Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What Ever Happened to Jay Diamond?

In the glory days of talk radio the great Bob Grant introduced us all to a man we came to know and love, Jay Diamond. He was, I believe, the producer of the Bob Grant show at 77 W.A.B.C. in the early to mid 1990’s, in other words he was the guy who answered the telephone and set up the calls to Grant.

Apparently Grant saw something in Diamond, a special talent, which Grant managed to sell to the suits as a possible on air talent. From time to time Grant would bring Diamond onto his well known afternoon drive radio show in the guise of characters who would joke with Grant and make him laugh to the point that both men needed to exit the studio leaving dead air in order to regain their composure.

The line “I’m a renaissance man” delivered by Diamond during a radio bit was what was responsible for that dead air. Even after returning to the on air studio the two men had a difficult time regaining composure. For all intents the gag was finished but everyone loved it.

So, my question what ever happened to Jay Diamond is asked. Recently, as of this writing he can be heard at 92.3 free f.m. doing a one or two week long guest host spot at ten p.m., but what ever happened to Jay Diamond? That time slot at 92.3 has notoriously been reserved for the no talent fill in.

Whatever transpired between Diamond and Grant is something which is still a mystery to me, but there seemed to be a period of time when there was a falling out between the two men. Did Diamond at some point go behind Grants back in an effort to ingratiate himself to management? Did Grant become jealous of Diamonds talent? Did Diamond get under Grants skin by becoming far too full of himself? Or was it simply that Diamond changed his political color or worse, began to express his true beliefs.

If that is a true then it would be clearer to me why Grant seemingly moved away from Diamond. He would, I believe, see it as having been used by Diamond in order for Diamond to launch a radio career off of Grants friendship and then betray that friendship by revealing very different views than he had originally represented to Grant.

But my question is whatever happened to Jay Diamond? Hearing him on free f.m. he sounds like a astringent old man. He is bombastic and cynical. If he was not locked securely in a radio studio and acted the way he does towards callers he would, if face to face with some of those people receive, and deservedly so, and punch right in the kisser.

Diamond attacks the true talents of the industry and acts as though he is some sort of radio kingpin. Jay, you are on a station which until recently had become the laughing stock of New York broadcast radio. And even then you are in the loser time slot. And even then simply as a fill in talk show host.

Clearly John Mainelli is the only reason for which you are even in that fill in position. Perhaps Mainelli, himself a true industry talent felt sorry for Diamond. But his actions are questionable at best. Diamond is completely out of his market. The demographic is all wrong. Young people don’t want to listen to an old man with an old man voice tone talking about subjects which they have no interest in.

Jay, your day has come and your day has gone. You are now nothing more than a curiosity. It was nice to hear from the distant past. But the séance is over; the crystal ball has gone dark. Voices from the past are better left in the past. So Jay, it is time for you to go back down into the grave and sleep the sleep of the dead. The sun rises, be quick about it. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Here lies Jay Diamond. Once he was a real radio talent, he died of a bitter heart. Rest in Peace.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007

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