The Honey Cone – Want Ads

The song peaked at #1 in 1971 in the Billboard 100 and #11 in Canada. They were an R&B soul trio. These early seventies soul records have some great grooves on them.  Martha & the Vandellas and the Marvelettes two of the female vocal groups that epitomized Motown Records’ sound in the ’60s were among Honey Cone’s main influences

From Songfacts.

Honey Cone was the first act signed to the Hot Wax label, which Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland) formed after leaving Motown in 1969. The group was the trio of Shelly Clark, Carolyn Willis, and Edna Wright. Wright was an accomplished singer, having done background work on various TV shows as well as tours with Bill Medley and Billy Preston, and singing backup for Motown, which is where she met Eddie Holland. Hot Wax wanted to sign Wright’s sister, Darlene Love (Phil Spector is the one who suggested she change her name from Darlene Wright to Darlene Love), but she was busy with her group the Blossoms and passed on the offer. When Darlene got an offer to do an Andy Williams TV special, she turned it down but suggested Edna, who called her friend Carolyn Willis, who called her friend Shelly Clark, and they sang together for the first time at the gig.

They continued to perform together, and when Hot Wax signed them, they took a page from Motown’s book and crafted an image for them. The attractive trio was christened Honey Cone and sent to charm school and to dance classes where they choreographed some routines. The girls returned to Detroit and released the singles “Girls It Ain’t Easy” and “While You’re Out Looking For Sugar” (both written by H-D-H, “Girls hit #68 and “Sugar went to #62, both in 1969) before hitting it big with “Want Ads,” a song about a girl who is fed up with her lying, cheating man and is ready to advertise for a new one (and even willing to train). The song topped both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts.

This was written by the Hot Wax songwriting team of General Johnson (the Showmen, The Chairmen of the Board) and Greg Perry (Chairmen of the Board), who produced versions by Glass House, Scherrie Payne (who later joined the Supremes), and Frieda Payne (Scherrie’s sister, who hit #1 with “Band of Gold”) before deciding to try the song with Honey Cone. An engineer at the studio named Barney Perkins also got a songwriting credit.

It was Perkins who suggested a song about want ads, which were the way goods and services were solicited before the internet. A week later, Perry was sitting at the piano when the chorus line came to him: “Gonna put it in the want ads, I need some love for sale.” Johnson suggested they tweak the lyric so the girl didn’t sound like a prostitute, and they came up with the idea of looking for a new man to replace the defective one.

Johnson and Perry teamed up to write a follow-up hit for Honey Cone (this time with Angelo Bond as co-writer) called “Stick-Up,” which made #11 on the Hot 100 and gave the group their second #1 R&B hit. Subsequent hits for the group were “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Part I)” (#15) and “The Day I Found Myself” (#23).

Sixteen years later in 1987, Taylor Dayne, who was nearly unknown at the time, recorded a cover version of this song for her debut album Tell It To My Heart. Dayne’s cover wasn’t released as a single, but the album was a big hit, selling over 2 million copies.

Want Ads

Wanted, young man single and free
Experience in love preferred, but will accept a young trainee
Oh I’m gonna put it in the want ads, I need a love that’s true
Gonna put it in the want ads, my man and I are through

At home I find myself, lost and all alone
My man is playing the field, the thrill is gone
He stays out all night, says he’s with the boys
But lipstick on his collar, perfume on it too
Tells me he’s been lying, tell ya what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna put it in the want ads, this girl’s in misery
Gonna put it in the want ads, somebody rescue me

I spend my nights alone, cryin’ bitter tears
Although I cry aloud, nobody really hears
And when I need him most, he’s never by my side
He’s either playing cards or drinking at the bar
He thinks that I’m a fool, I’m going to the evening news
Gonna put it in the want ads, I need somebody new
Gonna put it in the want ads, my man and I are through

Extra extra, read all about it, wanted, young man single and free
Experience in love preferred but will accept a young trainee

Extra extra, read all about it, wanted, young man single and free
Experience in love preferred but will accept a young trainee

Oh I’m gonna put it in the want ads, I need somebody new
Gonna put it in the want ads, my man and I are through
Gonna put it in the want ads, this girl’s in misery
Gonna put it in the want ads, please somebody rescue me

Lipstick on his collar, perfume on it too
Tells me he’s been lying, I’m going to the evening new
Gonna put it in the want ads, I need somebody new
Gonna put it in the want ads, my man and I are through
Gonna put it in the want ads, this girl’s in misery
Gonna put it in the want ads, please som

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

2 thoughts on “The Honey Cone – Want Ads”

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