Willie clarke was here the other day. Boy, he is the funniest little guy. We got into reliving the whole “Ring My Bell” record, which was all put together in TK Studios yaknow.
The producer on the song is Frederick Knight. He was working with the singer Anita Ward, and Willie Clarke engineered the original instrumental with The Wisdom Band. “I worked with Wisdom a whole lot,” he remembers, “they were real funky, man.”
Willie, says it ended up that he hadda go on the road or something with Betty Wright and that a guy named Wizard ran off with the tape. Wizard was a sort of promo man or radio somethin’ or other. He was a hangaround guy, always hangin’ around the studio.
Me, I was at my New York office on 54th street in Manhattan. Me and Allen Grubman was up there makin’ deals and I would be back and forth to Miami checkin on the music and doin what I hadda do.
Willie claims that it was his idea to put that electronic drum sound in the track. He says nobody wanted to use it, but when the song hit everybody else wanted to take credit for it. “I can’t sleep at night,” he says now, “I should have 50% of that.”
I never seen a record move so fast. Within 3 or 4 weeks of bein’ out it was number one on the Billboard charts.
That electronic “dooooo!” is the sound made by the Syndrum. Willie Clarke still has it to this day. It’s made by Pollard, and it was the first ever electronic drum.
He says “I used it on a lot of things that I cut.” It was part of the whole TK sound.