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The Bachelors in 1966
|Genres||Pop, beat, country|
|Labels||Universal, Decca, Philips, Pickwick, London, 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
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). They formed their first band together in 1957: "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 Luxembourg and on the 'Ed Sullivan' TV show St. Patrick's Day special (filmed in Dublin, broadcast 15 March 1959), where they played "Danny Boy". They also played background music plus featured pieces in a 25-week radio comedy series called Odd Noises on Radio Éireann, which featured Eamonn Andrews. In 1960, they changed their name to the Bachelors 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".
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" (1964), "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. 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 Philips label, which contracted easy listening stars such as Val Doonican and The New Seekers. Despite the Bachelors' 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.
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"  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, which had acquired the Decca catalogue(available in the US as an import from Uni Classics Jazz UK), reached #7 in the UK Radio One album chart 27 July - 2 Aug 2008. Con and Dec Cluskey appeared on TV and radio to promote the album.
Film and television
Throughout the 1960s the Bachelors racked up hit singles and albums, made guest appearances on all the then-current TV shows, and appeared in two Royal Variety TV shows. In 1963, they starred in It's All Over Town with Frankie Vaughan and The Springfields. The following year they appeared on 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.
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.
The group began 1970 by appearing on the BBC's highly rated review of the 1960s' 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 biggest international hit, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart, as well as an American breakthrough at number ten.
Four of their hit songs were taken from 1920s films. 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||13||7|
|"No Arms Can Ever Hold You"||8||7||27||3||35|
|1965||"True Love for Ever More"||34|
|"Chapel in the Moonlight"||27||32||2||89|
|"The Sound of Silence"||9||3|
|"Love Me With All Your Heart"||38||3|
|"Can I Trust You?"||26||49||12||43|
|"Walk with Faith in Your Heart"||21||83||26||74|
|1967||"Oh How I Miss You"||30|
|"Learn to Live Without You"||28|
|"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"|
Extended play (EP) releases
|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"
- The Bachelors and 16 Great Songs (1964) - UK #2
- No Arms Can Ever Hold You (1965) - USA (2 versions)
- More Great Hits From The Bachelors (1965) - UK #15
- The Bachelors Marie (with I Believe) (1965) - USA release #1
- 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
- The World of The Bachelors Vol.3 (1969) - #?
- 25 Golden Greats (1979) - UK #38
- I Believe - The Very Best of The Bachelors (2008) - UK #7 Irish Republic #2
This discography (mostly) only includes UK releases. Over 70 albums have been released in the UK.
No Arms Can Ever Hold You is a USA release (Stereo Edition: London Records PS 418, Mono Edition: London Records LL 3418)
The album contains the following songs:
A1) "No Arms Can Ever Hold You" (Crafer, Nebb - BMI) 3:02
A2) "Whistle Down The Wind" (Arnold - BMI) 2:15
A3) "I Do Adore Her" (Burgie - ASCAP) 3:15
A4) "Skip To My Lou (Arr. Martin, Blane - ASCAP) 2:08
A5) "Pennies From Heaven" (Burke, Johnston - ASCAP) 1:36
A6) "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" (Washington, Bassman - ASCAP) 2:20
B1) "I'm Yours" (Mellin - BMI) 2:36
B2) "Mistakes" (Leslie, Nicholls - ASCAP) 2:34
B3) "With All My Heart" (Lynn, Lee - ASCAP) 2:55
B4) "The Saints" (Trad., Arr. Snider, Raymonde - BMI) 2:40
B5) "Far Far Away" (Kennedy - BMI) 2:28
B6) "If I Should Fall In Love Again" (Popplewell - ASCAP) 2:27
This article cites its sources but does not provide page references. (September 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Kilmainham & Inchicore Local Dictionary of Biography
- "The Ed Sullivan Show Season Episodes". www.tv.com. Retrieved 20 September 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Ian Whitcomb. "The Very Best of the Bachelors". Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Allmusic Biography of the Bachelors". Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- "John Stokes - The Truth". Thebachelors.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- "I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
- "I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
- "Top 40 Albums Archive Week 31". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 September 2008.[dead link]
- "The Bachelors". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
- Gambaccini, Paul (1993). Television's Greatest Hits. Gloucester (published 1995). ISBN 978-0-563-36247-0.
- "The UK Sitcoms Guide U-V". Memorable TV. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "The Irish Charts: All There Is To Know: The Bachelors". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Artist Chart History: Bachelors". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Norwegian Charts: The Bachelors". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "The Bachelors: Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "The Bachelors - Albums". Chartstats. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. 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