(Read all about Honey Cone after the video)
Honey Cone was an American R&B and soul all–girl vocal group, who are best remembered for their Billboard #1 hit single, "Want Ads". They were the premier female group for Hot Wax Records, operated by Holland–Dozier–Holland after they had departed from Motown Records.
Honey Cone was formed by lead singer Edna Wright (sister of Darlene Love) with Carolyn Willis and Shelly Clark in 1969. They were the newly created Hot Wax Records' first signing to the fledgling label. The trio had previous musical experience with Willis a member of Girlfriends, Clark an ex-member of the Ikettes, and Wright a member of a gospel group, the Cogics. Wright and Willis were also "part-time" members of Love's group, The Blossoms.
They had been singing together for a short while when they were spotted by Eddie Holland in 1969 who had recently left Motown Records along with Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier to form their own music organization Holland-Dozier-Holland. Holland named the act "Honey Cone" for a favorite flavor of ice cream. At first, group members rejected the name, but Holland prevailed and the ladies soon embraced its distinctiveness. Although the group was based in Los Angeles, their recordings were recorded in Detroit. Martha & the Vandellas and The Marvelettes — two of the female vocal groups who represented Motown Records' sound in the 1960s — were among Honey Cone's main influences, as the group favored a blend of sweetness and grit in their own sound.
Honey Cone and Hot Wax's debut single, "While You're Out Looking for Sugar," peaked at #26 on Billboard's R&B chart, but the follow-up, "Girls, It Ain't Easy," reached #8 on the same listing. Their third release "Want Ads" proved to be their biggest success, topping both the R&B and pop chart, selling over one million copies, awarded with a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May 1971.
The same year, Honey Cone had another #1 R&B hit and #11 pop hit with "Stick-Up," which also sold in excess of one million units. Further chart success continued in 1972 with "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" (#15) and "The Day I Found Myself" (#23). However, none of the three of Honey Cone's releases in 1973 sold well. The Hot Wax and Invictus labels then ran into financial problems, reportedly caused by difficulties receiving payments from distributors.
Honey Cone split before 1973 ended and Hot Wax folded soon afterwards under increasing debt. Wright went solo, releasing Oops! Here I Go Again (1976) on RCA, and Willis appeared as a featured vocalist on the Seals and Crofts hit "Get Closer," also in 1976. In more recent years, Wright has performed across the US with Latari Martin and Melodye Perry, billed as 'Edna Wright and The Honey Cone.' She is married to musician Greg Perry, who co-wrote and produced many of Honey Cone's recordings at Hot Wax, including their two gold records. In 1985, Shelly Clark married Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White.
Honey Cone reunited in February 2014 on the third sailing of the Soul Train Cruise. Original members Edna Wright and Shelly Clark White combined with Melodye Perry where they presented two concerts that included their store of hit songs and they covered Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" as a tribute to Shelly's marital connection to that band.