The Bachelors and Their Music


Introduction to The Bachelors

The Bachelors were a three man trio from Dublin, Ireland who had several hit songs in the U.S., UK and Ireland in the 1960’s.  The group originally consisted of brothers Conleth (Con) Cluskey and Declan (Dec) Cluskey, along with Sean James (John) Stokes, Stokes has since departed.  The band actually began in 1957 as “The Harmonichords,” but changed their name to “The Bachelors” after signing a recording contract with Decca Record.  They thought the new name would be more attractive to female followers.  Most of the group’s hit songs were remakes of 1920 – 1950 classics.  Their first hit on the British charts was “Charmaine,” peaking at #6 on the UK Singles Chart.  Their first song to chart in the U.S. was “Diane,” their biggest hit and only Billboard Top Ten song peaking at #10 in 1964.  From 1964 through 1966 the group had eight other songs in Billboard’s Hot 100.  These included “Marie” (#15), “No Arms Can Ever Hold Me” (#27), “In the Chapel in the Moonlight”  (#32), “I Believe” (#33), “Love Me with All Your Heart” (#38), and “Can I Trust You?” (#49), “I Wouldn’t Trade You for the World” (#69) and “Walk with Faith in Your Heart” (#83).  All of these songs charted much higher on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and on the UK Singles Chart.  In 1984 the group split, with Con and Dec forming “The New Bachelors”, which they later renamed “Con & Dec, The Bachelors”, while John Stokes formed Stokes and Coe (Steve Coe).  It was a nasty split and was a sad event for fans of the group.  Dec and Con continue to perform and record music.

Other hit songs by The Bachelors include:  “Faraway Places,” “Whispering,” “Ramona,” “True Love For Evermore,” “Hello Dolly,” “The Sound Of Silence,” “Learn to Live Without You,” “Oh How I Miss You,” “Marta,” “Old Bill,” “Is There a Chance,” “No Light In the Window,” “Long Time Ago,” “The Angel and the Stranger,” “The Stars Will Remember,” “Happy Land,” “Sweet Lullabies,” “Beneath the Willow Tree,” “Oh Samuel Don’t Die,” “The Old Wishing Well,” “Far Far Away,” “You Can Tell,” “There’s No Room In My Heart,” “Queen Molly Malone,” “Who Can I Turn To,” “3 O’Clock Flamingo Street,” “My World,” “Ghost Mountain,” “Cabaret,” “If I Would Ever Leave You,” “The Unicorn,” “You’ve Got to Say We’re Through,” “I’ll Walk With God,” “I Can’t Wish You Any More,” “Turn Around Look At Me,” “Lovers Such As I,” “Where the Blue of the Day (Meets the Gold of the Day),” “Caterina,” “Punky’s Dilemma,” “Arrivederci Maria,” “Everybody’s Talkin’,” “Blaydon Races,” “My First Love,” “Phil the Fluter,” “Love Is All,” “The Colours of Love,” “Diamonds Are Forever” & “Where There’s a Heartache.”

Who were The Bachelors?

The 60’s music era pop group The Bachelors formed in 1957, hailing in Dublin, Ireland. Formerly known as The Harmonichords or Harmony Chords (a classically styled instrumental harmonica-act), the three-piece act consisted of Conleth “Con” Cluskey (b. November 18, 1941), Declan “Dec” Cluskey (b.Decemeber 23, 1942) and John Stokes (b. Sean James Stokes, August 14, 1940).

The Bachelors’ recordings

Signing to London Records in the US in 1963, The Bachelors released their debut single “Charmaine” which was followed by a couple of low-charting singles. Nonetheless, these singles charted back in Europe, mostly in the UK.

The following year, they made a big impression on American the pop chart with “Diane.” It became the group’s first charting single in the US, reaching #10 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became a chart topper in the UK. For much of 1964, they charted several hit records in America including “I Believe” (#33), “I Won’t Trade You for the World” (#69) and “No Arms Can Ever Hold You” (#27). In 1965 they also had a Top 20 pop single with Irving Berlin’s “Marie” (at #15). The Bachelors also did a version of Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence,” releasing as a single in 1966. The remake peaked at #3 in the UK chart which was also their last big hit in the UK. With their hit singles, the group earned several guest appearances both on television and films (Just For You, and I’ve Gotta Horse).

The group’s later years and the members’ own musical pursuits

In late 1960s, The Bachelors issued an LP called World of the Bachelors which hit the top 5 on the album chart. Considering that it would be a good start to enter a new decade, they otherwise started to fade away from the business. However, they were still actively performing in cabarets and managed to last the ever-changing music scene until 1984. The Cluskey brothers later performed as The New Bachelors (now Con & Dec, The Bachelors) Stokes was supposedly joined The New Bachelors for a while and he later formed “Stokes and Coe.”

Released on Universal Records, a compilation CD entitled I Believe was issued in 2008 which featured The Bachelors 1960’s hits and a couple of new tracks.

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