A Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie

6th October 2023 · 1970s, 1978, Disco, Music

A Taste Of Honey were one of the few disco outfits to write, sing and play their own tunes. This was their debut single – and their only hit.

Disco was just a vehicle for faceless studio musicians and singers in sparkly outfits, wasn’t it? Well, no.I don’t know if anyone ever called one-hit wonders A Taste Of Honey “the female Chic” – but if they had, they would not have been far off.

I can’t think of a single other disco group (except Chic) who wrote, sang and played on their records.

Janice-Marie Johnson owns this disco classic, not just with her vocals but with that unforgettable funky bass line – despite Hazel Payne doing her best to steal the show with that equally memorable fuzz guitar solo.

A Taste Of Honey, named after a Herb Alpert album, were formed in Los Angeles in 1972 by Johnson and keyboard player Perry Kibble, adding drummer Donald Johnson (no relation) and guitarist Carlita Dorhan.

Dorhan left two years before this, their debut single – and solitary hit – in 1978 and was replaced by Hazel Payne.

Boogie Oogie Oogie topped the charts in America (and reached no.3 here), selling two million copies and earning the two songwriters – Janice-Marie and Perry – a fortune for life since they owned their own publishing: a rare event at the time.

Fun fact: at the 1978 Grammy Awards, A Taste Of Honey won Best New Artist, beating Elvis Costello and The Cars.