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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 - obituary bill reed - obituary
Bill Reed Bass singer with the doo-wop group the Diamonds on such hits as 'Little Darlin' 13 November 2004 William Reed, singer: born Toronto, Ontario 11 January 1936; twice married (four sons); died Port St Lucie, Florida 22 October 2004. Bill   Reed   sang   the   distinctive   bass   parts   which   made   the   clean-cut   Canadian   Doo-Wop   group the Diamonds such a smash on both sides of the Atlantic. In   1957,   their   cover   of   "Little   Darlin'   "   reached   No   2   in   the   US   charts   and   3   in   the   UK. The   group had   an   impressive   sequence   of   14   consecutive   singles   in   the   US   Top   Forty,   of   which   "The Stroll",   another   of   their   signature   tunes,   was   used   to   great   effect   on   the   soundtrack   to   the   1973 film American Graffiti. Born   in   1936   in   Toronto,   William   Reed   followed   in   the   footsteps   of   his   father,   Harry,   who   owned a   barber's   and   sang   on   the   radio   when   he   wasn't   harmonizing   with   his   customers. At   university in   1954,   Bill   formed   a   singing   quartet   with   his   fellow   students   Stan   Fisher   (lead),   Ted   Kowalski (tenor)   and   Phil   Levitt   (baritone),   and   they   were   talent-spotted   by   the   CBC   radio   technician Dave Somerville. Fisher   couldn't   make   their   first   gig   because   of   an   exam   the   following   morning,   so   Somerville   took   over   lead   vocals   for   the   newly christened   Four   Diamonds.   When   they   decided   to   turn   professional   Fisher   opted   to   finish   his   law   degree   and   the   quartet   carried   on singing in supper clubs as the Diamonds. That   summer,   they   signed   to   Coral,   the   Decca   subsidiary,   but   both   sides   of   their   début   single,   "Black   Denim   Trousers   and   Motorcycle Boots"   and   "Nip   Sip",   were   competing   with   the   original   versions,   respectively   by   the   Cheers   and   the   Clovers   -   and   the   Diamonds   lost   out on both counts. However,   while   on   a   trip   to   Cleveland,   they   met   up   with   a   local   disc-jockey,   Bill   Randle,   who   had   championed   the   Crew-Cuts,   another Canadian   vocal   group.   The   Diamonds   sang   a   cappella   for   Randle   who   was   so   impressed   he   recommended   them   to   the   Mercury   label and   also   suggested   they   cover   "Why   Do   Fools   Fall   in   Love",   the   Frankie   Lymon   &   the   Teenagers   song   then   climbing   up   the   R&B   charts. Competition   was   fierce   between   the   different   versions   but,   opening   with   Reed's   basslines,   the   Diamonds   adaptation   reached   No   12   on the pop charts in 1956, behind Frankie Lymon at No 6 and Gale Storm's version at 9. They   carried   on   covering   R&B   smashes   -   "Church   Bells   May   Ring"   by   the   Willows,   "Love   Love   Love"   by   the   Clovers,   "Ka-Ding-Dong"   by the   G-Clefs   -   and   crossing   them   over   to   the   pop   charts.   Their   biggest   success   came   in   1957   when   their   manager   Nat   Goodman   spotted "Little   Darlin'   "   -   written   by   Maurice   Williams   and   originally   recorded   with   his   group   the   Gladiolas.   Reed   turned   the   talking   bridge   into   a basso profundo tour de force worthy of the Inkspots. Only "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley kept them off the No 1 spot in the US and "Little Darlin' " eventually sold four million copies worldwide. The   follow-up   single,   a   version   of   Buddy   Holly's   "Words   of   Love",   opened   with   Reed's   smooth   bass   and   also   featured   the   singer   on another   talking   bridge.   In   1958   the   Diamonds'   convincing   vocals   propelled   the   infectious   song   "The   Stroll"   into   the   US   Top   Five.   After three   more   singles   -   "High   Sign",   the   title   song   from   the   Patty   McCormack   film   Kathy   O'   (1958)   and   "Walking Along"   -   both   Kowalski   and Reed left the group. Reed moved to Florida, where he became a record promoter. -- Pierre Perrone See Biography