Monday, January 23, 2006


Nolan Strong and the Diablos, The Wind.

One of the odder records made in the '50s, "The Wind" is both campy and unknowable. After an intro out of Night Gallery, the Diablos enter, anchored by a droning bass intoning "Wind..wind..bloow-oh-whooow", as if supplicating a god of some sort, and at last Strong's falsetto, drenched in echo, takes the verse. It's a glorious taste of early doo wop. But then comes the middle section, in which Nolan speaks some ridiculous lyrics in a gossamer voice freakily similar to Michael Jackson's. (Something first noticed by Dave Marsh, who put the song near the top of his 1,001 singles list.)

Strong would continue to make recordings for another decade, none as compelling or as strange as this, until 1962, when he surfaced with an amazing rock & roll single "Mind Over Matter" that seemed to presage the Rolling Stones. So Nolan had a gift for pop prophecy, if nothing else.

Released as Fortune 511 in September 1954. Find it on Fortune of Hits, a compilation that seems to be out of print but can be purchased on a number of websites.

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