It's been over Fifty-two years since THE DIAMONDS released an instant million selling hit called Little Darlin'. The song continues to sell worldwide and to date has sold over 21 million copies.
The original members of The Diamonds were: Dave Somerville - Lead, Ted Kowalski - Tenor, Phil Levitt - Baritone, and Bill Reed - Bass. Phil Levitt left, after a few hits, in 1957 and was replaced by Mike Douglas. Bill Reed left in 1958, being replaced by John Felton. The Diamonds’ first recording for Mercury was "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," a cover of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers’s version, which reached #12 in the U.S. as their first hit. The Diamonds biggest hits were 1957's "Little Darlin'" (originally recorded by the The Gladiolas) and 1958's "The Stroll", which was not a cover, but actually an original song written for the group by Brook Benton, from an idea by Dick Clark. By 1961, ALL of the original members had left the group and were replaced.
Gary Owens joined John Felton and the group in 1974 as a multi-talented Baritone, and since, the magic of their sound has continued and thrived. Gary continues to be the driving force behind The Diamonds, acting as leader, owner of the group's name, baritone and sound engineer behind this timeless group.
Through the years since the release of Little Darlin' THE DIAMONDS have learned one important lesson-the durability of 1950's music is as much about the future as about the past. As a result, THE DIAMONDS continue to expand their audience to this day by performing in a myriad of surroundings, including: with Symphony Orchestras, in Performing Arts Theatres and major concert halls, on cruise ships, in casinos, at county and state fairs, on tours of England, Ireland, Brazil, Chile, Korea, and Japan, for benefit concerts and conventions, at nightclubs and, through the most recent addition to their repertoire, the Christmas show "Silver Bells And Diamonds". "We've been pleased to find a growing audience among all age groups. They like songs they can understand, remember and actually sing the words to- tomorrow, or even 20 years from now."
A major reason for THE DIAMONDS' longevity as performers and entertainers lies in the diverse backgrounds of the individual members of the group. Multi-talented tenor, Bobby Poynton, graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1980 and shortly thereafter moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. He landed parts on such shows as Days of Our Lives, Jake and the Fatman, Life Goes On, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Sentinel, Touched by an Angel, Viper, Promised Land and Walker: Texas Ranger. Then his continuing desire to sing full time resulted in a 6-year stint as a member of The Lettermen, recording six albums with that vocal trio. Bobby's wide array of talents continues to entertain all that see and hear him. Bobby joined THE DIAMONDS in 2001.
Bass singer Jerry Siggins has accumulated some impressive credits of his own. Jerry has worked throughout the United States, Japan, and Australia as a singer and actor. He spent five summers at Jackson Hole's Pink Garter Theater and has guest starred on The Tonight Show, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and The Love Boat. Before setting down roots as a permanent member of THE DIAMONDS in 1991, as sometimes Bass & sometimes Lead singer, Jerry enjoyed a successful career as an actor in television commercials and was actively involved in Southern California theatre. He sang in a doo-wop group called Danny and The Dappers and was a mainstay at Disneyland and Disney World as a vocalist with The Dapper Dans vocal quartet for years.
The newest addition to The Diamonds is Lead singer Joe Finetti. Joe began his singing career in college while studying trombone and drums at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He sang with a jazz vocal group known as Phil Mattson & The P.M. Singers, a group that was up for two Grammy Awards in 1985. He also began singing on radio and TV jingles for a local producer. He soon began writing jingles and landed a job as a jingle writer in Indianapolis. Joe’s other credits include a brief stint with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra , followed by 14 years in another Grammy- nominated group, The Bobs. Here he wrote, arranged and produced 6 albums, numerous TV and radio recordings before joining THE DIAMONDS in June of 2003.
Baritone singer Gary Owens has spent the longest time as a DIAMOND — now amidst his 35th year — joining forces with bass singer John Felton in 1974. A well-rounded musician, Owens learned his craft as a journeyman bass player around Los Angeles while earning his undergraduate degree in music at California State University, Long Beach. In the early 1980's, Owens took a brief hiatus from THE DIAMONDS to complete his Master's Degree in Business Administration at the University of Southern California. Besides singing, and playing saxophone and flute, Owens does much of the vocal arranging for THE DIAMONDS. In that capacity, he is well aware of the group's particular effectiveness. "Although the faces have changed over the years our goal has always been to keep that classic Diamonds' sound intact. THE DIAMONDS are four distinctive individuals," he notes, "with one strong group personality. The four of us as a unit have a special chemistry, and it is that chemistry that gives us our unique identity."
TOP U.S. CHARTED SINGLES
for The Diamonds
1. LITTLE DARLIN (Top chart position #2) - 1957 2. THE STROLL (Top chart position #4) 3. SILHOUETTES (Top chart position #10) 4. WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE? (Top chart position #12) 5. WORDS OF LOVE (Top chart position #13) 6. CHURCH BELLS MAY RING (Top chart position #14) 7. ZIP ZIP (Top chart position #16) 8. KATHY-O (Top chart position #16) 9. SHE SAY (OOM DOOBY DOOM) (Top chart position #18) 10. ONE SUMMER NIGHT (Top chart position #22)