‘Gilligan’s Island’: 3 Characters Started a Rock Group Called ‘The Honeybees’

by Evan Reier
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When you think of TV characters starting bands and making music, Gilligan’s Island isn’t typically what comes to mind.

No, instead the obvious place to go would be The Partridge Family or maybe The Brady Bunch. But before those shows were even on air, Gilligan’s Island featured one of the first side-bands in television history.

This came through the trio of characters Mary Ann, Ginger Grant and “Lovey” Howell. Played by Dawn Wells, Tina Louise and Natalie Schafer, the women of the Castaways formed “The Honeybees”.

Unfortunately, the group only performed once in their brief career. You can watch it below:

The women sing a song we can only guess the name of, so we’ll say it’s “You Need Us.” However, while the performance itself was eye-catching, the premise for the episode might be better.

The episode was titled “Don’t Bug the Mosquitos,” with The Mosquitos being a successful pop-rock group that share some similarities with The Beatles. They come to the Castways’ island to flee from their rabid fans.

However, the performance from The Honeybees spooks The Mosquitos, who take it as competition. Sure enough, they leave the island and leave the Castaways stuck on the island.

Gilligan’s Island Star Dawn Wells on Receiving Fan Letters

One of the members of The Honeybees was Mary Ann, the downhome Kansas native. While Ginger Grant was initially the expected eye-candy of the show, fans evidently fell in love with the country girl played by Dawn Wells.

This was maybe best proved when Wells was talking to the Vancouver Sun in 2014. While Wells, unfortunately, passed from COVID-19 complications in 2020, it appears as if she had writers and loving fans until the end.

“We’re loved all over the world. (It’s) fifty years, this year (in 2014). (It’s been translated into) thirty languages. And I’m greeted with love everywhere, it’s really nice.”

“The press thought we were the stupidest show that ever went on the air,” Wells said. “Until the ratings came in.”

She was also asked if the rumors of 3,000-5,000 fan letters coming each week of the show’s airing were true. While fantastical, Wells dispelled the number. But that’s not to say Wells and the cast didn’t get plenty of fanmail anyways.

“Oh, probably not that much,” Dawn Wells said. “But I get fan letters all the time. I can’t go anywhere in the world (without hearing) ‘Mary Ann! Mary Ann!’

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