Friday, 20 June 2014

Jim Diamond (1953 - 2015)

Jim Diamond was born in Glasgow in 1953. His father was a fireman and he attended St Mungo Academy, Glasgow. His first band was called The Method and he joined them when he was 15, later he played with Jade, a Glasgow band who moved to London. In the lineup was Chris Glen (bass and "The Sensational Alex Harvey Band") and Jim Lacey (lead guitar) who later joined The Alan Bown Set. Diamond left Jade to join Gully Foyle and toured Europe until he was discovered by Alexis Korner. For the next two years Jim Diamond was a member of the Alexis Korner Band.

He left in 1976 to form Bandit with Cliff Williams (ACDC) and signed for Arista Records. Their debut album failed to chart and Diamond left to join the Japanese band BACCO as their lead singer in 1979. Later he went to LA and formed Slick Diamond with Earl Slick to tour and perform. Back in the UK Jim linked with Tony Hymas (drums and former Jeff Beck Group) and Simon Phillips (piano/keyboard), to form PhD . The name came from the first initial from each of their surnames. The band signed to WEA Records and their debut album in 1981 contained the single "I Won't Let You Down." It peaked at number three in the UK Singles Chart in early 1982.

The follow up single "I Didn't Know," failed to chart in the UK but sold well in Europe. The group disbanded and Jim pursued a solo charting with ”I Should Have Known Better,” in 1984.

In 1986 he released his last top five hit, “Hi Ho Silver” (Theme tune from TV series Boon).

Jim Diamond continued to work and often features as a guest vocalist on other artist’s songs. Laterally Jim Diamond dedicated a lot of time to the Cash for Kids charity appeal in Scotland The singer died suddenly at his London home in 2015.

Worth a listen

I Should Have Known Better (1984)
Hi Ho Silver (1986)

Ph. D.
I Won't Let You Down (1982)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Are Ye Dancin’?

Braw this ia a story of Scotland's dance halls by Eddie Tobin with Martin Kielty. Are Ye Dancin’? is published by Waverley Books and costs £9.99 ISBN: 978 1 84934 045 8

The first-ever inside story of how Scotland's ballrooms and dance halls remained a central part of Scottish culture throughout the 20th Century. Told by the people who made it happen: the dancers, agents, bands and staff. From Thurso to Portpatrick, Oban to Aberdeen, everybody always went up the dancing’. If you were lucky the answer to the eternal question was, “Are ye askin’?” If you weren’t, it was, “Naw, it’s just the way I’m standin’…” or worse. Packed with over 100 illustrations, the book takes a light-hearted look at Scotland’s favourite pastime throughout the years – from the start of the public dance halls to the recent explosion of ballroom popularity. Dancers and workers from all over the country share their hilarious and touching memories. The book covers dozens of the 600 halls which have hosted the nation’s big nights out – many of them tragically long gone.