Bands were all the rage for sitcoms back in the 1960s and 70s. “Gilligan’s Island” and Mary Ann even had their own fictional band called the Honeybees. The musical episode has to be one of the wildest things during the show’s original run. (And there was an episode that featured Gilligan’s doppelganger).
But did Mary Ann actor Dawn Wells really provide the vocals for the Honeybees’ performance?
Unfortunately, the actor didn’t see the song herself. Instead, the show brought in aspiring artist Jackie DeShannon for the rendition of “You Need Us.” Rock fans will know DeShannon had a brief romance with the guitarist of Led Zeppelin. The two ended up breaking up around the same time the singer provided vocals for Mary Ann on the episode. Their breakup even inspired that band’s hit “Tangerine.”
But DeShannon, real name Sharon Lee Myers, was a musician in her own right. According to MeTV, other than singing for Mary Ann, DeShannon also opened for The Beatles. (Kind of ironic given “Gilligan’s Island” was lampooning the band). Two of her hit songs include “Lonely Girl” and “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
Mary Ann Sings on ‘Gilligan’s Island’
The episode “Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes” featured Mary Ann forming a band with Ginger and Mrs. Howell. The Honeybees united in response to a pop band coming to the island. The Mosquitos and its members Bongo, Bango, Bingo, and Irving were a rift on The Beatles.
The band arrived on the island to escape the pressures of fame. Treating the island as their own tropical paradise rather than a place to be marooned, they soon annoy the castaways with their presence. Mary Ann and the Honeybees end up driving the musicians from the island after they become afraid of a little competition. But the castaways realize with the band gone, their only means of escape is once more out of their grasp.
Ironically, the folk-rock group The Wellingtons portrayed The Mosquitos on the show. The Wellingtons is the group behind the show’s catchy theme song at the beginning and end of each episode. Maybe, Mary Ann was getting revenge for them leaving her out of the theme song, the first time around.