Saturday, November 19, 2011

This day in music - November 19, 2007: Neil Diamond reveals that "Sweet Caroline" was written for Caroline Kennedy

Performing at Caroline Kennedy's 50th birthday party on this day in 2007, Neil Diamond let it be known that "Sweet Caroline" was actually written about her or, perhaps more accurately, she was the inspiration for it.

The song was officially released on September 16, 1969 as a single and eventually went as high as #4 on the Billboard charts.

It is a well-covered tune, having been recorded by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Buffet, and the Dave Matthews Band, among many others.

Diamond said that he got the idea when he came upon an "innocent, wonderful" picture of Caroline in a magazine.

As for admitting the source of his inspiration, he said he was happy to have gotten it off his chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. "I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."

There are many versions of the song on YouTube. This one is from The Shirley Bassey Show in the mid '70s. Check out the bright red jumpsuit on Neil. Some fashion statements really are better left in the past.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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