Honey Cone

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Honey Cone
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres R&B, soul, funk, disco
Years active 1969–1973; 2014 (Soul Train Cruise)
Labels Hot Wax/Invictus/Buddah
Members Edna Wright (1969–1973)
Carolyn Willis (1969–1973)
Shelly Clark (1969–1973)

Honey Cone was an American R&B and soul all-girl vocal group, who are best remembered for their Billboard #1 hit single, "Want Ads". They were the premier female group for Hot Wax Records, operated by Holland–Dozier–Holland after they had departed from Motown Records.

Career[edit]

Honey Cone was formed by Carolyn Willis, Shelly Clark, and lead singer Edna Wright. Formed in 1969 and based in Los Angeles, they were the newly created Hot Wax Records' first signing to that fledgling label. The trio had previous musical experience with Willis previously a member of The Girlfriends, Clark an ex-member of the Ikettes, and Wright a member of gospel group The Cogics. Wright and Willis were also "part-time" Blossoms. They had been singing together for a short while when they were spotted by Eddie Holland in 1969 who had recently left Motown Records along with Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier to for their own music organization Holland-Dozier-Holland. Holland named the act "Honey Cone" for a favorite flavor of ice cream. At first, group members rejected the name but Holland won-out and the ladies soon embraced it's distinctiveness.

Although Honey Cone was based in Los Angeles, their recordings were Northern-style soul — specifically, Detroit soul. Martha & the Vandellas and the Marvelettes — two of the female vocal groups who represented Motown Records' sound in the 1960s — were among Honey Cone's main influences, as the group favored a blend of sweetness and grit in their own sound.

Honey Cone and Hot Wax's debut single, "While You're Out Looking for Sugar," peaked at #26 on Billboard's R&B chart, but the follow-up, "Girls, It Ain't Easy," reached #8 on the same listing. It was their third release "Want Ads", that proved to be their biggest success topping both the R&B and pop chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May 1971.[1]

The same year Honey Cone had another #1 R&B hit and #11 pop hit with "Stick-Up," which also sold in excess of one million units.[1] Further chart success continued in 1972 with "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" and "The Day I Found Myself". However all three of Honey Cone's releases in 1973 were not hits. The Hot Wax and Invictus labels then ran into financial problems, despite other hit records they had with Freda Payne, 100 Proof Aged in Soul, Laura Lee, and the Chairmen of the Board.

Honey Cone split before 1973 ended and the labels folded soon after under increasing debt. Wright went solo, releasing Oops! Here I Go Again (1976) on RCA, and Willis appeared as a featured vocalist on the Seals and Crofts hit "Get Closer".

In more recent years, Wright has performed across the US with Latari Martin and Melodye Perry, billed as 'Edna Wright and The Honey Cone.' In 1985, Shelly Clark married Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White.

Honey Cone reunited in February 2014 on the third sailing of the Soul Train Cruise. Original members Edna Wright and Shelly Clark White combined with Melodye Perry where they presented two concerts that included their store of hit songs and they covered Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" as a tribute to Shelly's marital connection to that band.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Record label
US
[2]
US
R&B

[2]
1970 Take Me with You Hot Wax
When Will It End [A]
1971 Sweet Replies 137 14
Soulful Tapestry 72 15
1972 Love, Peace & Soul 189 41
"—" denotes the album failed to chart
  • A Album was never released

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Girls It Ain't Easy (1984, HDH)
  • Greatest Hits (1990, HDH)
  • Cone to the Bone: The Best of Honey Cone (1998, Sequel)
  • Soulful Sugar: The Complete Hot Wax Recordings (2001, Castle Music)
  • The Best of Honey Cone (2002, EMI-Capitol)

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US
[2]
US
R&B

[2]
AUS
[3]
CAN
[4]
1969 "While You're Out Looking for Sugar?" 62 26 72
"Girls It Ain't Easy" 68 8 71
1970 "Take Me with You" 108 28
"When Will It End" 117
1971 "Want Ads" 1 1 11
"Stick-Up" 11 1 23
"One Monkey Don't Stop No Show Part I" 15 5 44 14
1972 "The Day I Found Myself" 23 8 21
"Sittin' on a Time Bomb (Waitin' for the Hurt to Come)" 96 33
"Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty" 101 37
"Ace in the Hole"
1973 "If I Can't Fly"
1976 "Somebody Is Always Messing Up a Good Thing" (feat. Sharon Cash)
"—" denotes the single failed to chart

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 295. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d "US Charts > Honey Comb". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  3. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  4. ^ "CAN Charts > Honey Cone". RPM. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 

External links[edit]