The Los Angeles disk-jockey, Dave Diamond, who was influential in convincing The Doors to edit “Light My Fire” for AM airplay which eventually led to it becoming the #1 hit song in July of 1967, died May 5 at age 77 in his home in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Diamond whose “The Diamond Mine” ran in Los Angeles from 1965 to 1968 was considered to be one of the first ’underground’ radio shows. Diamond was influential in getting exposure for up and coming bands including The Doors, Love, Iron Butterfly, The Seeds and Linda Ronstadt. Diamond also started a music publishing company, Black Hills Music, which owned the hit song “Incense and Peppermints” by the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Diamond was also one of the few radio reporters allowed to travel with The Beatles on their first American tour. Diamond was named one of “America’s Early Radio Idols” by Billboard Magazine.
Diamond stayed on Los Angeles radio stations until 1982 when he returned to his native South Dakota and taught broadcasting and journalism at Black Hills State University for 17 years. He also wrote and published novels such as ‘Cool Hand in a Hot Fire,” and ‘Trouble in the Black Hills.’ Diamond also had a play of his produced ‘The Deals Are Going Down.’
Originally published May 17, 2014