Money Honey (Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters song)

Money Honey (Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters song)
"Money Honey"
Single by Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters
B-side The Way I Feel[1]
Released September 1953
Recorded August 9, 1953, Atlantic Studios
Genre rhythm and blues
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Jesse Stone
Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters singles chronology
"Money Honey"
"Such a Night"

"Money Honey", written by Jesse Stone,[2] was released in September 1953 by Clyde McPhatter backed for the first time by the newly formed Drifters. McPhatter's voice, but not his name, had become well known as the lead singer for Billy Ward and the Dominoes and the song was an immediate hit and remained on the rhythm and blues charts for 23 weeks, peaking at number one.[3] Rolling Stone ranked it #252 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2]



The song tells the story of a man who has run out of money, and hopes his woman will help him out:

I was clean as a screen and so hard pressed
I called the woman that I love best

In the chorus, he threatens to leave her if she doesn't help him out:

Money Honey
Money Honey
Money Honey, if you want to get along with me

She is literally not buying, she has another man, one who already has money.

The recording

The song was recorded on August 9, 1953, Atlantic Studios and featured Clyde McPhatter (lead), Bill Pinkney (top tenor), Andrew "Bubba" Thrasher (second tenor), Gerhart "Gay" Thrasher (baritone), and Willie Ferbie (bass). There was also a guitarist: Walter Adams.[4]

The recording features Mickey Baker on guitar [5] and Sam "the Man" Taylor on tenor sax.[6] The arrangement starts with a bagpipe-like drone from the Drifters setting up a shuffle rhythm. McPhatter's voice is clear and bright and in the midst of the sax solo he gives off a monumental scream.


The song was covered by Eddie Cochran in a live performance[7] and, most notably, in 1956 by Elvis Presley.[8] Clyde McPhatter rerecorded the song for the Mercury label catalog, and it appeared on the "Lover Please" album in 1962 and on his 1963 Mercury "Greatest Hits" release. Michael Jackson covered this song under the Motown label recorded during 1971 - 1975. It is one of 19 'Rare & Unreleased' tracks on the fourth CD of the Michael/Jackson 5 box-set, "Soulsation!" issued in June 1995 in the US and July 1995 in the UK - a demo version is known to exist. The song was also covered by Ry Cooder on his 1972 Album Into the Purple Valley.[9] Gary Glitter also recorded the track for his album Touch Me.


Preceded by
"Shake a Hand" by Faye Adams
Billboard R&B National Best Sellers number-one single
November 21, 1953
Succeeded by
"The Things That I Used to Do" by Guitar Slim and His Band

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Money Honey — The term Money Honey could refer to the following: Money Honey (Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters song), a 1953 number 1 hit by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters Money Honey (Bay City Rollers song), a top 10 hit by the Bay City Rollers from 1976… …   Wikipedia

  • Clyde McPhatter — Birth name Clyde Lensley McPhatter[1] Born November 15, 1932(1932 11 15) Durham, North Carolina, U.S. Died June 13, 1972( …   Wikipedia

  • The Drifters — Datos generales Origen Nueva York Ocupación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Money Honey — ist ein von Clyde McPhatter mit den Drifters gesungener Rhythm Blues Song, der im Jahre 1953 für elf Wochen die Rhythm Blues Hitparade anführte und zu einem Standard in diesem Musikgenre geworden ist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Entstehungsgeschichte 2… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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