have no recollection of it at all. As I got older he would tell me some of his experiences with the artists he met. But, as a young child they would be dismissed and forgotten.

 

By the time I got into music he was well and truly out of that business so it wasn’t till much later that I recalled some of the stories and started to talk to him about it again and the band that stood out for him was The Diamonds.

Four nice young men that sang really well” he told me.

 

My brother Geoff, who is 10 years older than me was right into the music of that era and my father would bring home all the latest songs for him and they were being played all the time. Luckily when I got into music years later most of these albums and singles were kept. I dug out what I could find of The Diamonds, had a listen and fell in love with the songs. I have included some of my favourites below.

Here I am, only 2 years old wearing my
Diamonds cardigan that my mother
knitted for me, circa 1959. Thanks Mum!

My father asked the band to autograph this photo when they were appearing for Lee Gordon during their Australian tour in 1959.

An example of the stars my Dad met.
Maybe best not to stick your tongue
out at a legend like Ella Fitzgerald?
But what did I know at that age.

Back in 2011 I made contact with lead singer, "Diamond" Dave Somerville through his website and he was kind enough to reply but unfortunately he had no memory of my father. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave for our correspondence, he was really kind about some stranger from across the other side of the world asking him “Do you remember my father?" "Oh and by the way, it was over 50 years ago when you met him!!" I was sad to learn of his death in 2015, Dave you were genuinely as my father said a nice guy, thank you.

So, in part this is a bit of a tribute to my father who is no longer with us but thought of all the time. He would have lived through some pretty amazing times and had the great fortune of meeting some of the pioneers of Rock 'N' Roll.

For more information on The Diamonds check out this great website HERE. This site is run by probably their biggest fan in the US Barry Worrell. He has been very helpful with information and allowing me to use some of his photos from his private collection. Thanks Barry, you are also a nice guy!!

Centre Photo Above:
Dave Somerville – Lead (Seated - Front)    ♦ Mike Douglas – Baritone (Seated - Left)
Evan Fisher – Tenor (Seated - Right)   ♦ John Felten – Bass (Standing - Back)

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Here are some of my favourite songs by The Diamond, please enjoy!!

All songs taken from The Diamonds Songbook! CTI-013 (2007)

Released through Canetoad Records - Potts Point NSW Australia

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