Les Compagnons de la chanson were a French vocal group from Lyon, France, founded during World War II. Before 1946, they were part of a larger choir called the 'Compagnons de la musique'. The group met Edith Piaf first in 1944, and performed in German occupied Paris. 1946 they recorded a French language song, "Les trois cloches", which was written in 1945 by Jean Villard Gilles and Marc Herrand. English lyrics were later added by Bert Reisfeld, but it was first recorded by the Melody Maids in 1948.
Some of Les Compagnons de la chanson's biggest hits were "Tom Dooley", "Kalinka", "The Windmill Song" and the aforementioned and re-titled "The Three Bells". The latter track peaked at #21 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1959. It suffered from competition by the bigger selling rival version of the time, recorded by the American family trio of The Browns. Their version sold over one million copies in the US alone, and reached #6 in the UK chart.
Les Compagnons de la chanson made over 350 records and undertook around 300 concerts per year. Their final concert was in 1985.