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The Valley Line: A clear-cut Diamond

August 04, 2010|By Jane Napier Neely

La Cañada's Memorial Park was the happening place last Sunday when Dean Colley's Hot August Nights Band, a Neil Diamond tribute band, rocked the town with the music of the famous singer.

Instead of it being a hot August night, it was a temperate one with a gentle breeze wending its way in and out of the huge crowd that had come to listen to Diamond familiar tunes like "Sweet Caroline," "Crunchy Granola Suite," "Sing Sung Blues" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show."

Colley, who physically has a striking resemblance to Diamond, also has a similar rich baritone with a slightly craggy edge to it that everyone has come to love.

Neil Diamond's cousin Judy Diamond, who lives in the valley, was also in the crowd and Colley introduced her. I spoke with her after the show, and she said she usually tries to come to a couple of Hot August Night concerts each year. She said that she really enjoys the shows, and that Colley does a pretty good job sounding like her cousin. She said emphatically, "Dean is not a Neil Diamond impersonator, but I prefer to say that he pays tribute to Neil Diamond with his style."

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During the break in the concert, Colley came out into the crowd to meet LCF resident Teena Hostovich to chat with her and have some refreshments. He and Teena went to elementary and middle school together and also were at USC at the same time even though they didn't ever run into each other.

Near the end of the show the cement "dance floor" in the front of the bandstand was jammed with people who were not only dancing but waving their hands and singing right along with the band. The person having the most fun of all was Jack Hollen. At 87, he was rocking out with the crowd. By his side were his wife Carol and his daughter Cindy Porcell. I understand this is Jack's favorite concert in the "Music in the Park" series.

I certainly hope that Dean Colley and Hot August Nights will be at the park next year too — I think it is my favorite concert too!

The recent La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Happy Hour was hosted by Pat and Otis Hutchins. It was quite a crowd when about 150 people showed up to take part in the fun that is always expected at the Hutchins house.

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