Money Honey (Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters song)

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"Money Honey"
Single by Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters
B-side "The Way I Feel"[1]
Released September 1953
Recorded August 9, 1953, Atlantic Studios
Genre R&B
Label Atlantic 45-1006
Songwriter(s) Jesse Stone
Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters singles chronology
"Money Honey"
"Such a Night"
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"Money Honey" is a song written by Jesse Stone,[2] which was released in September 1953 by Clyde McPhatter backed for the first time by the newly formed Drifters. McPhatter's voice, but not his name, had become well known when he was the lead singer for Billy Ward and the Dominoes. The song was an immediate hit and remained on the rhythm and blues chart for 23 weeks, peaking at number 1.[3] Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 252 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2] The recording was reported to have sold more than two million copies by 1968.[4]


The song tells the story of a man who has run out of money and hopes his woman will help him out:

I was clean as a screen and so hard pressed
I called the woman that I love best

In the chorus, he threatens to leave her if she doesn't help him out:

Money, honey
Money, honey
Money, honey, if you want to get along with me[5]

She is literally not buying—she has another man, one who already has money.[clarification needed]

The recording[edit]

The song was recorded on August 9, 1953, at Atlantic Studios, with Clyde McPhatter (lead vocal), Bill Pinkney (baritone), Andrew "Bubba" Thrasher (second tenor), Gerhart "Gay" Thrasher (top tenor), and Willie Ferbie (bass). Walter Adams was the guitarist for the record.[1]

The recording features Mickey Baker on guitar [6] and Sam "the Man" Taylor on tenor sax.[7] The arrangement starts with a bagpipe-like drone from the Drifters setting up a shuffle rhythm. McPhatter's voice is clear and bright and in the midst of the sax solo he gives off a monumental scream.



  1. ^ a b The Drifters (The Early Years) Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Rolling Stone magazine's top 500 songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 173. 
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 64. ISBN 0-214-20480-4. 
  5. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 25 – The Soul Reformation: Phase Two, The Motown Story. [Part 4]." (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. 
  6. ^ Mickey Baker.
  7. ^ Sam "The Man" Taylor, In the Mood for Sax: More Blue Mist (1960).
  8. ^ Elvis Presley, "Money Honey" Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  9. ^ Eddie Cochran references Retrieved February 13, 2012
  10. ^ The Hollywood Flames, "My Heart's on Fire" Single Release. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  11. ^ The Coasters, "Money Honey" Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  12. ^ Kristin Berglund, Long Distance Love Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  13. ^
Preceded by
"Shake a Hand" by Faye Adams
Billboard R&B National Best Sellers number-one single
November 21, 1953
Succeeded by
"The Things That I Used to Do" by Guitar Slim and His Band