Girls From Petticoat Junction / The Hooterville Honeys

The Girls from Petticoat Junction: Sixties Sounds

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Petticoat Junction was a comedy television series that ran for some 200 episodes between 1963 and 1970 on CBS, part of an interlocking trio of comedy TV shows, along with The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, conceived by Paul Henning and drawing humor out of the cultural clash of country folks and city folks. Part of Petticoat Junction’s appeal, at least to a part of the viewing population, was the trio of pretty ladies who played sisters on the show, Linda Kaye Henning, Lori Saunders, and Meredith MacRae. As the show progressed, the sisters became a singing group called the Hooterville Honeys, and recognizing a chance at a hit media crossover to radio in the heady '60s, Henning steered the trio into Liberty Recording Studios with producer Joe Saraceno. Saraceno brought in the famed Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, and together they crafted ten tracks of period West Coast sunshine pop with the three actresses singing, enough for five singles (with B sides), all of which were released by Imperial Records. None really hit the radio and that was pretty much it for the Hooterville Honeys as recording artists, although the trio continued to work as a vocal act in clubs and on the county fair circuit. This set collects both sides of all five of those Imperial singles, along with a 1967 single ("Who Needs Memories of Him"/"Goodbye Love") from MacRae, and the Petticoat Junction theme sung by its co-composer and original vocalist, Curt Massey. The Hooterville Honeys? They could sing well enough to let the Wrecking Crew carry them, but none of the three was really a distinctive voice, so these tracks have a sort of generic feel to them, even as they sport a vintage mid-'60s pop sound on versions of the Beatles' “Rain” (that unfortunately loses most of the narcotic modal drone feel of the original), the Youngbloods' “Get Together,” and Neil Sedaka's “Wheeling, West Virginia.” So this is the collected recorded work of the Hooterville Honeys, and it is what it is, three pretty actresses from a TV show singing in front of a great band.

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