Neil Diamond receives another career honor

NEIL DIAMOND:  Set to receive career honor from Songwriters Hall of Fame

Neil Diamond will be back in his native New York on June 14th to receive the Johnny Mercer Awardfrom the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Brooklyn-born legend, who stopped touring recently after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, joins an array of rock and pop legends who've gotten this "best of the best" honor. Previous recipients include Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel and Paul Simon.

It's the latest in a series of career-spanning honors. This decade alone, Neil Diamond has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received the Kennedy Center Honors and, this winter, gotten the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. (

MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS:  Wednesday, March 21st

EDDIE MONEY:  Will he ever get into the  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

With hits in the '70s and '80s and a log career as a touring artist, Eddie Money looks like a strong candidate for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But, apparently, he's not.

The Long Island, New York rocker tells Pittsburgh's Post Gazette, "A lot of the critics out there didn’t like [his mentor and manager] Bill Graham. A lot of the critics didn’t like cops. A lot of critics didn’t like people from New York, or people from California. The critics have never been in my corner. But do you know who I always had in my corner? I always had the fans in my corner."

Money admits making "a lot of enemies out there. But it’s not the worst thing in the world when you’re getting three encores and you get a [bad] review in the paper... I took it too personal. I’m not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’d like to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A lot of people call me ‘The Pete Rose of rock and roll.’ I had 17 songs in the Top 100. That’s a lot of tunes, man."

But he takes considerable pride in being in the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, his hometown shrine -- whose other honorees include Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand and The Rascals.

Real Money, the AXS-TV reality series about Eddie and his family, debuts April 8th.

DIRE STRAITS:  Mark Knopfler will not attend Rock Hall induction

Mark Knopfler will not be in Cleveland when Dire Straits are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th.

He joins drummer Pick Withers, who told us in December that he didn't think he would make the trip from his home in Liverpool. Bassist John Illsley has said he plans to attend, and we have been told that rhythm guitarist David Knopfler, Mark's younger brother, will also be there.

Mark joins a list of no-shows over the years that includes:

  • Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
  • Levon Helm (The Band)
  • Paul McCartney (The Beatles)
  • Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
  • Alex Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth (Van Halen)
  • Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield)
  • Rod Stewart (solo and with The Faces)
  • David Bowie
  • Peter Cetera (Chicago)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)
  • Peter Gabriel (Genesis)
  • Axl Rose (Guns n' Roses)
  • John Deacon (Queen)
  • The Sex Pistols
  • Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones)    

This year's other inductees are The Moody Blues, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Cars and Bon Jovi.

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