|This article may contain inappropriate or misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. (September 2008)|
|Genres||Country Music Harmony|
|Labels||Universal, Decca, Philips, Pickwick, London Major Minor, Galaxy, Deram, and others|
|Website||Con & Dec The Bachelors
John Stokes' The Bachelors
|Members||Disputed - see article|
|Past members||Conleth (Con) Cluskey
Declan (Dec) Cluskey
|Con and Dec Cluskey: Guitar, Keyboards, Banjo, Ukelele, Harmonica
John Stokes: Bass, Harmonica
The founding members of the group were Conleth (Con) Cluskey (born 18 November 1941), Declan (Dec) Cluskey (born 23 December 1942), and John Stokes (Sean James Stokes) (born 13 August 1940). In 1957 they formed their first band together: "The Harmonichords" (also seen as "The Harmony Chords"), a classically styled instrumental harmonica-act.
As The Harmonichords, they appeared on Hughie Green's 'Opportunity Knocks' on Radio Luxembourg1 and on the 'Ed Sullivan' TV Show St. Patrick's Day Special (filmed in Dublin, broadcast 15 March 1959), where they played "Danny Boy."2 They also played background music plus featured pieces in a 25 week radio comedy series called 'Odd Noises' on Radio Éireann featuring Eamonn Andrews.1 They changed their name to "The Bachelors" in 1962 at the suggestion of Dick Rowe, A&R at Decca Records, who reportedly recommended the name "because that’s the kind of boy a girl likes."3
During the 1960s, they had many successful songs in music charts in Europe Australia, South Africa, South America, parts of the USSR, and the United States. Some of the most successful were "Charmaine" (1963); "Diane", "I Believe", "Ramona" and "I Wouldn't Trade You For The World" (1964); "Marie" (written by Irving Berlin) and "In the Chapel in the Moonlight" (1965). In 1965 they had the 'most played juke box track' with "The Stars Will Remember" from a film they made with then-current DJ Sam Costa.1 Their last big hit in the UK was a cover of the Paul Simon song "The Sound of Silence" which reached No. 3 in April 1966.
Live work carried them into the 1970s with record breaking theatre season shows, but after a successful start to the decade with the album World of the Bachelors hitting the top 5, the band became less and less dominant in the changing music industry. They remained successful recording artists and moved to the Pye label, which contracted easy listening stars like Frankie Vaughan and Max Bygraves. Despite their last chart single being in 1967, they continued to play the cabaret circuit, still maintaining the original line-up until 1984, when there was "a messy split" between the Cluskey brothers and Stokes.4
Following the split, the Cluskey brothers appeared as "The New Bachelors" and Stokes as "Stokes & Coe", Stokes allegedly also then appeared as "The New Bachelors" 5 and the Cluskeys now perform as "Con & Dec, The Bachelors".
In 2008 a compilation CD, "I Believe - The Very Best of The Bachelors", featuring the 1960s hits together with two new songs recorded by Con and Dec Cluskey, was released through Universal who had acquired the Decca catalogue6(available in the US as an import from Uni Classics Jazz UK7), reached #7 in the UK Radio One album chart 27 July - 2 Aug 2008.8 Con and Dec Cluskey appeared on TV and radio to promote the album.
Throughout the 1960s the Bachelors racked up hit singles and albums and made guest appearances on all the then current TV shows,9 and appeared in two Royal Variety TV shows.10 In 1963 they starred in It's All Over Town with Frankie Vaughan and The Springfields. In 1964 they starred alongside Bob Hope in the TV show Sunday Night at the London Palladium, then hosted by Bruce Forsyth: this episode, according to Paul Gambaccini, achieved the largest viewing audience ever for this very popular show.10
The Bachelors appeared in a film in 1964 called 'Just for You', with Billy Fury. In 1965 they made I've Gotta Horse and in 1971 they starred in a TV situation comedy series called Under and Over playing three Irish navvies working on the London Underground. Six episodes were broadcast on BBC One.11
The group began 1970 by appearing on the BBC's highly-rated review of the sixties' music scene Pop Go The Sixties performing "Charmaine" and "Diane" live on the show, which was broadcast on BBC1 on 1 January 1970.
The Bachelors' version of "Charmaine", with its descending melody that had already made it an evergreen, jogs along to a country guitar strum and a sprinkling of piano licks. Dick Rowe chose American Shel Talmy as record producer, who went on to produce some of The Kinks' classic rock hits. Another 1927 movie theme song, "Diane", penned by the same songwriters as "Charmaine", Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack, and arranged in the same Nashville-like manner, but produced by Michael Barclay, was released in 1964 and gave the group their first Number one in the UK Singles Chart, as well as an American breakthrough at number ten.
It is curious to note that four of their hit songs were taken from 1920s movies. Before The Bachelors, Jim Reeves had also covered the same four songs, "Charmaine", "Diane", "Ramona" and "Marie," in the 1950s.
|Label||Year of release||Titles||IRL
|Long Time Ago||9|
|I Wouldn't Trade You for the World||1||4||69|
|No Arms Can Ever Hold You||8||7||27|
|1965||True Love For Ever More||34|
|Chapel in the Moonlight||27||32|
|The Sound of Silence||9||3|
|Love Me With All of Your Heart||38|
|Can I Trust You?||26||49|
|Walk With Faith In Your Heart||21||83|
|1967||Oh How I Miss You||30|
|3 O'Clock Flamingo Street|
|1968||If Ever I Would Leave You|
|I'll Walk with God|
|Turn Around, Look at Me|
|1969||Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)|
|My First Love|
|Label||Year of release||Title||Track listing||UK Chart position|
I'll See You In My Dreams
By The Light Of The Silvery Moon.
|1964||Bachelors Vol. 2||Diane
Put Your Arms Around Me Honey
Moments To Remember
You'll Never Walk Alone
|The Bachelors' Hits||I Wouldn't Trade You For The World
|1966||The Bachelors' Hits Vol.2||No Arms Can Ever Hold You
True Love For Evermore
In The Chapel In The Moonlight
For a definition of an EP see Extended play
- The Bachelors and 16 Great Songs (1964) - UK #2
- More Great Hits From The Bachelors (1965) - UK #15
- Hits of the 60's (1966) - UK #12
- Bachelors' Girls (1966) - UK#24
- Golden All Time Hits (1967) - UK #19
- The World of The Bachelors (1968) - UK#8
- The World of The Bachelors Vol.2 (1969) - #UK11
- 25 Golden Greats (1979) - UK #38
- I Believe - The Very Best of The Bachelors (2008) - UK #76 Irish Republic #2
This discography only includes UK releases. Over 70 albums have been released in the UK.17
||This article cites its sources but does not provide page references. (September 2008)|
- Kilmainham & Inchicore Local Dictionary of Biography
- "The Ed Sullivan Show Season Episodes". www.tv.com. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- Ian Whitcomb. "The Very Best of the Bachelors". Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Allmusic Biography of the Bachelors". Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- "John Stokes - The Truth". Thebachelors.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- "I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "Top 40 Albums Archive Week 31". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2008-09-21.dead link
- "The Bachelors". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- Gambaccini, Paul (1993). Television's Greatest Hits. Gloucester (published 1995). ISBN 978-0-563-36247-0
- "The UK Sitcoms Guide U-V". Memorable TV. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "The Irish Charts: All There Is To Know: The Bachelors". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Artist Chart History: Bachelors". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Norwegian Charts: The Bachelors". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "The Bachelors: Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "The Bachelors - Albums". Chartstats. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Sleeve Notes to I Believe - The Very Best of The Bachelors
- Sean Helferty and Raymond Refausse. Directory of Irish archives. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1995.
- Con & Dec - The Bachelors Con & Dec's Official UK web-site
- The Bachelors featuring John Stokes John Stokes' Official UK web-site
- John Stokes - The Truth Con & Dec's version of the breakup and aftermath
- YouTube: Original members performing 'Chapel in the Moonlight'
- 'Diane/I Believe' 'This Morning' July 2008 clip of 'Diane/I Believe' with Con and Dec
- The Bachelors discography at Discogs