Saturday, April 21, 2018

At the Hop!

The Diablos!

The Diablos' biography

The Diablos' 1954 song "The Wind", has always been regarded a classic among R&B and doo wop fans. The group had a unique sound, centered around the high lead tenor voice of Nolan Strong. Besides "The Wind", the Diablos were known for many songs, such as "Adios My Desert Love", "Can't We Talk This Over", "Mambo of Love", "If I", "Harriet", "I Am With You", "Goodbye Matilda", "I Wanna Know", "Beside You", "Mind Over Matter", and "The Way You Dog Me Around".

The group formed at Central High School in Detroit around 1950 and originally consisted of Strong (lead tenor), Juan Guitierrez (tenor), Willie Hunter (baritone), Quentin Eubanks (bass), and Bob "Chico" Edwards (guitar). The Diablos name is said to have come from a book, El Nino Diablo (The Little Devil), that Strong was reading for a high-school book report. In 1954, the Diablos went into Detroit's Fortune Record Studios to cut some demo sides, with the hopes of furthering their career. Their hopes were realized even more quickly than they expected. Those demos impressed Jack and Devora Brown, owners of Fortune, who immediately signed the group to record for their label. Their first recording for Fortune was the Devora Brown-penned "Adios My Desert Love", a cha-cha influenced tune.

But it was their second Fortune record that established the group as R&B legends. Written by the group members, "The Wind" had a haunting sound, with the group chanting "blow wind" in harmony behind Strong's delicate tenor lead, and smooth and sexy talking bridge. Following the release of "The Wind", Guitierrez and Eubanks left the group, to be replaced by Nolan's brother Jimmy on tenor and George Scott on bass. Over the next two years this configuration of Diablos would turn out several records, including "Route 16", "Do You Remember What You Did", "Daddy Rockin' Strong", "The Way You Dog Me Around", "You Are", and "A Teardrop From Heaven".

By late 1956, more changes occurred. 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. Although not quite 17 at the time, Johnson was already a veteran singer, having sung bass with Williams' "new" group on "Bacon Fat", "Just Because of a Kiss", "Mean Jean", and "Bobby Jean". (Williams' "new" group consisted of Gino Parks, Bobby Calhoun, Steve Gaston, and Johnson.)

Strong was impressed and the Diablos had their new bassman. Johnson's first session with the Diablos was on "Can't We Talk It Over" and "Mambo of Love", recorded in late 1956 and released in 1957. By the time the first Fortune of Hits album came out, Johnson had already replaced Scott with the group. Unfortunately, the picture on the album cover did not reflect this change, and shows the group with Scott instead of Johnson. This oversight may be a factor in many believing that Johnson did not join the group until several years later. In fact, Johnson is heard on bass on more Diablos recordings than either Eubanks or Scott. Among these are: "Beside You", "Mind Over Matter", "Everything They Said Came True", "Welcome Baby to My Heart", "I Wanna Know", "If I Could Be With You", "Since You're Gone", "Harriet", "Harriette It's You", "I Am With You", "Are You Making a Fool Out of Me", "You're My Happiness", "Village of Love", "For Old Times Sake", "My Heart Will Always Belong to You", and "Come Home Little Girl". On "Village of Love", Johnson also provided the bass on the original Fortune version by Nathaniel Mayer & the Fabulous Twilights.
Also in late 1956, about the time Johnson joined the group, Strong departed for a two-year stint in the army. While Nolan was in the service, the Diablos released one single without him, "Harriet", backed with "Come Home Little Girl", featuring Hunter on lead. Without Strong, the Diablos' magic seemed to be missing and the record received little fanfare. After Strong returned from the service, the group recorded "Harriette It's You". But when Nolan came back from the service, things were not quite the same. Fortune was focusing more of their attention on Strong, and not the Diablos group. In 1954, records showed "The Diablos Featuring Nolan Strong". Then billing changed to "Nolan Strong & the Diablos", and by 1962, when "Mind Over Matter" was climbing the charts, the label just read "Nolan Strong", although the Diablos were on the record, as prominent as ever. This lack of recognition along with financial inequities (lack of royalties and unequal pay to the group members versus Strong), inevitably lead to the group's demise.
Just as Strong had been influenced by Clyde McPhatter, he in turn would be influential to Smokey Robinson. And Robinson was not the only one at Motown to have an appreciation for Nolan Strong & the Diablos. Berry Gordy had wanted to bring the Diablos into his fast-growing Motown complex. The deal was never finalised.

In 1964, the group disbanded. Calhoun indicates he went south and did some work with Stax Records. Iverson and Hunter returned to Detroit. Johnson stayed on for a time in New Jersey, continuing to perform solo at the Tender Trap, but also found his way back to Detroit. Upon his return, he joined Detroit's Five Monarchs, but did not record with them. In the late 1960s Johnson formed the soul group the Four Sonics, releasing two singles in 1968 on Detroit's Sport label. The group recorded through the mid-1970s.

Jimmy Strong died on January 29, 1970, at age 34. Edwards died March 17, 2001 at age 63. Hunter and Eubanks are also deceased.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Night Steam

Wow! So glad I found this one!  Just absolutely beautiful!

Info here:


Info here:


Info here:


Today's funny :o)


...... the first flowers in Coopville!

And Gorges sent some of his deer here:

Had snow showers and then the sun poked through the clouds, so  Hubby and I took a ride
 to our favorite store.

A few ducks in a pond:

A lot of trees still need to be cleaned up from the last storm:

The side of this barn is getting repaired:

Hubby bought this at TS.  It's about time - our other one is 25 years old!

The sun came out again and the temperature went up to 40.....

Didn't last long - it started snowing again......


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Today's funny :o)

"LExophile" describes those that have a love for words, such as "you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish", or "To write with a broken pencil is pointless."     
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.
I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
When chemists die, they barium.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I'd swear I've never met herbivore.

I know a guy who's addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He's all right now.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it's just two tired.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.
Acupuncture is a jab well done. That's the point of it.
Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.