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.