Song of the Day: Anita Ward “Ring My Bell”
A disco classic from 1979 – one of the high water marks for the genre – Anita Ward‘s “Ring My Bell” is slinky, soulful and above all, catchy. The song starts with a simple drum machine and chicken-scratch guitar intro before Ward‘s soft vocals enter into the picture. Where the song really shines is in its infectious chorus which will lodge itself in your brain and not let go. The song is both minimalist while also encompassing all that is great and good about 70s disco. Without trying too hard, it is immediately dance-able while retaining a strong pop sensibility.
Anita Ward was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1956. The gestation of “Ring My Bell” is an interesting one. According to Wikipedia:
“Before signing a recording contract, Ward obtained a degree in psychology from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and had become a schoolteacher. While recording her debut album, record label owner Frederick Knight presented her with a song he had written the previous year for Stacy Lattisaw. Ward did not like the song, but Knight insisted that a dance track was needed to capitalize on the current disco trend, and Ward relented. The song, which was originally a juvenile-targeted tune about teens talking on the telephone, was rewritten with more ‘adult’ lyrics and the result was the single “Ring My Bell”. The single reached number one in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada in 1979.”
Anita Ward is still musically active, continuing to record and tour.