The Honeycombs were founded by rhythm guitarist Martin Murray in 1963, although they were most noted for their female drummer Ann "Honey" Lantree. Honey's brother John played bass, Alan Ward lead guitar and Denis D'Ell took lead vocals. Originally called the Sheratons, they changed the name to The Honeycombs which was a complicated play on words. Partly inspired by Honey and also because Martin had been a hairdresser and it referred to the beehive hairstyle of the times.
At a regular gig in North London, they met new aspiring songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, who were hoping to sell some of their songs. Martin had arranged an audition with successful record producer Joe Meek and after some persuasion he agreed t listen to Howard and Blaikley's songs, amongst which was Have I The Right.
This ended up becoming a huge international hit for the band and gave Meek his last UK umber 1. In addition it gave Howard and Blaikley a springboard to launch their illustrious careers.
Sadly the follow up single failed to live up to expectations only reaching the top 40 and with further disappointments the band began to break up.
Martin Murray threatened to quit if the rest of the band did not take their commitments seriously but instead he was replaced by his understudy Peter Pye.
The Honeycombs released their second album in 1965 and toured worldwide but by the end of the year they broke up.
There was a new line up calling themselves The New Honeycombs with Honey Lantree and her brother John the only surviving members but this finally gave up shortly after the death of Joe Meek.
There have been a number of reincarnations of the band over the years most notably the entire MKII line up recorded a cover of Live And Let Die for a compilation album.
Most recently Martin Murray formed a new line up of the band in 2011.
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