Neil begins a 20-performance engagement at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. The Winter Garden performances thrust Neil into superstardom, even though it is to be his last stage performance for more than three years. Shortly after the Winter Garden engagement, Neil begins a 3-year sabbatical from touring, during which, he says, he plans to “…study the piano…learn the technical language of music…and read.”
Neil appears at a Democratic Party fundraiser for Presidential candidate, George McGovern, hosted by Ethel Kennedy and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, in Rockville, Maryland. Neil performs “Sweet Caroline,” Mrs. Shriver’s favorite Diamond tune. Memorable also is the incident where Mrs. Kennedy pours a carton of beer over Neil, supposedly because he chose to perform Mrs. Shriver’s favorite song prior to performing “New York Boy,” Mrs. Kennedy’s favorite song.
Neil receives an offer from producer Hal Bartlett to compose the music for his new film, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” Bartlett guarantees 48 minutes of music will be used in the movie–almost unprecedented provision.
Life Magazine publishes feature article, “Diamond In The Smooth.”
UNI releases “Walk on Water” and “High Rolling Man” single.
MCA releases “Hot August Night” album. (Recorded live in concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California.)
(Initial chart run – 71 weeks.) (Re-enters charts on 3/12/1977 for 7 weeks.)
“Hot August Night” album is certified gold.
Bang releases “Double Gold” album.
Neil begins work on the score for the Hal Bartlett film, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” based on the book by Richard Bach.
At the 1972 Grammy ceremonies, “Moods” is nominated for both “Album Of The Year” and “The Best Engineered Recording.” “Song Sung Blue” is nominated for “Song Of The Year.”
MCA releases “Cherry, Cherry” and “Morningside” single.
Seventeen Magazine publishes feature article, “High Flying Balladeer.”
Bang releases “The Long Way Home” and “Monday, Monday” single.
MCA releases “The Last Thing On My Mind” and “Canta Libre” single.
MCA releases “Rainbow” album.
Columbia releases “Be” and “Flight of the Gull” single, the same day that “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” premieres in New York City at the Sutton Theater.
“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” album is certified gold, the same day that “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” premieres in Los Angeles at Mann’s Village Theater.
Columbia releases “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” album.
Neil receives a Grammy for Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special, at the 16th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony, for his work on “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” (Initial chart run–30 weeks.)(Re-enters charts on 7/31/1976 for 4 weeks.)
Court orders revisions to “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” Five minutes was allegedly cut from Neil’s background score. Complete versions of “Anthem,” “Prologue,” and “Dear Father” are restored to soundtrack. Music credits wording is changed to: “Music and songs by Neil Diamond. Background score composed and adapted by Neil Diamond and Lee Holdridge. Musical supervision by Tom Catalano.”
Neil is awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for his work on “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” at the 32nd Annual Golden Globes ceremonies in Los Angeles, California. “Lonely Looking Sky,” from the “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” album, is recognized with a nomination for Best Original Song.
Neil wins his first grammy for “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” in the “Album Of Best Original Score Written For Motion Picture Or Television Special” category.
Columbia releases “Skybird” and “Lonely Looking Sky” single.
MCA releases “His 12 Greatest Hits” album.
“His 12 Greatest Hits” album is certified gold.
Columbia releases “Longfellow Serenade” and “Rosemary’s Wine” single.
Columbia releases “Serenade” album.
“Serenade” album is certified gold.
Neil briefly tours Europe (England, Germany, and Spain) to promote the “Serenade” album, appearing as a guest on various television and interview shows.
Neil appears on “The Star Parade” for German television, singing “Song Sung Blue,” “The Last Picasso,” and “Longfellow Serenade.”
Neil appears on BBC-TV’s “Shirley Bassey’s Christmas Special.” Neil sings “Sweet Caroline,” and “Longfellow Serenade,” and is then joined by host Shirley Bassey for a duet performance of “Play Me.”
The Creative Company, as part of the “Rock ‘N Pop Stars” series publishes “Neil Diamond,” a book written by Susan K. O’Regan.
Neil begins work on the concept album, “Beautiful Noise,” engaging Robbie Robertson, of The Band, to produce.