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The 1950’s Fabulous Foursome! This   is   a   fan   site   of   the   original   Diamonds   of   the   1950s. All hailing   from   Canada,   they   made   their   way   to      the   U.   S., and   with   their   songs   and   energy,   endeared   themselves   to their fans forever.
bill reed bill reed
Bill   Reed    -   Born   in   Toronto,   Canada      Jan.   11,   1936   /   died   October   22,   2004.      Bill   seemed   to   be   destined   to   sing.      His father   Harry,   sang   bass   in   a   barber   shop   quartet   and   obviously   instilled   the   desire   and   tutoring.      It   would   seem   natural that   Bill's   first   love   of   singing   was   for   Barber   Shop,   but   oddly   a   love   for   the   tenor   part.      Ted   Kowalski   recalls:   "He   always wanted   to   sing   my   part"   "   We   would   always   tease   him   about   this   because   most   people   who   sing   bass   want   to   sing tenor."  He met Ted when he was 17 and was studying to become a hair dresser. 
Bill   was   a   character   and   an   extraordinary   person.   He   never   had   a   loss   for   words   and   was   amazingly   fast   with   on-the-spot   one-liners.   He had   an   unbelievably   good   memory   and   almost   instant   recall   for   things   such   as   names   and   faces.   He   remembered   all   the   disc   jockeys   he had   ever   met,   and   the   call   letters   of   most   of   their   stations.   Occasionally   when   the   group   was   out,   Bill   would   call   out   to   someone   the   other members   didn’t   recognize.   Not   only   did   He   call   the   person   by   name,   but   reminded   them   when   and   where,   and   in   which   city   they   had   met him.   These   would   be   show   biz   people   they   had   met   or   worked   with.   When   the   Diamonds   went   back   to   a   U.   S.   city,   he   would   remember how   to   get   around,   including   street   names,   where   they   had   stayed   in   all   the   various   cities,   and   what   had   happened   there.   He   loved   black people   and   black   music. After   the   Diamonds   early   experiences   with The   Revelaires,   he   would   love   to   get   together   with   any   black   person   or group   who   knew   spiritual   or   gospel   music   and   jam   with   them,   as   did   all   of   the   Diamonds.   When   they   were   on   tour   or   doing   single   or   weekly bookings,   all   groups,   no   matter   who   they   came   in   contact   with,   liked   Bill.   This   was   not   only   for   his   singing   ability   but   for   his   personality. During his time with the Diamonds, Bill received many accolades with regard to his singing and stage presence. Being   an   extraordinary   person,   Bill   had   an   extraordinary   thing   happen   to   him.   Case   in   mind,   the   one   about   the   bear   on   the   Paul   Winchell show.   In   Bill's   own   words:   "Well,   they   had   a   bear   act   on   the   show.   Three   bears   who   rode   bicycles,   etc.   They'd   just   driven   a   long   way   in   a trailer   and   I   think   the   bears   were   restless.   During   rehearsal,   one   lady   was   clawed   by   one   of   them.   We   were   going   to   be   on   the   second   half of   the   show,   and   during   the   first   half,   I   was   standing   in   a   stairway   off   stage. All   of   a   sudden,   a   guy   came   running   by   me   yelling,   "Come   on! Come   on   !"   I   looked   behind   him   and   one   of   the   bears   was   coming   down   after   us!   So   we   ran   down   the   stairs   and   through   the   cellar,   over   to the   other   side   of   the   theater,   and   up   another   stairway.   I   got   to   the   top   and   found   a   trap   door   .   .   .   locked!   The   bear   started   coming   at   us!   I started pounding on the door. Finally, somebody helped us through and we made it. I'll never be the same, though." Bill's   time   with   the   Diamonds   was   from   1953   to   1958,   and   after   leaving   the   group,   he   had   many   offers   to   sing   with   other   groups.   The occupation   of   record   promoter   must   have   been   more   appealing   than   being   on   the   road.   Of   course   he   did   make   public   appearances   with the   original   Diamonds   when   they   were   call   upon   to   perform   in   "oldies"   shows.   In   2004,   he   made   his   last   appearance   in Atlantic   City   in   the PBS production of "Magic Moments-The Best Of '50s Pop" as the original bass for the Diamonds. Bill passed away October 22, 2004. Be   it   Doo   Wop,   Barbershop,   or   Big   Band,   he   could   do   it   all.   He   gave   the   Diamonds   what   the   Crew   Cuts,   Four   Lads,   Four Aces   and   many other   groups   didn't   have   -   "a   real   bass   singer".   Listen   to   "Until The   Real Thing   Comes Along"   on   "The   Diamonds   Meet   Pete   Rugolo"   album, you'll know it was the consensus of opinion that he had one of the best bass voices to come along.  Sample Track:   It   has   been   recently   discovered   that   Bill   may   have   been   the   earliest   verified   performer   of   the   "air   guitar".   This   was   in   1957   and   was recorded from a live TV show and can be viewed on   YouTube . To quote Bill: “During   1954   &   1957,   a   black   quartet   from   Detroit   was   booked   occasionally   to   sing   at   the   Barclay   Hotel   in   Toronto.   Our   newly   formed   group went   many   times   to   hear   them   sing.   They   had   an   amazing   “inside   a   bottle”   blend   and   a   show   that   blew   us   away.   They   were   called   The Revelaires. After   shows,   we’d   go   to   one   of   the   their   rooms,   where   sitting   across   from   one   another,   knee   to   knee   on   two   beds,   they   schooled   our   group in   the   ways   of   singing   spirituals   and   pop   music   of   the   day.   Their   influence   deeply   affected   the   way   we   got   into   the   songs.   Our   thanks   go back to Bill, Joe, Gabriel and the great Jimmy Bryant.” Obituary