In tribute to singer Neil Diamond, who announced Monday he was retiring from performing because he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees issued a statement Jan. 23. Diamond was one of many celebrated songwriters outside the Monkees that contributed songs recorded by the Monkees during the group's career. Other songwriters have also included Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart; Carole King and Gerry Goffin and John Stewart.
"Needless to say, I am dismayed at the news that one of the greatest songwriter/performers of my generation is having to curtail his activities due to illness,” Dolenz's statement said. “Through his music, Neil brought untold joy to countless fans and to the world in general. I wish you all the best, Neil, and I remain a 'Believer' in everything you do."
Diamond announced yesterday he would be retiring from performing, though he intended to keep writing songs and recording. “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks go out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you,” a statement he released said.
Diamond's songwriting contributions to The Monkees included songs that brought the group two big hits on the charts. From the More of the Monkees album came the 1966 No. 1 Billboard hit “I'm a Believer” and a non-charting song “(Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow.” Diamond also wrote “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”, recorded by the band and which hit No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart in 1967. “Believer,” sung by Dolenz, became a Monkees' trademark and also was introduced to a new generation of fans through the version by Smash Mouth in the first Shrek movie. Dolenz recently released a live album, Out of Nowhere, recorded with the American Metropole Orchestra with new performances of both “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” and “I'm a Believer.” He references the Shrek legacy in his introduction to “Believer” on the disc by saying, “I want you to tell your little kids or grandkids --'Don't forget. I sang this long before 'Shrek.'” Another Diamond song, "Live to Love," was included on the 2016 Good Times album.