Patriot Saint of Belize

Listen to Nelson Diamond singing "You're the Reason I'm Living."

I would go to BIRDS ISLE and watch one of our great singers, Nelson Diamond. He used to practice there with his band, the Belizean Ambassadors. I liked Nelson a lot. He was my neighbor. And, he went away to the United States for a while. Then he came back with a big hit called Funny How Time Slips Away by Willie Nelson. The way he dressed was very interesting-- an Afro, sometimes in full white, high heeled shoes, like the funk players in America would wear... sometimes a pink ribbon would go around his waist. Sometimes, when his band was not accompanying him, he would get his organ and call up kids, one by one, testing them out to see if they could become singers. It was like a big party. There was a guy by the name of Floppy, who used to bring his reel to reel, and even record it all.

But Nelson, he would sing so beautifully, with or without his band. One time he did a piano marathon, playing for a couple of days straight. I can't remember for how long it was, but it was long enough to break the previous record from Mexico. I enjoyed hearing him do that. The marathon took place at a Brodies Store. I visited him there, and also I listened on the radio, because you could hear him play on the radio. The marathon was a big thing in our whole country, because it was for charity. Then he completed with his group joining him, singing some funk, but eventually it was too much for him. They had to rush him to the hospital. .. I remember his mom was worrying about him. But in less than a week he was out. I heard him on the radio doing an interview. Some people were complaining that they thought he caught draft, and they were annoyed, saying that the government should have put him in a glass case, like they did for the Mexican piano player when he did the marathon in Belize City many years before.

There are so many things I could say about this great Belizean: First of all, I never once saw him when he was not smiling, even when he was singing. He always seemed happy. He was very kind hearted. You could stop him any time and he would take the time out for you. I remember him offering money to people, food... Anybody who knew him at that time would agree with me. I never heard anyone say anything bad about him. Eventually, Nelson went back to California. Then, I heard on the radio, somehow, he got shot and killed. When he passed away the whole of Belize City was in mourning. He was a beautiful singer, as you can hear on the video below. One of his greatest concerns was the youth of Belize. He often said that we had a lot of great talent, we just need a direction, and that's what he was trying to do, give us direction.I was very glad to be one of his students. Ain't it funny how time slips away?

Listen to Nelson Diamond singing "Funny How Time Slips Away."

Back to the Top

Evan Belize Copyright(C) 2003