A Story Behind “Ring My Bell,” The TK Disco Classic

Producer Wiliie Clarke, TK Productions' Henry Stone, and the legendary Pollard Syndrum

Producer Willie Clarke, TK Productions’ Henry Stone, and the legendary Synare

“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, writer, and publisher on the song is Frederick Knight. He was working with the singer Anita Ward, and Willie Clarke says he engineered the original instrumental with The Wizzdom Band. “I worked with Wizzdom 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.”

 

Check out the movie preview about the controversy over “Ring My Bell”

4 comments on “A Story Behind “Ring My Bell,” The TK Disco Classic”

  1. Roger says:

    This is a great funky record! And, this 12 inch is a got to move right now killer!

    Ah yes, Frederick Knight, isn’t that that cool cat who did “I’ve Been Lonely For So Long’ on Stax? That’s one of my favourte sort of ‘hidden’ soul gems!

  2. Eric says:

    FYI: The electronic drum pictured is NOT a Pollard Syndrum. It is a Synare made by Star. The Synare came out after the Pollard Syndrum. Both instruments could make similar sounds.

  3. Willie Clark may truly be a funny guy but he’s got the whole “Ring My Bell” story wrong. Willie had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the recording of the song. The track, the syndrumb, the vocal, the mix, everything was recorded at Malaco Studios. Just wanted to set the record straight. I guess Willie is just confused. Tommy Couch Sr and Frederick Knight

  4. Frederick Knight says:

    FYI: I am Frederick Knight: I wrote, published, produced and arranged Ring My Bell. It was recorded on my record label, Juana Records. Juana Records was distributed, not owned by T K Productions. All pruduction, including the syndrum that I played myself, was done at Malaco Studios in Jackson Mississippi. Riche Rivera did the re-mix In New York City. Willie Clarke had nothing to do with the Ring My Bell Record by Anita Ward. Any claims to the contrary are pure fabrication.

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