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A Taste Of Honey

Known for two huge and very dissimilar pop hits, disco-soul group A Taste of Honey began in 1971, after Janice Marie Johnson (vocals, bass, guitar) and Perry Kibble (keyboards) met at an audition for vacation cruise gigs. Named after one of their favorite songs, the band added several friends to the lineup and played Southern California bars and military bases in the U.S. and abroad. Guitarist Hazel Payne was added after Greg Walker quit to join Santana. Following a meeting with producers Fonce and Larry Mizell, the group signed to Capitol. Their debut single, "Boogie Oogie Oogie," was inspired by an unresponsive audience, and Johnson felt the military crowd was chauvinist. The single, featuring an unforgettable bassline, topped the Billboard Hot 100 in fall 1978, and sold more than two-million copies. The slinky and funky "Do It Good," the follow-up, went to number 13 R&B and number 79 pop. The parent album of the hits, A Taste of Honey, subsequently went platinum, and the group won a Grammy for Best New Artist. At the time, the group's lineup consisted of Johnson, Kibble, Payne, and drummer Donald Johnson.

After hearing Linda Ronstadt's version of Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby," Johnson decided that she and Payne should remake a classic song. Johnson had sung Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" when the group toured Japan and performed at the Yamaha Song Festival. She contacted her Japanese sub-publisher, who in turn contacted the original writers to get permission to redo the song with English lyrics. Translators were employed, one of whom came up with lyrics that were close to the original's theme, translated as "I look up when I walk." Johnson added her own lyrics and thought they were too simple, but producer George Duke encouraged her to write from her heart. A publishing-rights dispute almost stopped the song from being released. After it was recorded, Johnson found out that one of the original writers had signed his rights away. His publisher had Johnson give up all rights to her version before Capitol released it. The bassist relented, knowing that this song would take A Taste of Honey out of the disco category. Capitol wasn't keen on "Sukiyaki" and instead released "Rescue Me" (number 16 R&B, summer 1980) and "I'm Talkin 'Bout You" (number 64 R&B, late 1980). Forced by album-track radio play, the label finally released "Sukiyaki" as a single, and it went to number one R&B and number three pop in spring 1981. Ladies of the Eighties, released in 1982, was relatively unsuccessful, but its lead single, "I'll Try Something New," nearly reached the pop Top 40. Payne subsequently departed and went into stage acting. Johnson was left to fulfill A Taste of Honey's contractual obligation with Capitol. Nothing from One Taste of Honey, released as a Johnson solo album, gained commercial traction.

While the group were active, their songs had started to become familiar sample sources among rap producers, as heard on Funky 4 + 1's "That's the Joint," and Slick Rick quoted "Sukiyaki" during his appearance on Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew's "La Di Da Di." Payne and Johnson eventually reunited in 2004, for a PBS disco special. All four of their Capitol albums were reissued during the early 2010s by the BBR (Big Break) label. ~ Ed Hogan & Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Twice As Sweet

Disc 1

1. Boogie Oogie Oogie

2. This Love Of Ours

3. Distant

4. World Spin

5. Disco Dancin'

6. You

7. If We Loved

8. Sky High

9. You're In Good Hands

Disc 2

1. Ain't Nothin' But A Party

2. Rescue Me

3. Superstar, Superman

4. I'm Talkin' 'Bout You

5. She's A Dancer

7. Good-Bye Baby

8. Say That You'll Stay

9. Sukiyaki

Comments

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Best music ever on the planet
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A TASTE OF HONEY~ was fierce.....b o o g i e oogie oogie. Fond memories of this jam in junior high at the time makes me smile.....an d laugh!!
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Two bad sister on the guitars. And the -BASS LINE - a straight killer. Real music.
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Sallie Thorns
Loveit
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I was a young man doing my THANG when this was out! Great memories!
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Groovy
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Another great song from the disco era! The Sundance club, Wild wood, NJ
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Get down boogie oogie oogie oogie get down boogie oogie oogie oogie
Get down ❤️
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❤❤❤❤❤
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I love boggie oggie
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Word up boogie on
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johnmargie6
Boogie Ooogie Ooogie til you can't boogie boogie no moe!!
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I'm having a old school party can't wait to hear all my back in the day songs
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Ahh the 70"s when folks where nice
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Very cool
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See you at unsung.
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That bass be jamming
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Never gets old
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Ciw
Ecdkjx ioejsf g kghosie
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One of the best disco jamz ever!!!!
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Kiss your hand
Say your crushes name
Close your hand
Say a school day
Open your hand and post this on fifteen other songs and your crush will ask you out
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As a kid of the 70's, How's many times did you roller skate to boogie oogie? Everyone loved that song. Stuff kids today won't understand.
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Memories good
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kimcrandall2 8
These ladies are cooool man
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bayareahotti e m g
Icons
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jweekly95
Im a bassist, never knew til today the ladies were playing
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Luv those Girls. Sandy Gause
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yvettepennin g t o n 3 4
I love this group
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Soul sisters
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judythomas47
,oh the memories
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The best Diva Band ever. great. songbirds good music the jam
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richardviray
The Music of Love Dance Hanging Out , at da clubs and best of all Everyone in peace and Harmony !!
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My Kind Of Music!
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The disco lives.
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Love it
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that guitar n bass though
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Best Record Ever
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sssolutionsp l u s
I still use this Iconic Bass-line in lots of my sound-checks !
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BASS LINE!!!!!!! Love love love
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Come on, people- the bass LINE .
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I grew up loving this song..
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These are some "BAD " sisters. Straight out of Los Angeles and people loved their music and the bass line - I played it and love it. Great job sisters. Love the music. ������������
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Feeling nostalgic listening to the "Disco Radio ".....But dancing to some of the songs"hellYe a h h " . . . . e v e n though I know I'm old..."I got moves baby " :D
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Now I no im old skool....yes
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I am so glad to be old school to!!!!
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Jamming..... . i remember this...so glad to be OldSkool!!
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This for u lil brother rip 5 yrs
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Lol here i go friday night lets get it boy oh boy lil bro rip
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Bass,bass,ba s s , , o f f the hook!!
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Brings back memories
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