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Sweet Caroline


Tim Gratz
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By SANDY COHEN

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Neil Diamond held onto the secret for decades, but he has finally revealed that President Kennedy's daughter was the inspiration for his smash hit "Sweet Caroline."

"I've never discussed it with anybody before - intentionally," the 66-year-old singer-songwriter told The Associated Press on Monday during a break from recording. "I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday."

He got his chance last week when he performed the song via satellite at Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's 50th birthday party.

Diamond was a "young, broke songwriter" when a photo of the president's daughter in a news magazine caught his eye.

"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

Years later, holed up in a hotel in Memphis , he would write the words and music in less an hour.

"It was a No. 1 record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration," he said. "I'm happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."

The enduring hit recently reappeared on the singles chart, thanks in part to the Boston Red Sox. "Sweet Caroline" is played at every home game.

"I think they consider it good luck," Diamond said, adding that the Red Sox have become his favorite baseball team.

The tune's return to the charts leaves Diamond "speechless," he said: "That song was written 40 years ago, so I am just overwhelmed by the fact that it has returned and that, more importantly, people have taken it into their hearts for so many years."

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By SANDY COHEN

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Neil Diamond held onto the secret for decades, but he has finally revealed that President Kennedy's daughter was the inspiration for his smash hit "Sweet Caroline."

"I've never discussed it with anybody before - intentionally," the 66-year-old singer-songwriter told The Associated Press on Monday during a break from recording. "I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday."

He got his chance last week when he performed the song via satellite at Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's 50th birthday party.

Diamond was a "young, broke songwriter" when a photo of the president's daughter in a news magazine caught his eye.

"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

Years later, holed up in a hotel in Memphis , he would write the words and music in less an hour.

"It was a No. 1 record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration," he said. "I'm happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."

The enduring hit recently reappeared on the singles chart, thanks in part to the Boston Red Sox. "Sweet Caroline" is played at every home game.

"I think they consider it good luck," Diamond said, adding that the Red Sox have become his favorite baseball team.

The tune's return to the charts leaves Diamond "speechless," he said: "That song was written 40 years ago, so I am just overwhelmed by the fact that it has returned and that, more importantly, people have taken it into their hearts for so many years."

And the relevance to the JFK assassination is...?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mark:

Caroline was his daughter and one of the reasons we care about the assassination is not only its historical implications but its effect on his family, including that gut-wretching photo of a three year old saluting his slain father obviously without an understanding of what it all meant. Fair enough?

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Speaking of Caroline I was watching a public television story on "Rolling Stone: Voices of our Generation" and learned that Caroline Kennedy had authored an article on Elvis Presley for the issue about his death.

Shouldn't bring that up--now no doubt someone will claim Elvis was murdered!

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Tim,

As a JFK novice / disinterested party, I really don't see the relevence. Could you highlight it more, otherwise I'll move the thread to a more pertinent area. Thanks!

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Mr Burton, I agree with you that its relevance to the Kennedy assassination is of marginal relevance and do not object to your suggestion.

Many who are interested in the assassination are however interested in the later history of his family and knowledge of the interests of his daughter could potentially be of some help in persuading her to "break the silence" and support a new look at her father's death. So in that admittedly marginal way following Caroline Kennedy's activities could turn out to be helpful.

In fact, coincidentally, within minutes of posting this I saw her being interviewed by Tim Russert about a new book she has written about the history of Christmas.

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It could be as simple as this: I think care should be given to writing to Caroline about the case, and extreme care in how such a letter is worded, but it might make it more likely she would read such a letter if someone started the letter stating: "I read your article in the (date) issue of The Rolling Stone about Elvis Presley and found it fascinating. I particularly liked . . ." In other words, if an assassination researcher who is really an Elvis fan finds and reads the article it could be useful as a way to initiate a "one-way" conversation with her. So in that sense my reporting that she penned an article about Elvis that can be found in an easily identifiable issue of the Rolliong Stone could--could--be helpful sometime down the line.

Same could be true using her new Christmas book as a reference.

However, these points may be too minor to keep this thread in the Assassination Debate section so Mr. Burton it is totally your call and I have no objection to whatever your decision may be.

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