Found Performance: “Solitary Man”

One of the first songs I ever heard on the radio, back in 1966 when I was listening to KPUG, was “Solitary Man” by Neil Diamond. Neil recorded the track in late January 1966 and it was released three months later on BANG records. When it came out, Diamond was not yet a big star. He’d written songs that had been recorded with modest success by other artists. However, “Solitary Man” was his debut single. Although the song is well-known, it really was not much of a hit ….ascending only to #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and to #56 on the Canadian RPM Chart.

Diamond went on to become a household name. A few of his signature songs include “Cherry Cherry,” “Thank The Lord For The Nighttime,” “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” “Sweet Caroline,”and “I’m A Believer” as recorded by The Monkees. This particular rendition of “Solitary Man” comes from Dick Clark’s popular teen TV show “Where The Action Is.” The show was aired in October 1966. (Click on the start button 2x, first time to go to Vimeo, then the  next time to start the video.)

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Author: Steven L. Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with QZVX.COM in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

4 thoughts on “Found Performance: “Solitary Man”

  1. Ahhh…the angst of youth!

    Actually – this song aged beautifully (as most of his songs have). I played this when it was current and don’t remember that it did so poorly on Billboard’s chart. It was a hit where we were…but that was then.

    Good share Jason! Thanks…

    1. It was released again in 1970 and peaked at no. 21. But in Bellingham where I live I am sure it did much better than the national peak at #55 in 1966. The local station only counted down the top 50. And Solitary Man was top 10 or close to it at KPUG.

  2. I really didn’t keep an eye on chart positions back then. I was 11. I heard so many Neil Diamond songs on the radio that I assumed they were all Top 40, probably Top 10 due to the frequent air-play. Those were good years for listening to Top 40 radio, KJR, KOL, and what stations I could hear by DX’ing late at night.

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