On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Nolan Strong & the Diablos – The Wind (1954)
We’re continuing in the US today but find ourselves in 1950s Detroit. Today’s group had the potential to achieve greater success than they did but sadly their musical output was largely confined to local popularity rather than on a nationwide scale. Nolan Strong & the Diablos are another example of the doo-wop sound and from their back catalogue we have The Wind.
The Wind is another sad tale of lost love, very prevalent on this list thus far. Where are all the happy songs? Maybe when we get to the 1980s. Nolan Strong sings of his love and how the wind carries memories of her back to him in the form of a dream. These vivid images include sharing a kiss in the summer breeze. Happier times. In a spoken section of the song, we hear how the narrator sees love around him in other couples and from taking in the surrounding scenery continues to long for the love that has gone. Only the wind brings comfort, bearing sweet dreams his way as he sleeps.
The doo-wop vocals at the outset of The Wind are a soothing harmony but the song really comes to life when Nolan Strong takes on the lead vocal. He has a great voice, conveying the song’s message, while the spoken part adds another dimension to this tale of a lovesick narrator. Sadly, questionable record deals would prevent Nolan Strong & the Diablos from wider distribution in the US so potential mainstream success would elude them.
Favourite songs so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)