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The Diamonds

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Several artists uses the name The Diamonds: One from Canada, another from Norway and yet another probably from Jamaica.

1. The Diamonds (Canada). The original vocal quartet consisted of Dave Somerville, Phil Levitt, Ted Kowalski, and Bill Reed. When Kowalski and Reed left they were replaced by Californians John Felton and Evan Fischer.

In the beginning the group practiced several types of vocal styles, including four part “barber style” harmony. The Diamonds began their singing in local clubs, school functions, church socials, and anywhere they could find an audience.

They came to the attention of Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca Records, where they covered two records, Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots ( a hit for the Cheers) b\w “Nip Sip” (a Clovers song) during the summer of 1955. Neither sold well enough to convince Coral to retain them. However, Bill Randle, an influential Cleveland deejay, liked them enough to mention their name to an executive at Mercury Records. the Diamonds signed with one of the labels that developed the market for “covers.”

The Diamonds decision to cover rhythm and blues artist was the result of economic reality: cover records sold very well in markets where the original versions wouldn’t be acceptable. Among their hits in 1956 were “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” “Church Bells May Ring,” “Love, Love, Love” and “Ka-King-Dong,” originally recorded by the Teenagers, the Willows, the Clovers, and the G-Clefs, respectively.

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