Delilah: Good evening, and welcome aboard. Tonight, I have a very special co-host. Hi, Neil.

Neil: Hi, Delilah

Delilah: How are you?

Neil: I’m so happy to be here. Thank you, I’m great. And thank you for sharing this time with me. I want to talk about Christmas music, and you know it’s just some of the most memorable music of my life. So, I’m happy to share this with you.

Delilah: Well, Neil Diamond, you have been recording music, and Christmas music as long as I’ve been on the air.

Neil: Well, you know, I love Christmas music. It’s part of my life. It’s part of the world, but especially in America. It’s a cultural thing, and even though I’m Jewish, it’s still a huge part of my life. And I’ve recorded two Christmas albums, and this Stages box set that we have out, we have a whole disc of Christmas music. So, I just have so many good memories, and it’s just the best music ever.

Delilah: All right, we will be back in just a moment to talk about Stages, to talk about a couple of these Christmas songs on it, and just to talk to you, heart-to-heart. Neil Diamond, co-hosting with me tonight.

(Song: “Winter Wonderland”)

Neil: Hi folks, this is Neil Diamond, and have a very Merry Christmas.

(Song: “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Delilah: Sharing Christmas with us; sharing the Holiday spirit, Neil Diamond. We’ll be back to talk with him some more, and find out more of his favorite Christmas songs. We’re taking turns here, and we’re going to see if we can’t make somebody’s Holiday dream come true. We’ll be back with Neil in just a moment. You’re listening to Delilah.

Delilah: Hi, is this Holly?

Holly: Yes, Delilah, it sure is!

Delilah: Welcome aboard, I’m glad you’re here with us tonight.

Holly: Well, thank you. God bless you. You are such a dream.

Delilah: Well, thank you. You know that Neil is going to be co-hosting the show with me, right?

Holly: Oh, my God.

Delilah: You wrote to us and you shared a sweet story. A sad story, but a sweet story, of when you went through a really tough time in life.

Holly: Yes, actually, and I’m not ashamed of this anymore, I finally after many years have come to grips with the fact that I am bipolar. And I have many ups and downs in life. And it’s hard for me to handle the ups and downs. I’m getting much better at it.

Delilah: But, you were having a down time.

Holly: Oh, yes.

Delilah: And depressed.

Holly: Very

Delilah: Had lost a job.

Holly: And they let me go because I wasn’t dignified enough for their office. They said that I laugh too loudly.

Delilah: Wow, I would have gotten fired a lot, if that were the case. You know I laugh so loud, Holly, that when I go to a movie theatres, to funny movies, people get up and move. Now I just rent them, and bring them home. That way, I can laugh as loud as I want, and nobody gives a damn. But, people move in theatres when I laugh.

Holly: Well, hey, I’m sorry.

Delilah: So, you lost your job. You weren’t dignified enough. You were too loud. You were so depressed you decided you just didn’t want to carry on.

Holly: That’s right. And at the time, I was an atheist. I did not believe that there was a Lord out there who loved me.

Delilah: And what happened to change that?

Holly: Well, I drove down a country road with many barbiturates, and I was going to take them all, and I wrote a note, and basically said the world does not want me, I’m not good enough, and therefore, I’m going to end my life. And I poured them out in my hand, and I had my 8-track of Neil’s “Stones” 8-track with me, and for some reason, something much bigger then me told to stick that in my player, and it just so happens that the track, “I Am…I Said” was on. And he started singing it, and I started crying, and really, I mean deep, really crying, pounding the steering wheel, and all of a sudden I realized, “What on earth are you doing?” Neil surely has felt this way, and he’s alive, singing about it. So, it would be pretty stupid for you to end your life. And remember what Jesus said, because I had read some scripture, he said before Moses was, I am. And all of a sudden I realized God is here. There is a God. And I threw the pills out, and drove home.

Delilah: And, has life gotten better?

Holly: Very much so. Very much so. I have a lovely home. I have a lovely job. I am really working at finding happiness, and I’m basically a very happy person.

Delilah: So, do you think that had you not popped that tape in at that time, had you not heard that song, things might have turned out differently?

Holly: I probably would have taken the pills.

Delilah: That wouldn’t have been a good thing.

Holly: No

Neil: That would have been a terrible thing, Holly. (pause) Hello?

Holly: Oh, my God.

Neil: Hi darling, this is Neil, and I’m sorry, I just overheard what you said, and that’s a beautiful story. I can tell you, because I was kind of down when I wrote that song myself, and it meant a lot to me too, and it’s so nice to hear that it had an effect on you,
and that you didn’t let yourself get down, and you pulled yourself out of it. It’s a beautiful thing, and I think the world’s a better place because you’re around.

Holly: Oh, thank you.

Neil: You do have a great laugh, and we need that, we really need that. So you’ve done me great honor by telling that story, and I love you for it. And just to know you’re not alone, and there’s lots of people out there, myself included, who’ve gone through really difficult times, and for some reason, they’ve been able to pull themselves out of it. And we all know that there’s something much bigger then we are out there, and He pulls the strings, and He sure pulled the right strings that day.

Holly: Yes, He did.

Neil: I’m happy to hear you tell that story.

Holly: Well, I’ll tell you what, Neil. I never, ever thought that I could ever talk to you,
and I’ve made a royal pain in my butt about trying to reach you. This is all I’ve ever wanted is to just thank you.

Neil: Wow.

Delilah: So, Merry Christmas early, Holly.

Holly: Oh, my goodness. I don’t know what to do.

Neil: Well, you keep laughing and just hearing your story is beautiful. Like I sa0y, it’s going to make my Christmas this year. And God bless you.

(Song: “Oh, Holy Night”)

Delilah: With me, co-hosting tonight is Neil Diamond. Neil, thank you for agreeing to be here with us.

Neil: Oh, I love it. I love this music, and I want to pick some songs and play some of it.

Delilah: When you’re singing, when you’re performing, when you’re recording, you have no clue who it’s going to touch or how it’s going to touch once it’s out there.

Neil: You know that’s so true. You only hope that it goes out and does something nice to somebody. But you never do know, and every once in a while you hear a story like the one that Holly just told, and you realize that hey, maybe you do have a purpose, and there’s a reason that you’re around, and when you’re getting down, maybe you shouldn’t be getting down. It’s all valuable and it plays a part in this whole crazy scheme of things.

Delilah: Or, even like she said, when you do get down, the fact that you were honest about it, the fact that from your depression or your sad situation, you were able to write that song, and able to share that song, which is such an empowering song of faith for me and a multitude of other people.

Neil: Hum

Delilah: You know, had you taken that down time, or that sad time or that tough time, whatever it was you were going through, Neil, and then said, you know, I don’t want to focus on that, I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to sing about it, I just want to move on.

Neil: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. You just never know the good things that you do. They just seem to go out there and they create ripples, and you never do know when you’re doing something that it’s going to be to some good cause, and you hear the story like this one, and it just makes it all very clear once again.

Delilah: Christmas with Neil Diamond. We’ll be back to talk to Neil, coming up in just a moment. You’re listening to Delilah.

Delilah: Back tonight with my co-host, Neil Diamond. Back to Christmas music.

Neil: Yeah

Delilah: Your turn. What’s your pick this time?

Neil: Well, shall I go back to my childhood again?

Delilah: If you would like. You’re the co-host here.

Neil: Okay, when I was in the fifth grade, I made one of my very early live performing appearances at my public school during the Christmas pageant that we had. And I sang a song for the assembly, for the audience, called, “Marshmallow World.”

(Neil and Delilah sing a few words from the song)

Delilah: I love that song!

(Neil and Delilah sing more of the song.)

Neil: It was about all I could handle when I was in the fifth grade. And I’ll never forget it. I love the song, for some reason. And there’s a great version of it by Darlene Love. It’s a lot different then the way I sang it when I was a little kid, but I really like her version a lot, and if you’ve got that record, I’d love to hear it.

Delilah: Well, you know what? I’m going to dig in the archives, and if we’ve got it, we’ll play it next.

Neil: Yes!

(Song: “Marshmallow World,” sung by Darlene Love)

Delilah: Back with Neil Diamond who’s co-hosting with me. You know Neil, we were only going to ask you to stick around for an hour. Can we twist your arm into sticking around for a couple?

Neil: Yeah, I mean there’s so much great Christmas music. Let’s do it ’til we drop.

Delilah: (laughs)

Delilah: Christmas with Neil Diamond. We’ll be back to talk to Neil coming up in just a moment.

Delilah: With me tonight, co-hosting and sharing the spirit of the Holiday Season is Neil Diamond. Neil, welcome back.

Neil: Yeah, thank you Delilah. Great to be here.

Delilah: So tell me, besides the music, besides the lights, what’s a little tradition, or a simple little thing that you, or your kids, your family do every year to celebrate? You were raised Jewish. Do you do the Hanukkah traditions? Do you light the menorah? Do you have the candles?

Neil: Yes, we do Hanukkah, and then we go right into Christmas, and we do Christmas, too. It’s a heck of a month, I gotta tell you.

Delilah: So it’s a whole lot of celebrating.

Neil: It’s a lot of celebrating, and I’m totally broke at the end of the month.

(Delilah laughs)

Neil: That’s when I start thinking about booking a tour.

Delilah: Right after Christmas, when those January bills come in, all of a sudden, Neil says it’s time to tour again.

Neil: You know it!

Delilah: Now, do you do all the traditional foods, so not only do you have to go out on the road, you have to go and get a trainer first?

(Neil laughs)

Delilah: You know the latkes alone will put ten extra pounds on you.

Neil: Oh, my goodness. And they’re so good!

Delilah: And they’re so good with sour cream, oh my goodness!

Neil: Sour cream or applesauce, or any way you want them. My Mum comes over and she makes them for me, and you know, I’m just happy. I go on a diet, and as I say, I book a tour. That’s been the process for the last forty years. Forty? And then go out and work.

Delilah: But at least you don’t have seven kids like I do, ’cause then you’re really broke.

Neil: Boy, that’s a handful. I mean, I have four, and they’re starting to have kids of their own, but it’s a handful. I mean I don’t know how you do it with seven.

Delilah: Well, if you decide you want a few more, I can send a few to you.

(Neil laughs)

Delilah: If only for Christmas morning.

Neil: Well, that’s the rough time. That’s the hard time. Those three or four hours on Christmas morning and look out.

Delilah: Look out, you’re paying for it for a month. See, what we do, my father started this tradition, and I’ve tried to follow it. A great deal of the gifts my kids get will be home made.

Neil: Oh, that’s nice.

Delilah: So, you know, a project. And we have no video games, no X-Boxes, none of that stuff in the house. So I get off a little cheaper then other families, I think.
Neil: Well, I think it’s a great thing for people to invest some time and talent in the gifts that they give. I ask my kids not to get me any gifts. I want, basically, a photograph or two, just put it in a nice little frame, if you make the frame yourself, I’m even happier. But, that’s all I want. I want something really personal. But I mean, when they were young, it was really crazy.

Delilah: Well, happy Christmas. I want to pick another one of yours that’s my favorite.

Neil: Oh, beautiful.

Delilah: Can you do, “Little Drummer Boy” for us?

Neil: Oh, I love that song. For some reason, it really touches me. It’s from the first volume of my Christmas album. I think it was 1992 or ’93, and I recorded it again on the live album—the Stages album. For some reason, it’s just one of the most touching Christmas songs. I love it. It’s definitely one of my favorites. So I’m glad you chose that.

(Song: “Little Drummer Boy”)

Delilah: With me is Neil Diamond. Co-hosting tonight’s show. We’ll be back to talk to Neil, coming up in just a moment.

Delilah: With me, co-hosting tonight is Neil Diamond. Neil, thank you for agreeing to be here with us.

Neil: Oh, I love it. I love this music, and I want to pick some songs and play some of it.

Delilah: What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Do you guys do Christmas cookies?

Neil: Yeah, but Christmas cookies are for kids, right. I mean they’re all snowmen with jellybeans and little sprinkles and stuff.

Delilah: That’s the sugar cookies. See, I like the lemon squares. Those lemon bars that have like a crust on the bottom, then lemon on the top.
Neil: Ooooo….Oh, I know, I’ve tried those, but they’re so sweet, I don’t know if I can handle it, I start bouncing off walls. I’ll stick with the simple cinnamon cookies.

Delilah: Okay, the little Snicker doodles for Neil, and you’re happy.

Neil: Yup, yup.

Delilah: Ah, I want you to sing for me the one off Stages, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.”

Neil: Yeah, I like this one, too. I think it’s the only Christmas song I’ve ever written. And I just like it. It’s kind of warm and fuzzy. You know, like Christmas morning, putting up the tea, and feeling all snuggly. And you’re in your bathrobe, and it’s just that kind of song.

Delilah: Well, lets let our listeners go put their bathrobe on, get all snuggly, maybe put a pot of tea on, turn the lights down, plug in the Christmas tree lights. And this is Neil Diamond, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.”

Neil: Yeah.

(Song:”You Make It Feel Like Christmas”)

Delilah: Christmas with Neil Diamond. We’ll be back to talk to Neil, coming up in just a moment.

Delilah: Back tonight with my co-host, Neil Diamond.

Neil: Yeah.

Delilah: Talking about Christmas songs, Christmas music, Christmas specials. I love your Christmas specials.

Neil: Oh, thank you. I had a great time doing it. It was one of the most fun shows I’ve ever done. It was just lots of color.

Delilah: Lots of lights.

Neil: Lots of lights.

Delilah: Costumes

Neil: A big chorus, and singing with a quartet and singing with a children’s choir, and singing with a huge mixed chorus. It was just a lot of fun. I had a great time doing that show, and of course we were able to do about a dozen or so songs.

Delilah: Now, remember when we were younger, growing up, and young adults. Christmas specials used to be something you so looked forward to.

Neil: Yeah, it was part of the Holiday thing.

Delilah: I used to love go to my grandparent’s house and watch the Lawrence Welk Christmas special.

Neil: Oh, I don’t think I’d ever seen that.

Delilah: With the bubbles, and the girls in the pretty dresses, and the music. I love the music.

Neil: Yeah, that was fun. And I think I really wanted to do that Christmas special that I did, just because it was something from my past, and something that I remembered. All those happy people; it was a happy show to do.

Delilah: Well, lets pick one of the songs from your Christmas special. Which one do you want to do?

Neil: The “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah”, which I did when I was in high school. I sang with a huge choir in high school; about a hundred voices. Of course, we had an annual Christmas special, and, gosh, I remember doing the “Hallelujah Chorus”, and it gave me goose bumps. It just was so exciting. When I did these Christmas albums, about ten or twelve years ago, I wanted to make sure we did “The Hallelujah Chorus.” Again, it brought me right back to high school and all those goose bumps. As a matter of fact, that was the choir that Barbra Streisand sang in with me, and I know she loves singing it was well.

Delilah: She’s delightful. I got to talk to her a couple of months ago. And I was so nervous, but she was so nice.

Neil: Yes, she’s a terrific lady.

Delilah: Well, let’s do the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Neil: Yeah!

(Song: “Hallelujah Chorus”)

Delilah: Neil Diamond, thank you for spending tonight with us, for
co-hosting the show, and for sharing your favorite Christmas music, also, for recording all these great Christmas songs over the years. Have a blessed New Year’s, and good night to Neil Diamond.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]