Writer(s): Neil Diamond (see lyrics here)
First Charted: April 24, 1981
Peak: 8 US, 10 CB, 9 HR, 5 RR, 13 AC, 45 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 0.63 US
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 29.1 video, -- streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Neil Diamond starred in The Jazz Singer in 1980. The dramatic film was one of several adaptations of the 1925 play of the same name by Samson Raphaelson. The 1927 film is hailed as the onset of the sound-era of film. The story is about a young, fifth-generation Jewis cantor (Diamond) who defies the traditionalism of his father (Laurence Olivier) to pursue his dream of being a pop singer.
While the movie generally received negative reviews – even earning Diamond a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor – the movie made a modest profit and the soundtrack was huge. It became Diamond’s biggest selling album in the United States with more than 5 million in sales. It was fueled by three top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 – “Love on the Rocks,” “Hello Again,” and “America.”
“America” was the third single and, unlike the previous two ballads, was a “bombastic melting-pot jam.” AMG It is “a tribute to immigration in America, where people from all over the world were welcome to come and seek opportunity.” SF Diamond’s grandparents were immigrants from Russia and Poland and Diamond grew up in Brooklyn, where many European immigrants arrived.
The song became a very popular number for Diamond in concert both home and abroad thanks to his “typically powerful melody, dynamic arrangements, and bombastic vocal.” WK On a personal note, the song was on my first personal chart. As a response to a local radio station’s countdown of the best songs of all time, I compiled my own list. I intended to make it a one-time list of favorites, but it turned into a weekly personal chart which I maintained for a little more than a decade.
First posted 9/7/2022.