Song:Have I The Right
Album:Have I The Right: The Very Best Of The Honeycombs
Have I The right was the only big hit for The Honeycombs at the height of The British Invasion in 1964. They were more successful in England. The most interesting thing about The Honeycombs is the drummer was female which was unusual at the time. They were formed in 1963 in London by hairdresser Martin Murray (rhythm guitar) and his assistant Ann "Honey" Lantree as The Sheratons. Honey brought in her brother John Lantree to play bass and the other members were lead singer Denis D'Ell and lead guitarist Alan Ward. They were spotted by the songwriting team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. These two went on to a long career but they were just starting out at the time. The group had already planned to audition for producer Joe Meek so Howard and Blaikley gave them a couple of songs for the audition. Meek was best known for producing Telstar by The Tornados. They recorded Have I The Right and Meek sold it to Pye Records. Pye owner Louis Benjamin renamed the band The Honeycombs because Honey was a hairdresser's assistant. He correctly believed she would be the focal point of the group. In the US, the record was released by the Vee-Jay label Interphon. The record was released in June 1964 and by August it topped the British charts and became a worldwide hit. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Honeycombs had modest success on the British charts but were never able to score another big hit. Murray left and was replaced by Peter Pye. Then Pye, D'Ell and Ward left in 1966. Honey and John Lantree hired new musicians but The Honeycombs split up for good after one more single. This comp covers their entire career. In the 90s, Murray led a new version of The Honeycombs and Honey led another version of the band that included D'Ell and Pye. That band ended when D'Ell died in 2005 but Murray's The New Honeycombs still tours clubs in England. Here are The Honeycombs performing Have I The Right on Shindig 1964.