International Women’s Day: A Taste of Honey

Yes it’s that time of year – International Women’s Day on the 8th of March.

And why does it exist?

Well, because all the other days of the year are men’s days and we need a chance for all the men in the world to say “Well done, dear” for achieving…something.

Ho ho ho – only kidding! Of course that’s not the reason. No, this day is generally used to raise international awareness of campaigns regarding violence and oppression towards women. It started out back in the early 1900s following a women’s march through New York, demanding better working conditions, pay, and the vote.

Since then, it has been annually recognised. I have therefore decided that for the next 7 days, I will write about  women in history who have influenced me throughout my life (which is difficult – I’ve had to dig through the many male historical figures and the token few Joan of Arcs and Florence Nightingales that too readily spring to mind and remind myself of the women that influenced me) every day for the next 7 days…beginning with:


A Taste of Honey

This duo were a disco band in the 1970s. Why do they make it onto their own blog post? Back in the 70s, (and even the case today, as I have personally experienced) women were not taken seriously by the music industry or the general public as real musicians. Women sang songs written by other people, played by other people and generally did what other people told them. The other people were mainly men. Janice-Marie Johnson and Hazel Payne bucked the trend.

They played alongside drummer Donald Ray Johnson and keyboard-player Perry Kibble, yet they not only fronted the band but also played a collection of instruments and wrote the music. It was their song Boogie Oogie Oogie that sent them to the bigtime – staying at No 1 for three weeks in 1978, and selling more than two million copies. This song impressed me – as a bassist, it taught me that a bassist could be female, funky, lead a band, and sing at the same time. And all in heels. Even today, it still inspires me. Just see for yourself…