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Nolan Strong & The Diablos


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Nolan Strong & The Diablos were a Detroit-based R&B and doo-wop vocal group best known for its hit songs “The Wind” and “Mind Over Matter”. The group was one of the most popular, pre-Motown, R&B acts in Detroit during the mid 1950s, through the early 1960s.
Nolan Strong, the lead vocalist, was born in Scottsboro, Alabama on January 22, 1934 and moved to Detroit at a young age. He started singing soon after arriving in Detroit and formed his first Diablos group in 1950. Nolan was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 and was honorably discharged in 1958.

Nolan died on February 21, 1977 at the age of 43 in Detroit - little is known about the last years of his life.
Nolan Strong had an ethereally high tenor. Strong’s smooth voice, influenced mainly by Clyde McPhatter was, in turn, a primary influence on a young Smokey Robinson.
The group, along with label-mates Andre Williams and Nathaniel Mayer, recorded for Fortune Records, a small label in Detroit starting in 1954, and ending somewhere around 1973.
Strong has also been an influence on rock and roll bands. In December 2009 Lou Reed, of the influential ’60s band The Velvet Underground, told Rolling Stone Magazine editor David Fricke, “If I could really sing, I’d be Nolan Strong” - during an interview at the New York Public Library.
The Diablos were inducted into the United In Group Harmony Hall of Fame in 2003. In March 2008 the group was inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame of America.


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