You might not remember a 1960s singing trio named the Honeys (or the Rovell Sisters, or even Ginger and the Snaps, depending on when you heard them). After all, the girls didn’t have any Top Ten hits during their relatively short career even though they did make some good records. But they had a few other things going for them, including a strong connection to the Beach Boys.
It was around 1961 that Southern California teenagers Marilyn, Diane, and Barbara Rovell began showing up in area amateur shows, billing themselves as the Rovell Sisters. Eventually Barbara quit and cousin Sandra Glantz took her place, using the stage name Ginger Blake. But even more important, it was about then that the girls met the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, who not only agreed to produce records for them but also took quite a shine to Marilyn.
He was already a rising star, and at age 20 was five years older than her, but it didn’t take long for the twosome to form a romantic connection. Meanwhile the newly renamed Honeys (a slang term for female surfers) began making records like “Shoot The Curl” and “Pray For Surf” along with several others, all of which were a little underwhelming in terms of sales. But by 1964 things were looking up, as the girls recorded what many consider their best, “He’s a Doll,” and later the same year Marilyn and Brian tied the knot.
Although the Honeys didn’t really sell a lot of records as a group after that (or in later comebacks) the girls did stay busy in the following years singing backup for others. They were heard on some of Jan and Dean’s biggest hits, and – no surprise – often shared both the stage and the studio with the Beach Boys. Marilyn also found time later in the decade to give birth to two daughters, Carnie and Wendy (who would eventually find performing success themselves as Wilson Phillips). And when Brian struggled with his well-publicized ups and downs Marilyn stood by him, trying to protect him from himself while she mostly raised their daughters. In fact, it was for the girls’ sake that the the couple finally amicably divorced in 1979, and it might have helped preserve the family’s long-term relationships.