Was Tom Hanks' Father Lead Singer of The Diamonds?

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According to viral messages circulating online since early 2012, it's a little-known fact, supposedly, that actor Tom Hanks' father, Amos Hanks, was the lead singer of a famous vocal quartet of the late fifties and early sixties called The Diamonds.

Description: Viral text
Circulating since: February 2012
Status: False (details below)


Tom Hanks Dad

Okay, I'll bet you didn't know what you are about to read, even though you are exceptionally smart, unless you have seen this before.


2 Performances 47 years apart

FYI, the lead singer of the Diamonds is also the father of TOM HANKS.

If you were alive in 1957, and old enough to enjoy Rock and Roll, you will probably remember the group, "The Diamonds" who had just launched their super hit "Little Darlin'". For you that are too young to remember - it was a time when the performers were happy, enjoying themselves, respecting their fans, dressed appropriately and their lyrics could be understood. They did not feel obligated to scream, eat the microphone, mumble inaudible lyrics or trash the set.

In 1957, The Diamonds had a hit with "Little Darlin". 47 years later, they were requested to perform at Atlantic City ... This link leads to both performances.

Watch the first one then scroll down for the new one 47 years later.


Analysis: Nice story, false from start to finish. Tom Hanks' father was never a singer, much less a member of The Diamonds, a Canadian vocal group famous in the late fifties and early sixties for such Top 40 hits as "Little Darlin'" and "The Stroll."

The Diamonds' original lead singer was Dave Somerville, a native of Ontario, Canada with no known familial connection to Mr. Hanks. He's alive and well, and still performing as "Diamond Dave Somerville." (The other original members were Ted Kowalski, Phil Levitt, and Bill Reed, none of whom fathered Tom Hanks.)

According to Biography.com, Hanks' actual father, Amos Hanks, was a chef. The actor himself has variously described the elder Hanks as an "itinerant cook" and a restaurant owner who thought his son should follow in his footsteps. "My dad was in the restaurant business his entire life," Hanks told the New York Times in 2002, "and he honestly couldn't fathom why I didn't want to be the assistant manager of the local Jack in the Box."

Hanks also mentioned his father's profession in a 1986 interview in which he talked about what life was like after his parents divorced when he was four years old. "I lived with my dad most of the time," he told the Dallas Morning News. "He was a restaurant owner and we lived all over California, wherever he kept opening up restaurants.

He remarried many times. It wasn't boring."

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks caught the acting bug in junior college while watching a performance of Eugene O'Neill's The Ice Man Cometh and never looked back.

Amos Mefford Hanks, who spent most of his life in the restaurant business and at no time was a member of a Top 40 singing quartet, died in Alameda, California in 1992. He was 67.

Sources and further reading:

Tom Hanks Bio
About.com: Hollywood Movies

Tom Hanks Bio #2

The Diamonds

Tom Hanks: A Long Way from Bosom Buddies to The Great One
Dallas Morning News, 6 August 1986

Tom Hanks' Road to Success
New York Times, 7 July 2002