Giving Themselves a Bad Name, Ethel and the Shameless Hussies Are Swinging the Blues Over 'richard'
The fictional gimmick of the Hussies' act is that all three were married—simultaneously—to one "Richard," a traveling computer salesman, and, learning the truth, joined forces to track their man down. Richard isn't the only man on their minds, though: The Hussies specialize in randy-sounding songs such as "Parkin' Lot Lover" and "I Don't Make My Honey (Where I Make My Money)," their dress is floozy-chic, and their appeal is an old-fashioned blend of naughty and nice. "Maybe it's just because we dare to say 'hussy' out loud that gets everybody excited and calling out, 'Yeah, yeah!' " says "Ethel," who in real life is Kacey Jones, 30, from Santa Cruz, Calif.
The Hussies were born in 1986, when Kacey first asked her cohorts to perform with her in a club in Huntsville, Ala. The club owner asked the three of them back the next weekend and, needing a name, they borrowed a line from Ray Stevens' hit "The Streak," in which a woman eyes a naked runner and her husband cries, "Ethel, you shameless hussy!"
"We're not X-rated or even R-rated, but our songs are slightly sensuous," says Kacey, who writes much of the group's material and two years ago co-authored a Mickey Gilley hit, "I'm the One Mama Warned You About." Of the three singers, only Jones has been married—she still is, to the group's manager, Eddie Rhines—and bigamy has never entered the picture. Ethel's sidekick "Blanche" is Valerie Hunt, 27, from Salt Lake City, and "Bunny" is Becki Fogle, 29, formerly of Albuquerque. None of the three is to the manner born, yet if tack is what's wanted, they are happy to be first with the most. Says Bunny/Becky: "I can't wait till our first album goes gold so I can have it bronzed."