Here is a group from Dublin Ireland that sold a lot of records in the mid-sixties. I am not, nor was I ever a huge fan of this group, BUT, we have some close friends in Lititz Pennsylvania…
Yes, we play golf with Don and Marie in North Carolina and, yes, their names are like the Osmond’s. It never fails, after about two holes we start on that song “Marie” and it is in my head for the next 10 holes, so Marie, this one’s for you and stop singing that song while we are playing! …
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 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 featuring Eamonn Andrews.
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.”
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. 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.
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” 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 (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.