Monday, December 15, 2008

Nolan Strong and the Diablos - You Are

Nolan Strong & The Diablos were an R&B and doo-wop vocal group best know for its hit songs "The Wind" and "Mind Over Matter." The group recorded for Fortune Records, a small label in Detroit starting in the the 1950s.

Nolan Strong, the lead vocalist, had an etherially high, strong tenor voice. Strong's smooth tenor, influenced mainly by Clyde McPhatter, in turn, was a primary influence on a young Smokey Robinson.

The group formed in Detroit in 1950 and originally consisted of Strong (lead tenor), Juan Guieterriez (tenor), Willie Hunter (baritone), Quentin Eubanks (bass), and Bob "Chico" Edwards (guitar). Nolan Strong named the group the Diablos after a book he was read in high school called "El Nino Diablo." In 1954 The Diablos began recording with Fortune Records, releasing a handful of 45rpm records. By late 1956, changes were made to the Diablos line-up. Scott decided to leave the group about this time to join Hank Ballard & the Midnighters — and again the Diablos were in need of a bass. Enter Jay Johnson, who was introduced to Strong through fellow Fortune artist Andre Williams.

Their first recording for Fortune was the Devora Brown-penned "Adios My Desert Love," a cha cha-flavored tune. Nolan Strong & The Diablos biggest hit was "The Wind" (Fortune 511, 1954). "The Wind" was their only national hit, though most of the group's other hits were huge local successes in Detroit (including "Mind Over Matter," (Fortune 546, 1962) which went to #1 on local radio station playlists in 1962). Other local hits, such as "Daddy Rockin' Strong" (Fortune 516, 1955), "The Way You Dog Me Around" (Fortune 518, 1955), "If I (Could Be With You Tonight)" (Fortune 532, 1959), "Since You're Gone" (Fortune 536, 1960). The group's last few records by the were credited only to Nolan Strong, although The Diablos continued to perform on the recordings up through the final 45 rpm released by Nolan Strong in 1965.

Nolan's career tapered off after '65, rumors of Fortune Records having him locked in a unprofitable contract is a rumored reason for his lack of recordings in the late '60s and '70s. Jimmy Strong passed away January 29, 1970, at age 34. His brother Nolan would join him on February 21, 1977, at age 43. Hunter, Edwards, and Eubanks are also deceased.

Nolan Strong and the Diablos - You Are

1 comment:

ana-b said...

pure gold...thank you...