Linda Nolan

The Nolans (billed as The Nolan Sisters from 1974 until early 1980) are a group of sisters from the Republic of Ireland and England, who performed as a pop vocal act. The group, best-known for their song "I'm In The Mood For Dancing", gained prominence as guest performers on numerous UK television shows. The majority of their charted singles and albums occurred in the early 1980s but they continued to be active until 2005 and were particularly successful in Japan. The sisters have pursued varying solo careers in acting, music and television presenting.

1974-1979
Tommy and Maureen Nolan, who had both worked as singers in Ireland[1], moved their family from Dublin to Blackpool in 1962, and launched a family singing group, the Singing Nolans, in 1963.[2] The original line up comprised the parents, sons Tommy and Brian, and daughters Anne (born 12 November 1950[2]), Denise (born 9 April 1952[3], Maureen (born 14 June 1954[2]), Linda (born 23 February 1959[2]) and Bernadette ('Bernie') (born 17 October 1960[2]).

The family performed even as the five girls all went to school at Blackpool's St Catherine's Catholic Secondary School (now part of St. Mary's Catholic College. As well as performing frequently on the northern club circuit[4], The Singing Nolans recorded an album, The Singing Nolans, a single "Blackpool" - which was a song about their local football club, Blackpool F.C. and which is still used on match days at Bloomfield Road and an EP "Silent Night" for the Nevis label in 1972.[5]

In 1974 the five daughters began performing as The Nolan Sisters.[2] After guesting on Cliff Richard's TV show, they began regular appearances on variety and comedy shows including Summertime Special, The Morecambe & Wise Show and The Two Ronnies[4] In 1975 they supported Frank Sinatra on a UK tour and Rolf Harris in South Africa.[6]

They released one uncharted single on EMI in 1974 and several more on Target Records between 1975 and 1977[5], several of which were composed by Roger Greenaway.[7] A 1977 eponymous album on the Hanover Grand label was sold only at the London Club Room in Drury Lane, and is ranked by price guides as the most collectable UK release by the group.[5][8]

Their chart breakthrough came in 1978 with the covers album 20 Giant Hits on Target, which reached #3 in the UK.[9] That year they also supported Engelbert Humperdinck on a US tour[2], and Denise left the group to pursue a solo career.[2]

In 1979, the group participated in the UK Eurovision selection contest A Song For Europe.[2] Their track "Harry My Honolulu Lover" was considered the favourite before the contest, but ultimately placed fourth, with Black Lace going on to represent the UK.[2] A lightning strike by BBC technicians minutes before the broadcast led to the cancellation of the show. Instead, the regional juries had to make their decisions based on audio tapes of the songs.[10] The group had been pre-booked to promote the song on many BBC shows, leading to speculation that it had been taken for granted they would win the competition. One booking was representing the BBC at the 25th Anniversary celebrations for the Eurovision network, which was staged in Montreaux, Switzerland, in April 1979.

Linda Nolan

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