Neil Diamond’s inspiration for the song “Sweet Caroline” was JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy!
As a young man, Diamond was struggling in the songwriting business when a photograph of the president’s young daughter got his attention. “It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony,” Neil said, “It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there.”
Some years later, Diamond finally found that tune in a Memphis hotel, where he penned both the music and lyrics in less than an hour! The singer had never discussed the identity of his young muse until 2007, when he performed the song via satellite for Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg’s 50th birthday party. “It was a No. 1 record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration,” admitted Diamond, “I’m happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy.”