Memphis Flyer: When did you know you wanted to be Neil Diamond?
Theron Denson: It’s been an interesting journey becoming the Black Diamond. It started when I was very young and the only black kid in an all-white church. Whenever I would sing one of the hymns, the women in the church would ask me, “Do you know that you sound just like Neil Diamond?” I didn’t know it, but all of the Caucasian women sure did.
Is that what turned on your heartlight? Did you know right away you were destined to be the Black Diamond?
I probably didn’t know that until five years later when I was a teenager and decided to finally buy a Neil Diamond record and find out who this cat was. I bought The Jazz Singer. It wouldn’t become a show until years later, but I had lots of fun.
Was your growing fascination with Neil Diamond the sort of thing you could share with your friends, or did it make you a solitary man?
Oh, I shared from day one. … Neil Diamond’s music is incredible. He has his finger on the pulse of the human psyche. — Chris Davis