The Blue Diamonds were a Dutch 1960s doo-wop duo, best known for their million-selling chart-topping single, Ramona. Indo (Dutch-Indonesian) brothers Ruud de Wolff (born 12 May 1941, died December 2000) and Riem de Wolff (born 15 April 1943) founded the group shortly after immigrating to The Netherlands in 1949. They were born in Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia.
Called the 'Dutch Everly Brothers', The Blue Diamonds covered many Everly Brothers songs, but became famous in 1960 with their version of "Ramona", a song originally written for the 1928 film, Ramona. The song was written for promotional appearances with Dolores del Río (star of the film) but not featured in the film itself. The Blue Diamonds up-tempo version of it reached the American Billboard Hot 100 at #72. It sold over 250,000 copies in the Netherlands (the first record to ever do so) and over one million copies in Germany by 1961.
Although their last hit was in 1971, they continued to perform together up until Ruud de Wolff died at the end of year 2000. Riem de Wolff continues to perform and release albums.
Soon after hitting the pop scene with "Ramona" the Blue Diamonds continue to spin off hit after hit, which include Til I Kiss You, Pretty Blue Eyes, Little Ship, Oh Carol and the English version of Kyu Sakamoto's SUKIYAKI. "Little Ship" can be considered a Blue Diamonds original. Written by American song writing team Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman in 1958, it was not recorded by any artiste until Ruud and Riem made it a hit in 1961.
Some critics accuse them of imitating the Everly Bros but their fans say they have a unique style of their own and their vocal harmony is among the best for male vocal duets. In fact, many listeners prefer the Blue Diamonds rendition of "Oh Carol" to Neil Sedaka's version. Besides their singing talents the two brothers are also accomplished guitarists. Younger brother Reim plays all the solo guitar riffs in theilr recordings while Ruud plays the rhythm guitar background accompaniment.
During the nostalgia craze of the early nineties, the Blue Diamonds toured Europe and Asia and played to packed stadiums.
Very sadly, elder brother Rudd passed away in year 2000 at the age of 59. Fans mourn this loss and memories of their music and live performances will remain forever.
Riem teamed up with his son Steffen to record an album featuring re-arranged versions of Blue Diamonds hits Little Ship and Sukiyaki. Among the songs was "Out of the Blue" written as a tribute to brother Ruud. The Blue Diamonds will always be remembered as a success story all Asians could be proud of.
The Blue Diamonds Official Website: www.bluediamonds.nl
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