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The Bachelors
Origin Dublin, Ireland
Genres Country Music Harmony
Years active 1957 – present
Labels Universal, Decca, Philips, Pickwick, Major Minor, Galaxy, Deram, and others
Website Con & Dec The Bachelors
John Stokes' The Bachelors
Disputed - see article
Former members
Conleth (Con) Cluskey
Declan (Dec) Cluskey
John Stokes
Notable instruments
Con and Dec Cluskey: Guitar, Keyboards, Banjo, Ukelele, Harmonica
John Stokes: Bass, Harmonica

The Bachelors are a popular music group, 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[1] 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" 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 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 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] so the Cluskey's now perform as "Con & Dec The Bachelors"

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 catalogue[6](available in the US as an import from Uni Classics Jazz UK[7]), 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.

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[9], and appeared in two Royal Variety TV shows.[10] In 1963 they starred in Its 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 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. [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 broadcast on BBC1 on 1 January 1970.

The songs

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, 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 1920s movies. Before The Bachelors, Jim Reeves had also covered the same four songs, "Charmaine", "Diane", "Ramona" and "Marie," in the 1950s.

Single releases

Note: This information from Reg Stevens' website on classic 45 RPMs.[12]

Label Year of release Titles UK chart position
Decca 1962 Charmaine 6
1963 Faraway Places 36
Whispering 18
Long Time Ago
1964 Diane 1
I Believe 2
Ramona 4
I Wouldn't Trade You For The World 4
No Arms Could Ever Hold You 7
1965 True Love For Ever More 34
Marie 9
In The Chapel In The Moonlight 27
1966 Hello, Dolly! 38
Sound of Silence 3
Can I Trust You 26
Walk With Faith In Your Heart 22
1967 Oh How I Miss You 30
Marta 20
3 O'Clock Flamingo Street
1968 If Ever I Would Leave You
The Unicorn
I'll Walk with God
Turn Around, Look at Me
1969 Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)
Punky's Dilemma
Everybody's Talkin'
My First Love

Extended play (EP) releases

Label Year of release Title Track listing UK Chart position
Decca 1963 Bachelors Charmaine
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
I Believe
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 Extended Play see Extended play

Selected albums

  • 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[6], No. 2 in Rep. Ireland
  • The Very Best of The Bachelors (Spectrum, 2008)

There are 70 + albums on release in the UK.[13]
This discography does not include releases outside Great Britain.


  1. ^ a b c Kilmainham & Inchicore Local Dictionary of Biography
  2. ^ "The Ed Sullivan Show Season Episodes". Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  3. ^ Ian Whitcomb. "The Very Best of the Bachelors". Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  4. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Allmusic Biography of the Bachelors". Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  5. ^ "John Stokes - The Truth". Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  6. ^ a b "I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors". Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  7. ^ "I Believe: The Very Best of the Bachelors". Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  8. ^ "Top 40 Albums Archive Week 31". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  9. ^ "The Bachelors". The Internet Movie Database]]. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  10. ^ a b Gambaccini, Paul (1993), Television's Greatest Hits, Gloucester (published 1995), ISBN 978-0563362470 
  11. ^ "The UK Sitcoms Guide U-V". Memorable TV. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  12. ^ Reg Stevens. "Bachelors 45 RPM Discography". Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  13. ^ Sleeve Notes 'I Believe-The Very Best of The Bachelors'
  • Sean Helferty and Raymond Refausse. Directory of Irish archives. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1995.

External links



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