Remembering Jim Diamond

Singer Jim Diamond

Jim Diamond, the Glasgow born singer and songwriter, has died aged 64.

Diamond is known for a string of hits including I Won’t Let You Down, I Should Have Known Better and the theme tune to Central Television’s crime drama Boon which was produced for ITV from 1986 through to 1992.

In a statement his family said they were ‘deeply shocked by his sudden death’ at his home in London.

“He was a devoted family man who loved his wife Chrissy and his children Sara and Lawrence, and the music that he continued to make. He dedicated a lot of time over recent years to the Cash for Kids charity appeal in Scotland with his friend Sir Tom Hunter and was still active and well respected on the music scene. He’ll be much missed by all who knew him and everyone who loved his music and his unique voice and style.” – Family Spokesperson.

Jim first hit the pop charts in 1982 as lead singer of his band Ph.D. The song, I Won’t Let You Down, reached number 3 in the UK Top 40. Diamond formed the group with former Jeff Beck Group members Simon Phillips and Tony Hymas, their surnames making the initials Ph.D. which is also of course a play on the letters denoting an educational degree.

In 1984 he hit the top of the UK charts with ballad I Should Have Known Better. The song spent one week at number one in December of the year, knocked from the top spot by Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love.

Cast of Central TV's Boon pictured outside ATV Centre in 1986

In 1986 Central Television executives picked Diamond’s track Hi Ho Silver as the theme tune to Birmingham produced (later Nottingham) drama series Boon starring Michael Elphick, David Daker, and later Neil Morrissey. The song featured on Jim’s second solo studio album Desire for Freedom. The tune wasn’t especially written for the ITV aired series, it had been penned by Jim as a tribute to his father who had died the previous year.

Across his career he had been nominated for an Ivor Novello award and was described as ‘Scotland’s answer to Ray Charles’. Charles and Otis Redding both music influences for a young Diamond.

Born in Glasgow’s East End in 1951 he first made moves into the world of music at the age of 14, forming a band, The Method he later joined another group Jade and by 1969 was touring venues in Scotland and the UK, notably London pubs. The late sixties also saw Jade tour with Roy Wood and Carl Wayne fronted group The Move on their Scottish tour. During the 1970s he made numerous collaborations working with Alexis Korner and Cliff Williams.

More recent work saw Jim release his first studio album in eleven years in 2005 with Souled and Healed and in 2011 he released his final album City of Soul.

Jim married Christine Bailey in 1978 their daughter Sara Rosaline Diamond was born the same year with son Lawrence James Diamond arriving in 1984.

Below a title sequence to the ITV series Boon with the Hi Ho Silver theme tune.

Pictured Top: A promo shot of Jim Diamond in the 1980s, Middle: Central Television’s cast of Boon, David Daker, Michael Elphick and Rachel Davies, outside the ATV Centre studios in Birmingham in 1986.

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