STAY AWHILE – The Bells



The Bells were a Canadian rock band formed in 1965 in Montreal. The band had two hit singles in the early 1970s. Featuring South African natives Anne and Jackie Ralph as well as Cliff Edwards, Doug Gravelle and Gordie McLeod, the group started in 1965 as The Five Bells.

They had their first hit in 1969 with “Moody Manitoba Morning,” followed in 1970 — after shortening their name and making some personnel changes — by “Fly Little White Dove Fly”, which became a Top 10 hit in Canada. Piano player Frank Mills joined The Bells for a short period from 1970 to 1971, after which he pursued a successful solo career, the highlight of which was the #3 1979 U.S. hit single “Music Box Dancer.” Mills was replaced by piano player Dennis Will who remained with the band through to the end. Charlie Clark also joined the band in 1970 as a guitarist and vocalist

“White Dove” was followed up in 1971 by “Stay Awhile”, a duet featuring a whispered vocal by Jackie Ralph and Cliff Edwards. Written by Saint John native Ken Tobias, the song became a major hit worldwide, selling four million copies and going to #1 in Canada on the RPM 100 national Top Singles chart on April 10, 1971 and remaining there for two weeks as well becoming their only Top 40 hit in the U.S., reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This disc sold over one million copies before the major U.S. radio stations played it, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A. on 27 May 1971.