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The Hondells

The Hondells were the recipient of the best song that Brian Wilson donated to another artist, "Little Honda." One of the best hot-rod tunes, it made the Top Ten in 1964 (the Beach Boys would record their own version that year, but would not issue it as an A-side). Like numerous Southern California groups in the mid-'60s, the Hondells, despite numerous picture sleeves, were not a bonafide group. Their recordings were put together by floating lineups of Los Angeles session men, overseen by producer Gary Usher. "Little Honda" itself featured ace guitarists Glen Campbell and Richie Podolor, as well as drummer Hal Blaine. Hondells groups were put together for live performance in the wake of "Little Honda," but session musicians such as Podolor were always present on the recordings.

The Hondells never had another hit on the level of "Little Honda," but recorded a surprising quantity of material, putting out two albums and thirteen singles before the string ended in 1970. Most of their early songs were written by the songwriting team of Gary Usher and Roger Christian, both of whom had helped write early Beach Boys tunes with Brian Wilson. Wilson himself would have a songwriting credit on just one more Hondas recording ("My Buddy Seat," which he co-wrote with Usher) after "Little Honda."

For all their manufactured personnel, the Hondells weren't bad. Indeed, they probably made the best hot rod music aside from the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, and were cuts above the generic stuff Usher ground out on several hot rod exploitation discs, although nothing else was as cool as "Little Honda." Usher eventually turned over the production reins to Mike Curb, and the Hondells made the middle of the Top 100 with a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Younger Girl," although a competing version by the Critters outsold it by a large margin. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 25 Great Original Oldies Vol.1

1. Donna

2. Stagger Lee

4. Wake Up Little Susie

5. Runaround Sue

6. Little Darlin'

7. Everybody's Somebody's Fool

8. One Fine Day

9. Poetry In Motion

10. If I Had A Hammer

11. There's A Moon Out Tonight

12. Mangos

13. Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)

14. Harbor Lights

15. Venus In Blue Jeans

16. Crazy Love

17. Chapel Of Love

18. How Much Is That Doggie In The Window

19. I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door

20. Little Honda

21. My Own True Love

22. Turn Me Loose

23. Running Bear

24. Under The Moon Of Love

25. Oh! Carol

x

Track List: Calypsoul 70: Caribbean Soul

1. The Little You Say

2. It's A Feeling

3. A Ver Que Sale

4. Calypsoul

5. Yo Tink It Sorf

6. Negril

7. Magic Fever

8. Disco Groove

9. Independent Bahamas

10. Move Up Blackman

11. 90% Of Me Is You

12. Raycan

13. Guanavaco

14. You Don't Love Me

15. Woman

16. We See Jah

17. Freedom In Africa

18. Blackness Of Darkness

19. Red Light Lady

20. Of My Hands

x

Track List: Hard-To-Find 45s On Cd (Volume II) 1961-64

1. Wooden Heart

2. I Really Love You

3. Foot Stomping, Part I

4. Lover Please

5. Dear One

6. I Wish That We Were Married

7. Theme From Dr. Kildare (3 Stars Will Shine Tonight)

8. Little Red Rented Rowboat

9. Patches

10. Bobby's Girl

11. I Saw Linda Yesterday

12. I Will Follow Him (Chariot)

13. Young Lovers

14. Sugar Shack

15. You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry

16. Dominique

17. Popsicles And Icicles

18. Navy Blue

19. Diane

20. Little Honda

21. The Wedding

Comments

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Can you add the song Linda to the jab and dean station
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Sounds like a total rip off of the beach boys
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1 st gear ....it's all right
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grandmacatla d y
like
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bradscorey is correct. If memory serves me the Beach Boys sing back-up on this version. I think they also did another Brian Wilson tune - Spring Little Cobra (but I could be wrong about that).
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The most important historical fact of this song is that the term Honda was synonymous with a groovy little motorbike for years. Honda automobiles did not surface until years later, taking a big part of the market in the mid-70s after the Arab Oil Embargo. Throughout the 60's, Honda meant motor scooter or small motor bike, Honda brand cars weren't even known or available across the country until the 70's.
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Wow...Chuck Girard of the Hondells went on to a very sucessful Christian Music career; starting with the band "Love Song"; whose two studio albums are considered classics of that early time in Christian Rock genre. He then went solo and I believe performs to this day.
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thats why they sound like the beach boys
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The Hondells were an American surf rock band that formed in 1964, and was the product of record producer Gary Usher.Their biggest hit, "Little Honda", was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys. The Beach Boys album called All Summer Long which contained their version of the song had already been released, and Usher gave Chuck Girard , the lead singer on the Hondells version, a copy of the album and instructed him to learn the song.
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kite3350
suckish
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It sounds like they used the same backing track
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An interesting if inferior version of the Beach Boys.

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