The Honeycombs was a one-shot group that delivered Joe Meek's final UK number one hit, then faded. Their distinguishing mark was their female drummer, Honey Lantree.
The group originally consisted of Dennis D'Ell (Dalziel) as lead singer and harmonica player, Martin Murray on lead guitar, Alan Ward on rhythm guitar, John Lantree on bass and of course Ann "Honey" Lantree on drums. They started off as the Sheratons in 1963.
They became known around England for their female drummer. One member of the group had worked as a hairdresser. They decided to combine his profession with the name of the drummer and changed their name to the Honeycombs. One night the group was playing in a London pub and in the audience were Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, a very prolific British songwriting team who wrote hits for such artists as Lulu, Elvis Presley and Petula Clark. Howard and Blaikley liked what they saw, signed the Honeycombs to the Interphon label, and had them record a song they had written titled Have I The Right? The Honeycombs were managed by renegade British pop producer Joe Meek, who most notably had produced the Tornadoes and their number one hit Telstar in 1962.
Have I The Right? had a snappy beat and the Honeycombs' first recording took off, going to number one in the UK and number five in the US in the Fall of 1964, shortly after the start of the British Invasion in pop music. Honey was not a singer but she was a good drummer and the star attraction of the group. They were hot and made some appearances on British television. They recorded an album titled All Systems Go in 1965. Their follow-up records Something Better Beginning and Is It Because barely dented the top forty at home and went nowhere in the US. They booked a tour of Australia, and when they got back replaced their lead guitarist with Peter Pye. One more hit That's The Way went to number 12 in the UK.
Additional singles were recorded but the Honeycombs' records no longer sold well. Joe Meek killed himself in 1967, and Dennis D'Ell took a brief but unsuccessful shot at a solo career in the 70's.
The group with the fabulous girl drummer hit its stride in the mid-60's and left the rock world with one very memorable hit, Have I The Right?
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