High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Can You Answer the Musical Question: Honey, What Makes Ginger Snap?








In 1965 The Honeys laid down a demo of a
song written by Phil Sloan and Steve Barri,
one that had the ladies channeling the
whisper soft vocal style of Priscilla
and the Paris Sisters.

 "I Love You Much Too Much" - The Honeys 
 (Recorded 1965, released 2001) 



That same year the Honeys transferred to
MGM Records and changed their stage name
to Ginger and the Snaps. Once again the girls
got a Connie Francis vibe going, this time
with the song "Growing Up is Hard to Do."
This one is Shady's Pick to Click!

 "Growing Up is Hard to Do" 
 Ginger and the Snaps 
 (Recorded 1965, released 2001) 

From the prolific pen of Tommy Boyce and
Bobby Hart came "Seven Days in September."
The intro on this one reminds me of the
Ronettes hit "Walking in the Rain."

 "Seven Days in September" 
 Ginger and the Snaps 
 (November 1965, uncharted) 


By 1969 the surf/car craze was ancient history.
Returning to Capitol, the reinvented girl trio
changed their name back to the Honeys.

That year the Honeys released a delightful
cover of the 1956 Patience and Prudence
hit "Tonight You Belong to Me."

 Pour a little sugar on it, Honeys! 

 "Tonight You Belong to Me" 
 The Honeys  (1969, uncharted) 



In 1970 The Honeys broke up when Ginger Blake
left to pursue a solo singing career.  Sisters Marilyn
Wilson and Diane Rovell formed a recording duo
called Spring with Brian Wilson again serving as
 producer. Over the next two years Spring
released two singles and an album but
 failed to attract much interest
from record buyers.

In 1972 Marilyn and Diane were forced to
change their name to American Spring when
a UK band known as Spring threatened
legal action. My favorite American Spring
recording is their first single in which
they channel Carole King. "Now That
Everything's Been Said" is a cover of
a 1969 recording by The City, a trio
that included Carole King during
her transition from Brill Building
composer to 70s superstar.

 "Now That Everything's Been Said" 
 Spring aka American Spring 
 (October 1971, uncharted) 


I love it when recording artists deviate from the style
of music that made them famous, try something
completely new and different and get it right.

As you recently heard here on SDM&M, pop crooner
Pat Boone proved himself capable of waxing listenable
covers of R&B originals. He even shocked longtime fans
by releasing a heavy metal album. In the fall of 1964,
Pat hit the pop chart with a beachy keen ditty that
is greatly enhanced by the prominent backing
vocals of Beach Boy Bruce Johnston along
with Terry Melcher, the son of actress
Doris Day. Pat Boone and friends
created a breezy sound that will
remind you of the Beach Boys
hit "Don't Worry Baby."

 "Beach Girl" - Pat Boone 
 (October 1964, highest chart pos. #72) 


In addition to releasing records as Bruce and Terry,
the aforementioned Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher
were members of the Rip Chords, the group that had
hits in 1964 with the custom car songs "Hey Little
Cobra" and "Three Window Coupe."  In 1965 the
 group released another great single but it failed
to chart. Terry Melcher co-wrote, produced
and sang lead on "Don't Be Scared" which
borrows the opening from Chuck Berry's
"Roll Over Beethoven" (also copied by
the Beach Boys on "Fun Fun Fun.")
The rest of "Don't Be Scared"
sounds like "Little Honda"
by the Hondells. Listen
now to a wheels genre
classic that should
have been a hit!

 "Don't Be Scared" - The Rip Chords 
 (February 1965, uncharted) 







Have a Shady day!


  1. I've been following your series and enjoying the music. You were right when you explained that the Honeys were versatile. It has been a treat hearing them progress through all these different styles, all the way to imitating Carole King so well. I never knew about that Pat Boone beach record. It really does fit right in to the surf category. I can't wait to hear which musical direction is next for the Honeys!

    1. Hi, dear Kathryn, and thanks for coming! I'm glad you appreciate how well the Honeys adapted to the changing musical tastes of America through the Sixties. They went from session singers providing cheerleader chants on a Beach Boys record and credited as the Usherettes on Gary Usher's novelty single to making fine surf sound records of their own. Next, the Honeys evolved into a Spectorian girl group and also did a great job singing in the style of famous 50s and 60s female artists like Connie Francis, the Paris Sisters and Patience and Prudence. The Honeys floored me when they captured the sound of Carole King as American Spring.

      That Pat Boone platter is super cool thanks to Bruce and Terry who provided the atmospheric Beach Boy style backing vocals.

      Thank you again for coming, Kathryn, and please stay tuned for Part 4 next Sunday!

  2. Shadyman!:

    The intro of the Honeys' song, I Love You Too Much, reminds me of Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

    Beach Girl DEFINITELY has Beach Boys written all over it. I always liked Pat Boone's voice, no matter the genre.

    Brian Wilson was kind enough to introduce aspiring musician, Charles Manson, to Terry Melcher, too. Apparently, Terry went out to the "ranch" to listen to CM, and he felt that Terry had indicated he would work with him. Charlie held a grudge. Terry Melcher was the previous occupant of the house were the Sharon Tate murders took place, some speculate it was to put fear into Terry Melcher for dropping the ball on Manson's music career.

    I can't ever hear Terry Melcher's name without remember that. Chalk it up to the Halloween spirit. Shivers!

    Thanks, dear pal, and I look forward to the last installment! Great, great post.

    1. Thank you very much, dear friend Cherdo, for being here today and for adding significantly to the dialogue. It is frightening to remember that a shadowy figure like Charles Manson is on the fringe of the Beach Boys bio, that Manson and his family lived at Dennis Wilson's house for a time and that he persuaded Wilson and others in the music industry to take him seriously as a songwriter and recording artist. Terry Melcher apparently expressed interest in recording Manson and in filming the Manson family as part of a movie documentary about the late 60s hippie movement. You mentioned that Terry Melcher lived at the house where the Manson murders of Sharon Tate and others later took place. It's scary to know that actress Candice Bergen and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders were also previous occupants of the house along with Melcher. I can't wait to see the new movie Bigger than the Beatles which is due to be released early next year. It's all about Manson's aspirations as a musician and Dennis Wilson's and Terry Melcher's dealings with him.

      When I hear Terry Melcher's name I also remember that he is the son of actress Doris Day, that he died 10 years ago next month and that Doris Day is still with us.

      Thank you again, dear friend Cherdo, for your visit and stellar comment. I'll be seeing you tomorrow on the Flipside!

    2. Amazing coincidence! Breaking news today that Paul Revere has died at age 76!

    3. WDW just told me about Paul Revere. I think Doris Day celebrated her 90th birthday recently.

    4. Hi, Janie Junebug! Yessum, according to her official website Doris Day turned 90 in April of this year. I sometimes wonder why she didn't go by her real name, Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff? David Hasselhoff kept his birth name and did alright for himself! :)

  3. I love you and Cherdo much too much for my own good. The Wilson girls (Brian and Marilyn's children) bear a strong resemblance to their mother. I once heard them tell the sad story of going to a party when they were young adults and coming across their father, who did not know who they were. In spite of Brian Wilson's brain damage, the music remains inside him. He's so talented that all the drugs in the world couldn't destroy his music.I hate to say this (so then why am I saying it? maybe because I watch too many documentaries), but I heard a bit of one of Charles Manson's recordings. The part I heard was good. I can understand why musicians were interested in him. Terry Melcher died from melanoma, so please use your sunscreen.

    Janie and Baz

    P.S. Ralph is snoring so loudly that I think we can record it and have a hit on our hands if Cherdo and I sing a little do-wop in the background.

    1. You're a Honey, Janie Junebug, and I thank you for coming. That's a very interesting and depressing story about Brian not recognizing his own children. I never heard any of Charlie Manson's waxworks but it wouldn't surprise me if they sound decent. As you well know, the world is filled with brilliant and talented people who also happen to be evil.

      You and I don't need Baz Luhrmann to remind us to wear sunscreen. I spend very little time outdoors in the Florida sun and I happen to know that you always protect your porcelain skin.

      Hey, dearie, in today's mixed up music biz you could probably market a recording of Ralph snoring while you and Cherdo sing background harmony. I can see your name up in lights: Willy Dunne Wooters and the Hooters! :)

      Thank you very much for keeping me company today, dear friend Janie. Have a great evening and a wonderful week ahead!

    2. I practiced in the shower this morning. I think I'm ready to start recording, Janie and Shady.

    3. With Ralph snoring and you ladies harmonizing in the background, don't you think we should call the A side of your record "Mr. Sandman"? I think you should pick the flipside, dearie. Get it?

      Thank you for your return visit, dear friend Cherdo. I love it when you spend some time in the Shady!

    4. When can we get together to practice? I'll be your Sonnydo, Cherdo.

    5. Cherdo has indicated she is comfortable practicing in the shower. I say we all meet there! :)

  4. Howdy Shady!
    wow, all that name changing. apparently it wasn't that uncommon with lesser known bands to change their names from some of what i've seen and heard. i always do enjoy a good Pat Boone song (or film). interesting to know he worked with Brian as well.
    hope you're having an awesome week and will continue to do so. thank you for another installment in this series.
    -Abigail and Daisy.

    1. Hello, dear Abigail and sweet little Daisy! You're right. In the 1950s and 60s it was fairly common for solo artists and vocal groups to record under various names. Sometimes they changed their names when they moved to a different record label. Sometimes they did it to test the audience response to a vastly different singing style or type of material. All that label jumping and name changing can work against an artist, in my opinion, and it might have something to do with the Honeys' lack of success. Isn't that Pat Boone record just the coolest?

      Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend Abigail. I hope you had a great weekend and I wish you and Daisy a fabulous week ahead!

  5. Hi Shady,
    My Gosh! the "Honeys" change their name as many times as I change my . . . SOCKS!!!!
    I think my pick on this post is ," Now that Everything is said". One reason , it wasn't as 60's sounding but mostly cuz I love Carole King. I swear I could hear her in it!
    I really wanted to hear Pat Boone sing "Heavy Metal"--so funny , I can't imagine (although, I think in years past you DID post it!)
    OMG, "Don't be scared", could have been right off a BB album.
    I'll be anxious to hear what else you have comin up by the "Honeys" or whatever they are called!!!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for coming over! Yessum, for whatever reason, the Honeys changed their name quite often. It might have been Brian Wilson's idea for all I know. When they became Spring they were threatened with a lawsuit by another act using that name. I happen to like American Spring because it was the kind of name that sold records at the start of the Seventies. Yet, nothing these talented ladies put on vinyl sold very well. Today, decades later, they have legions of fans and their albums and singles are sought after by collectors and girl group fans around the world. I agree with you that it sounds like Carole King is singing rather than the Spring sisters on "Now That Everything's Been Said."

      If you listen to "Little Honda" by the Hondells you will note the many similarities to the Rip Chords' record "Don't Be Scared." If that one had been released a year earlier I believe it would have been a hit; but by 1965 people were starting to lose interest in car and "groovy little motor bike" songs and turning to more intellectual material released by singer - songwriter types like Bob Dylan.

      Thank you again, dear friend Toni, for coming to this week's Beach Boys bash. I hope you'll join me for the Part 4 conclusion one week from now. Until then, stay safe and have a wonderful week!

  6. Hello Shady, I enjoyed listening to the Honeys, they had lovely voices. "I Love You Too Much" had a great musical arrangement, it was my second fav song here. My favorite was "Tonight You Belong to Me." I'm sure I have heard their version of that song. I went to youtube and listened to the original and I must have heard that one too. Such a cute song. I found "Growing Up is Hard to Do" to be a very interesting song.

    American Spring did a great job on "Now That Everything's Been Said." I listened twice and really liked it. I'm not crazy about surf songs, although I did love some of the Beach Boys records and Jan and Dean.

    This was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to more from the Honeys.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you very much for joining me for Part 3 of my special Honeys series. I agree about the arrangement on "I Love You Much Too Much." It grabs your attention and keeps it. What impresses me most about the Honeys recording career is the variety of styles they covered. Their Ginger and the Snaps recording "Growing Up Is Hard To Do" is one of my top favorites in the girl group category and I too love their imitation of Carole King, There's more of the Honeys and their American Spring incarnation in Part 4 along with two more artists who were heavily influenced by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys sound. I hope you can be here for it.

      Thank you again, dear friend Belle. I hope your weekend was a great one and that the week ahead will bring joy and happiness your way. God bless!

  7. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    Thanks for your post on artists such as The Honeys who fly under the radar yet make many ositive contributions to the music industry, so it just goes to show talent is one element, who you know is another and popularity a third to make it really big in the tough world of music! As Cherdo said the song, 'I Love you too much,'reminded her of 'Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying,' as did 'American Spring' remind me in its intro, about the first 5 secs of 'Rainy Days and Mondays,' The Carpenters. Their song. 'We've only Just began,' is eternally popular with newly weds :).

    I could really hear the trademark sound of the Beach Boys on Pat Boone's song, 'Beach Girl' so Beach Boys' band members as backing singers really shines through.

    That's been great Shay Del to read your post and to learn many tid bits that you can only hear via local knowledge about a country's pop culture. I grew up on US music and movies, so that alongside UK influences, it's been a staple diet for me and I might add in Australia we have too great home grown talent and many seem to disappear to the bright lights of Hollywood! See you 'round and look forward to your forthcoming posts - cheers Allie-Millie

    1. Hello, dear Allie-Millie! What a wonderful comment this is, dear friend. I appreciate it very much! I agree that most entertainers need more than talent to be successful. They need connections, people who can open doors and give them opportunities. They need skilled handlers to help plan their career path. In the recording industry, signing with a major record label isn't enough to guarantee success. The Honeys recorded for Capitol, one of the oldest and best known record companies, yet they couldn't find an audience. Our local Central Pennsylvania blue-eyed soul band, The Magnificent Men, also released records on Capitol with very limited success. Therefore, luck and timing have a lot to do with it. By 1964, The Honeys might have been considered "old school" by teenagers who were digging the Beatles and the English Merseybeat groups that were transforming the look and sound of popular music around the civilized world.

      I find many recordings that contain riffs or motifs which remind me of other records. In my next post I will present two more singles by artists who gave a nod to the Beach Boys in their recording style.

      Every time I think of Australian bands I remember Big Pig, an act that originated in Melbourne, and their 1988 hit record "Breakaway." If you want to see an exciting music video, one that played heavily on the MTV style television station where I worked, watch this:

      This was a tremendous comment from you, dear friend Allie-Millie. I thank you so much for being here and I hope you'll join me for the Part 4 conclusion coming this Sunday. Until then good night and enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 7, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    We've been having beautiful, crisp and cool fall days here in south central PA, but, as your posts usually do, the music you chose this time constituted some vicarious enjoyment of another time and place.

    The sweet, soft and relaxing "I Love You Much Too Much" is my favorite on this post, although listening to "Little Beach Girl" brought memories of teased hairstyles, sand between the toes, and the smell of sun-warmed Copper-tone by the Atlantic many, many years ago. It was nice to be transported to that time from my present caregiving role for a few minutes.

    The only song I immediately recognized on this post was of course "Tonight You Belong To Me", but I never heard this version of it. The other songs were fun listening material, once I got them to download. I had lots of difficulty doing that for some reason. A 10+ minute wait for each song was a perplexing problem.

    In spite of this, I enjoyed playing through the chameleon styles and various incarnations of the Honeys and the songs of the other groups. It just proves that any artists worth their salt don't stick to a singular sound until, as a musician friend of mine says, it dies and forgets to lie down.

    They stretch beyond it by reacting to the times and other artists with their own highly personal renditions. They reflect influences of course, but go beyond them and add their own spin to the genre. It's a shame this evident creativity wasn't rewarded with popularity for the Honeys.

    About record companies - I know of at least one famous example and a close personal one of a friend's daughter, where the artists had to strike a Faustian deal with big labels to get their music heard. Nightmares over copyright and other issues ensued and lives were harmed.

    I guess the record companies have gotten a bit of a comeuppance now with iTunes and uTube in the music landscape! However, I feel sorry for musicians who are losing sales of their albums on CDs. I wonder what would have become of the Honeys if there were MP3 players back then.

    I was shocked to learn of the Charles Manson connection to the Beach Boys, and wonder if history would have been altered by a career in music for him instead of murder and mayhem. Wouldn't we surely prefer to rewrite that story?!

    I often hear Pat Boone ridiculed, so it is refreshing to hear his clear voice blending seamlessly with the Beach Boys' backing harmonies, keyboards and guitars.

    So many of these songs have very simple melodies, but the delightful accents such as the castanet and celeste (?) added to the guitar solos in "I Love You Way Too Much" add real richness to the sound.

    You could have fooled me when I first listened to "Don't Be Scared". I would have sworn it was the Beach Boys. Those accompanying pictures reminded me of Mother's total surprise on her 102nd birthday when the bikers came roaring up in front of her house to help her celebrate.

    Thanks as always for giving these artists their due and entertaining and educating us in the process. I hope the technology gods will smile on me next time by letting me hear the music without so much frustration!


    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! I'm very pleased to see you back here for a visit, but I'm sorry to learn that some of these videos took more than 10 minutes to load. You must have tried to play them at a time when YouTube was swamped or having technical problems.

      It's so true. No matter what season of the year it might be, most of us enjoy music that transports us to our favorite beach and the endless summer that's always there waiting for us. The music of the Beach Boys and artists who imitated their sound do just that.

      When the Honeys covered the hits of other artists, more often than not they made them their own. That's the mark of a great recording and performing act. The Honeys possessed the singing talent and Brian Wilson the writing and producing talent to crank out original hits, too, yet cover versions or original compositions, the hits failed to materialize. The old established major label Capitol Records had a reputation for dropping the ball on some it its excellent recording acts, not knowing quite how to package them and successfully market them to teenagers. Perhaps the company threw most of its resources and budgeting into the proven hit makers, the Beach Boys.

      We can only speculate what would have happened if Charles Manson had been given all the recording opportunities to which he felt entitled. His ambition was to be bigger than the Beatles so it seems unlikely that he would ever have been satisfied. Brian Wilson has stated that he didn't like way Manson's relationship with the Beach Boys was depicted in the 2000 TV movie The Beach Boys: An American Family. I suppose you had to be a fly on the wall to know for sure what promises, if any, were made to Manson by Dennis Wilson, Terry Melcher and other music industry people.

      I'm delighted to know that the songs in this post brought you good vibrations and happy memories, dear friend Kathleen. I hope you can swing over for the Part 4 conclusion of the Honeys series which begins this Sunday. Until then I wish you and Mother a very nice week!

      God bless!

  9. I'm really late in commenting sorry! The past few weeks have been a blur! Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the great posts from cool bloggers like yourself! This post really gave me flashbacks and fond memories of summers in my youth. The carefree, endless summer days as I was just getting into music for my generation. I remember visiting California and my cousin had a motorcycle and took me for a spin..I felt like such a cool chick on that bike! Those tunes brought that time right back. But I guess that's what good music does. It brings out feelings and memories no matter how long ago they were hits. This is totally off topic of this post, but this week the death of Paul Revere made me really sad as the Raiders were a super favorite group of mine...anyway, I digress! I enjoyed all the tunes tonight and although I won't hop on a bike anytime soon, I will think back to the days when I thought I was cool! Have a great week!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for coming. Every post in this Honeys series is a week long bash so you made it over with plenty of time to spare.

      You ARE cool, sweetie - always have been and always will be. Songs like "Little Honda" and "Don't Be Scared" were no doubt written with you in mind, seeing as how you rode around California on your cousin's cycle. I'll bet you were the equivalent of Suzanne Somers in American Graffiti - the mysterious beauty in the T-bird. :)

      A couple of us mentioned the death of Paul Revere here in the comments of this post earlier this week. Yessum, one by one the icons of our youth are passing into history, making us feel a little bit older and not nearly as invincible as we once thought we were. Mark Lindsay also figured into the discussion because he was a previous occupant of the house where the Manson family murders took place. It's a small world after all, and not always in a good sense.

      I'm so glad these beachy Brian Wilsonesque tunes triggered fond memories of your youth, just as they did mine. Thank you again for coming over, dear friend YaYa. Please take good care of yourself, enjoy the rest of your week, and please come back for the Part 4 conclusion which will be published this Sunday.

      Bless you, Kathleen!

  10. Tom! thanks for your lovely words on my latest blog post! I have to say I love Tonight You Belong To Me, which I heard for the first time when Zooey Deschanel covered it, such a cute song! How are you doing my friend? I hope things are well in Florida! Here in Dublin it's just started to get cold after a very nice September!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! I'm delighted to see you again, dear friend! Thanks for mentioning another version of "Tonight You Belong To Me." I never heard Zooey D.'s version before so I watched it on YouTube along with her great performance singing along to Karen Carpenter's "Yesterday Once More." Zooey can sing!

      The chilly wind might be sweeping across Ireland but here in Florida it's still too warm. A few days ago we enjoyed the first refreshing cool front of the season but since then the heat has returned. Most of us can't wait for December.

      I greatly appreciate your cheery visit, dear friend Emma. Please take good care of yourself and I hope to see you back here again soon!


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