Excerpt regarding The Bells from 2006 book about Canadian icons

In a previous post, I’ve spoken about a documentary about the Bells.

A book entitled Whatever Happened To – ?: Catching Up with Canadian icons (2006) includes an update regarding the Bells. Below is an excerpt highlighting the launch of their career:

“The country-flavoured tune that got turned into a smoky guy/girl ballad got recorded only because Cliff Edwards of the Bells begged for studio time, and it wasn’t intended to be a single until a radio station executive who was the then-queen of the airwaves suggested it should be.

“Some thirty-five years after ‘Stay Awhile’ rocketed up the charts to number one in Canada and number seven on the Billboard charts, Edwards recalls with fondness the strange journey the tune took to make his group, the Bells, a household name in North America. The Montreal­ based group had already scored a minor hit with ‘Moody Manitoba Morning’ and bigger success with ‘Fly Little White Dove, Fly.’

“The latter song and ‘Stay Awhile’ got recorded only because Edwards was able to convince Polydor Records to give them some extra studio time. An executive who was leaving the company anyway granted Edwards’s wish figuring he had nothing to lose. ‘I had an idea that a guy­/girl approach to [“Stay Awhile”] was really going to be our ticket,’ Edwards said in an interview of how the song was recorded.

“While ‘Fly Little White Dove, Fly’ was gaining popularity in Canada, the Bells were performing one night in Windsor, Ontario. The sparse audience included Rosalie Tremblay of influential radio station CKLW. She told the band that ‘Stay Awhile’ should be the next single, and given that she was arguably the most influential person in radio in North America, the Bells listened. ‘If she said “Stay Awhile” was what she wanted we told the record company that’s what they should do,’ Edwards recalled. ‘It was a huge hit.'”

[End of excerpt]


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