The Bells Biography

This Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based sextet was a one-hit-wonder in the USA, although the band’s popularity in their native country was more significant. Formed as the Five Bells in 1965 by vocalist Cliff Edwards and drummer Doug Gravelle, the band’s membership solidified with the addition of vocalist Anne Edwards, guitarist Charlie Clark, and bass player Michael Waye. Keyboard player Mickey Ottier was added to the line-up prior to the band recording their debut single, ‘Moody Manitoba Morning’. Ottier was replaced by Frank Mills in 1968 and two years later Anne Edwards left to have a baby. Jacki Ralph was recruited as lead vocalist, and in 1971 this line-up of the Bells enjoyed North American success. ‘Fly, Little White Dove, Fly’ was a minor hit in both Canada and the USA, but ‘Stay Awhile’, released shortly after, became a Canadian number 1 and a US Top 10 hit (by this point Dennis Wills had joined as the band’s new keyboard player). The band only charted once more in the USA, with ‘I Love You Lady Dawn’. Although they continued to record for Polydor Records through 1972 (switching to MGM Records for one US single the following year) they were popular thereafter only in Canada. Frank Mills scored a surprise US Top 5 hit in 1979 with ‘Music Box Dancer’, while Cliff Edwards also enjoyed solo success. Various members of the Bells continue to reunite the band from time to time for one-off shows.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results