This highly popular Irish family group originally consisted of brothers and sisters Tommy, Anne, Denise, Maureen, Brian, Linda, Bernie (Bernadette) and Coleen Nolan.
The Nolan’s lived in Dublin until 1962 when they emigrated to Blackpool. Parents Tommy and Maureen Nolan were singers and gradually brought their offspring into the act. In 1963 the entire family debuted as The Singing Nolans.
After moving to London, the group’s personnel was Anne, Denise, Linda, Bernie and Maureen. Their act proved very popular on UK television and variety shows. After touring America with Engelbert Humperdinck in 1977, Denise left to pursue a solo career.
The remaining sisters signed to CBS and were widely tipped to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest but lost out to Black Lace.
After a minor hit single with Spirit, Body And Soul, Anne married and left the group for two years. She was replaced by the youngest sister, Coleen, and the quartet changed their name from The Nolan Sisters to The Nolans.
A massive hit with the catchy I’m In The Mood For Dancing brought them worldwide renown and even topped the charts in Japan.
The Nolans had further UK Top 10 hits with Gotta Pull Myself Together and Attention To Me, and, with Anne’s return, became a quintet for a while until Linda married former Harmony Grass drummer Brian Hudson and retired from the group. Linda is sometimes known as the “Naughty Nolan” because she launched her solo career by posing near-naked for publicity shots.
Phenomenal success for The Nolans in Japan and Eire coincided with further minor chart appearances in the UK, as well as best-selling albums. Coleen, Bernie and Denise each recorded solo singles while Linda and Coleen enjoyed a minor hit as The Young And Moody Band with Don’t Do That.
In 1994 Coleen left to have a baby, and a year later, Anne and Maureen became a Nolans duo when Bernadette, who had been the lead singer with the group since she was 13, decided to go solo.
Anne fell out with Coleen, Bernie, Maureen and Linda when she and Denise were axed from a Nolans comeback tour in 2009.
Bernie died of cancer on 4 July 2013, aged 52 and it was her last wish that the sisters heal the rift.