- The Bachelors
Infobox musical artist
Name =The Bachelors
Img_capt =Con Cluskey, John Stokes & Dec Cluskey
Country Music Harmony
Years_active =1957 – present
Universal, Decca, Philips, Pickwick, Major Minor, Galaxy, Deram, and others
URL = [http://www.thebachelors.co.uk/ The Bachelors UK website]
Current_members =Con Cluskey
Past_members = see note below
Notable_instruments = Con and Dec Cluskey: Guitar, Keyboards, Banjo, Ukekele, Harmonica - John Stokes: Bass, Harmonica
The Bachelors is a
popular musicgroup, originating from Dublin, Ireland.
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 Luxembourg [Kilmainham & Inchicore Local Dictionary of Biography] and on the the 'Ed Sullivan' TV Show St. Patrick's DaySpecial (filmed in Dublin, aired March 15, 1959), where they played " Danny Boy." [cite web
title=The Ed Sullivan Show Season Episodes
publisher=www.tv.com] They also played background music plus featured pieces in a 25 week radio comedy series called 'Odd Noises' on Radio Éireann featuring
Eamonn Andrews. [Kilmainham & Inchicore Local Dictionary of Biography] They changed their name to "The Bachelors" in 1962 at the suggestion of Dick Rowe, A&Rat Decca Records, who reportedly recommended the name "because that’s the kind of boy a girl likes." [cite web
title=The Very Best of the Bachelors
During the 1960s, they had many successful songs in
music chartsin EuropeAustralia, South Africa, South America, parts of the USSR, and the United States. Some of the most successful were "Diane" (1964), "Marie" (1965), "I Wouldn't Trade You For the World" (1965), 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. [ Kilmainham & Inchicore Local Dictionary of Biography]
Live work carried them into the 1970s with record breaking theater 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 music industry. Along with singers like Tom Jones they found themselves stuck in a decade of
Glam Rock, unable to change with the times. They remained successful recording artists and moved to the Pyelabel, which contracted easy listening stars like Frankie Vaughanand Max Bygraves. By 1979, however, without a hit single in almost twelve years, the cracks were showing.
In 2008 a compilation CD, "I Believe - The Very Best of The Bachelors," featuring the 60s hits together with two new songs recorded by Con and Dec Cluskey, was released through Universal who had acquired the Decca cataloguecite web
title=I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors
publisher=www.amazon.co.uk] (available in the US as an import from Uni Classics Jazz UK [cite web
title=I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors
publisher=www.amazon.com] ), reached #7 in the UK Radio One album chart 27 July - 2 Aug 2008. [cite web
title=Top 40 Albums Archive Week 31
publisher=Official Charts Company] 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 and made guest appearances on all the then current TV shows [cite web
publisher=The Internet Movie Database] ] , and appeared in two Royal Variety TV shows.Citation
title =Television's Greatest Hits
accessdate =] In 1963 they starred in "Its All Over Town" with
Frankie Vaughanand The Springfields. In 1964, they starred alongside Bob Hopein 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
filmwith Billy Furyin 1965 called " I've Gotta Horse" and in 1971 they starred in a situation comedy TV series called "Under and Over", where they played 3 Irish navvies working on the London Underground. Six episodes were broadcast on BBC One. [cite web
title=The UK Sitcoms Guide U-V
publisher= Memorable TV] .
The Bachelors' version of "Charmaine", with its descending melody that had already made it an evergreen, jogs along to a country
guitarstrum and a sprinkling of pianolicks. Dick Rowe chose American Shel Talmyas 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 Rapeeand Lew Pollack, and arranged in the same Nashville-like manner, 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 two.
It is curious to note that four of their hit songs were taken from 1920’s movies. Before The Bachelors,
Jim Reeveshad also covered the same four songs, "Charmaine", "Diane", "Ramona" and "Marie," in the 1950s.
The split and beyond
In 1984 there was a falling out between the members of The Bachelors, and John Stokes was asked to leave the band at a meeting held in The Eccentric Club in London. He was also removed as a director of Bachelors Limited.
After a High Court case, John Stokes was not allowed to use any name containing the word "Bachelors" ["or any colourable imitation"] High Court undertaking 15th May 1984, London] [High Court, Companies Court ref No. 00431 of 1985] , whilst Con & Dec were allowed to use any name that contained the word "Bachelors" [except "The Bachelors" alone or "The Original Bachelors"] . [High Court, Companies Court ref No. 00431 of 1985] This was contained in a legal undertaking which John Stokes signed with Con & Dec Cluskey when he bought the company 'Bachelors Ltd' from them. Meanwhile Con & Dec recruited a new member, Peter Phipps, and continued until 1993 as "The New Bachelors".
John Stokes bought Bachelors Limited from Con and Dec Cluskey as part of the High Court undertaking of 15th May 1984 and allowed it to be wound up on 2 April 1985. [High Court, Companies Court ref No. 00431 of 1985] This winding up order refers to the existence of High Court Agreement of 15th May 1984 precluding John Stokes from using the name "The Bachelors" or any colourable imitation thereof (in perpetuity).
In 1993 John Stokes reappeared with a new group also called "The New Bachelors", in contempt of courtHigh Court undertaking 15th May 1984, London] [High Court, Companies Court ref No. 00431 of 1985] , so the Cluskey Brothers changed their name to "Con and Dec - The Bachelors" to not confuse the public. In 2006 Con & Dec tried to take John Stokes to the High Court to stop him using the name The Bachelors but, due to Dec being overseas, the forms had not been filled in properly, and the court case was not allowed to take place. Counsel in the court, representing 'Brick Lane Music Hall', where the offense was committed, confirmed in court that they had changed the advertising and introduced John Stokes on stage as "John Stokes and his fabulous band". [Contemporaneous court notes Altringham County Court 10 July 2006]
As of 2008, only "Con and Dec - The Bachelors" are still touring. Stokes's group, now called "The Bachelors", includes singer Jonathan Young and guitarist Kevin Neill (formerly of the
Karl DenverTrio). They rarely play in the UK.
Note: This information from Reg Stevens' website on classic 45 RPMs. [cite web
title=Bachelors 45 RPM Discography
Extended Play (EP) releases
For a definition of an Extended Play see
*The Bachelors + 16 Great songs No.2 (1964)
*More Great song Hits No.15 (1965)
*Hits of the 60's No.12 (1966)
*Bachelors girls No.24 (1966)
*The Golden All Time hits No.19 (1967)
*The World of The Bachelors No.8 (1968)
*The world of Vol2: No.11 (1969)
*25 Golden Greats No.37 (1979)
*I Believe - The Very Best of The Bachelors (Decca, 2008), No. 7 in UK, No. 2 in Rep. Ireland
*The Very Best of The Bachelors (Spectrum, 2008) No. 6 [Asda - Value Chart]
There are 70 + albums on release in the UK. [Sleeve Notes 'I Believe-The Very Best of The Bachelors']
This discography does not include hit releases outside Great Britain.
* Sean Helferty and Raymond Refausse. Directory of Irish archives. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1995.
* [http://www.thebachelors.co.uk "Con & Dec - The Bachelors"] Official UK website
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfoSXAD_bAg&mode=related&search= YouTube: Original members performing 'Chapel in the Moonlight']
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oljh85URbtQ 'Diane/I Believe'] 'This Morning' July 2008 clip of 'Diane/I Believe' with Con and Dec
* [http://www.thebachelors.co.uk/JohnStokesTheTruth.htm John Stokes] The truth about John Stokes, according to Con and Dec
* [http://www.the-bachelors.com The Bachelors featuring John Stokes] John Stokes's version of the band's break-up and aftermath
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