Honey (Bobby Goldsboro song)

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Bobby Goldsboro Honey single cover.jpg
Single by Bobby Goldsboro
from the album Honey
ReleasedFebruary 17, 1968[1]
RecordedJanuary 30, 1968[1]
StudioRCA Studios, Nashville, Tennessee[1]
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Bobby Russell
Producer(s)Bob Montgomery
Bobby Goldsboro singles chronology
"Pledge of Love"
"Autumn of My Life"

"Honey", also known as "Honey (I Miss You)", is a song written by Bobby Russell. He first produced it with former Kingston Trio member Bob Shane. Then he gave it to American singer Bobby Goldsboro, who recorded it for his 1968 album of the same name, originally titled Pledge of Love.[2] The song's narrator mourns his deceased wife, beginning with him looking at a tree in their garden, remembering how "it was just a twig" on the day she planted it.


"Honey" was released as a single in the U.S. in 1968 and spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart (the 200th song to reach No. 1 on that chart), from April 7 to May 11, and three weeks atop Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart. It was preceded on the Billboard Hot 100 by "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding and was followed by Archie Bell & the Drells' "Tighten Up". It was Goldsboro's only No. 1 hit on the Pop Singles and Country Singles charts and it was his first song to top the Adult Contemporary chart. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song for 1968.[3]

"Honey" reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart and a re-release of the single in the United Kingdom in 1975 reached No. 2 again. In Australia, it spent four weeks at No. 1 on the ARIA Charts, replacing the Beatles' "Lady Madonna", and was the No. 6 song of 1968.

An early version of "Honey" had been recorded by South African singer Peter Lotis in 1962. It was released as a single in 1968, becoming a Top 10 South African hit.[4]


"Honey" was immediately and immensely popular. It sold a million copies in its first three weeks,[1]: BG4  the fastest-selling record in the history of United Artists.[5][6] It was certified gold on April 4, 1968, the same day that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, an event that may have helped the sales of the single.[7] It was the best-selling record worldwide for 1968, more popular even than "Hey Jude".[1]: BG8  It was a crossover hit, topping both the pop and country singles charts, one of only three songs to do so in the 1960s. The recording was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1968: Record of the Year and Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Male.[8] The song was awarded Song of the Year in 1968 by the Country Music Association.[9]

Today the song is sometimes dismissed or disparaged, its contemporary popularity notwithstanding. It has been called "innocuous pop",[10] "classy schlock",[11] more "dreadful" than Pavarotti,[12] and, hyperbolically, the "Worst Song of All Time" by a writer whose ambivalent antipathy left him "transfixed" by "one of the biggest songs of the year."[13] In a 2011 poll Rolling Stone readers ranked "Honey" the second-worst song of the 1960s.[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Peter Lotis
Chart (1968) Peak
South Africa (Springbok)[24] 9
Distant Galaxy (medley)
Chart (1969) Peak
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 39
O.C. Smith
Chart (1969) Peak
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[25] 40
Canada RPM Top Singles[26] 62
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[27] 44
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 19
U.S. Billboard R&B 44
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 64

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "You've come a long way Bobby.", Billboard, October 5, 1974. pp. BG-19 and BG-20, between p. 42 and p. 43 . Accessed December 3, 2015.
  2. ^ King, Grant (February 2, 2018). "Back in 1968, this was a No.1 Hit, "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro". countrythangdaily.com.
  3. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1968
  4. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  5. ^ "'Honey' Honey Single for UA". Billboard. April 13, 1968. Bobby Goldsboro's 'Honey' is the fastest selling single in United Artist's 10-year history... The disk has been certified by the RIAA as a million seller after only four weeks on the market.
  6. ^ "Bobby Goldsboro - The Website of Bobby Goldsboro!". bobbygoldsboro.com.
  7. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA.
  8. ^ "GRAMMY Award Results for Bobby Goldsboro". The Recording Academy. 19 November 2019.
  9. ^ "CMA Awards Show 1968". The Tennessean. February 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Perone, James E. (2012). The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations [4 volumes]: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations. The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313379079. The charts were still sprinkled with such innocuous pop as Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey" ...
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 1968). "Secular Music". Esquire. [Joe] Tex's record closes with Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey," the classiest schlock of the year and the epitome of what is called modern country.
  12. ^ Rodricks, Dan (May 8, 1991). "More melodies to shoosh kids". The Baltimore Sun.
  13. ^ Leopold, Todd (April 21, 2006). "The worst song of all time". CNN.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019. I sat transfixed in my car as it played, as if I were in the midst of an accident. The simpering melody, the tearjerking lyrics: God, how I hated it. And yet I couldn't change the station.
  14. ^ Greene, Andy (November 16, 2011). "Readers' Poll: The Worst Songs of the Sixties". Rolling Stone.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Honey". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  16. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 21 June 1968
  17. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography {{{artist}}}". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "Go-Set Magazine Charts". www.poparchives.com.au. Barry McKay. January 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  20. ^ The 100 Best-Selling Singles of 1968
  21. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  22. ^ "Britain's best selling records of '75". Record Mirror. London: Billboard. January 10, 1976. p. 12. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  23. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  24. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1969-03-24. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  26. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1969-03-03. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  27. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X

External links[edit]