Mary Ann's singing on Gilligan's Island has a strong tie to Led Zeppelin

That wasn't actually Dawn Wells singing in the Honeybees.

Read to Me

"Don't Bug the Mosquitoes," the hip-swinging second season episode of Gilligan's Island, is a sheer delight for lovers of Sixties pop music. On its surface, the 1965 sitcom tale is a loving spoof of the British Invasion and the girl-group phenomenon that were sweeping the charts. The rock band that lands on the Castaway's island, the Mosquitoes, is an obvious riff on the Beatles. The group's members — Bongo, Bango, Bingo and Irving — are a comical twist on Ringo and the Fab Four.

In response to this mop-topped quartet, the women on the island form their own band, the Honeybees, styled after the Supremes, the Shangri-Las, the Ronettes, etc.

Dig a little deeper and you will find even cooler rock 'n' roll trivia. 

For instance, the fellows playing the Mosquitoes were not only a real band, the Wellingtons, but the same dudes who sang the theme song to Gilligan's Island, as heard in season one. The harmonizing Wellingtons were regulars on the hep musical television showcase Shindig!, which was at the height of its popularity in 1965. It was a nifty way for the sitcom to feature the musicians who sang its memorable theme.

And that brings us to the Honeybees — Mary Ann, Ginger and Mrs. Howell — who shimmy and sing their number "You Need Us" in an unforgettable act. You can see a clip in the video above.

Only, that was not Dawn Wells singing the Mary Ann parts. The vocals for the stranded girl-next-door from Kansas were provided by Jackie DeShannon.

DeShannon (real name Sharon Lee Myers) went from a childhood in Illinois to early rock 'n' roll stardom at the start of the Sixties. Her early singles like "Lonely Girl" struggled to crack the charts, but she finally got her big break in 1964 when she opened for the Beatles on tour. That'll do it.

Months before "Don't Bug the Mosquitoes," DeShannon scored a massive hit with "What the World Needs Now Is Love."

The Beatles connection also brought DeShannon to the U.K. Across the pond, she recorded some records, including "Don’t Turn Your Back on Me." The young session guitarist on the track happened to be Jimmy Page. DeShannon and Page forged a fleeting musical and romantic partnership.

Page would, of course, later go on to form Led Zeppelin. DeShannon would continue to have some minor influence on the arena gods. The Zep cut "Tangerine," found on the folky Led Zeppelin III, is said to be inspired by the break-up of DeShannon and Page — who split around the time of "Don't Bug the Mosquitoes."

See? Gilligan's Island rocks!

Watch Gilligan's Island on MeTV!

Three full hours!

Sundays 2 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

19 Comments

Post a comment
EricFuller 3 months ago
Another bit of trivia was Jackie was married to Jimmy O" Neal, who hosted Shindig.
JDnHuntsvilleAL 3 months ago
[It was a nifty way for the sitcom to feature the musicians who sang its memorable theme.]

UH, it was a nifty way for Schwartz to "apologize" to the group for not re-hiring them to sing the revised version of the theme song. I thought EVERYONE knew that, but I guess the MeTV Millennials just aren't in the know.
RLedford 3 months ago
RIP Dawn you were beautiful and entertaining 🙏
nordicblon 3 months ago
You can find this clip at Youtube. Channel owner is Mike Holiday. Video is called... Gilligans Island, the Honey Bees You Need Us
TheDavBow3 3 months ago
I believe Jackie DeShannon sang "When You Walk In The Room". I remember that being more of a Searchers hit.
trogg888 3 months ago
plant went on to form the honeydrippers after zeppplin how strange
Wilbur88 trogg888 3 months ago
Plant has room to grow.
Margaret 3 months ago
The Gilligan's Island clip of the Honeybees singing "You Need Us " has been removed from your webpage and is now unavailable for us to see, so where will we see it now?
mjd777 Margaret 3 months ago
Here ya go: https://youtu.be/nDcpexDjvAM
justjeff 3 months ago
Let's not forget that the musical track for "You Need Us" was actually from a production music library and used as an instrumental in a Perry Mason episode!
daDoctah 3 months ago
But Tina Louise and Natalie Schafer actually *did* sing their parts in "You Need Us"?
Tina Louise had a singing career before Gilligan's Island. She recorded a number of albums. By her own admission Dawn Wells couldn't sing a note.
Cheyloo daDoctah 3 months ago
Like when she thought she was Ginger and tried to sing, "I Wanna Be Loved By You"?!
Randall 3 months ago
I also remember "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" as another big top forty hit for Jackie De Shannon...l guess she was in Page's little black book before Pamela De Barres, etc !
justjeff Randall 3 months ago
According to Wikipedia (on Jackie DeShannon:

She began to record under various names such as Sherry Lee, Jackie Dee, and Jackie Shannon, with mixed success. Billboard noted (June 10, 1957) that Sherry Lee Myers, "16-year-old C&W singer of Batavia, Illinois," had recently signed to George Goldner's Gone label in New York as a rockabilly artist, and that her "handlers" (Irving Schacht and Paul Kallett) had changed her name to Jackie Dee. Her only release on Gone included "I'll Be True" and "How Wrong I Was", which appeared in both 78 rpm and 45 rpm versions. Jackie almost certainly sang these songs at the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia on July 3, 1957, and at the Paramount Theater in New York, two weeks later, with Alan Freed's Big Rock 'n' Roll Show.

However, her interpretations of country songs "Buddy" (as Jackie Dee) and "Trouble" (as Jackie Shannon) gained the attention of rock and roll star Eddie Cochran, who arranged for her to travel to California to meet his girlfriend, singer-songwriter Sharon Sheeley, who formed a writing partnership with DeShannon in 1960. Their partnership produced Brenda Lee's hits "Dum Dum" and "Heart in Hand".

In 1960, DeShannon signed with Liberty Records, adopting the name Jackie DeShannon, believed to be the name of an Irish ancestor, after executives at Liberty thought the name Sharon Myers would not help sell records. In a Fresh Air interview (June 14, 2010), DeShannon said that she chose "Jackie" as a cross-gender name. Since she had a low singing voice, she could be heard as either male or female. When she found that "Jackie Dee" was too similar to Brenda Lee, Sandra Dee, et al., she changed it to Jackie Dee Shannon, which people heard as DeShannon. The name stuck.
15inchBlackandWhite 3 months ago
My Lord she is just beautiful in that picture.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?