Don Kirshner and Ron Dante worked together as teenagers for Aldon Music, whose roster of writers included Neil Sedaka, Gerry Goffin and Carole King. After singing on their demo recordings, Dante started writing his own songs.
When Kirshner devised The Archies concept he approached Dante and asked him to sing on the sessions (along with vocalists Toni Wine and Andy Kim). Jeff Barry – the power behind The Monkees – was recruited as producer.
The non-existent group subsequently scored five Top Ten hits, including the song, Sugar Sugar, which replaced The Rolling Stones‘ Honky Tonk Woman at the top of the US charts and spent four weeks at #1 in August/September 1969.
Despite The Archies cartoon characters being unknown in Britain, Sugar Sugar topped the charts there also, in November 1969. The song became the biggest-selling single of 1969 and was The Archies’ only UK hit.
The follow-up single, Jingle Jangle also went gold and made it into the US Top Ten. The album Everything’s Archie made it to #69.
In 1970, a fourth single, Who’s Your Baby? reached the American Top 40 while Sunshine peaked at #57. Three Archies albums were released that year – Jingle Jangle, Sunshine and The Archies’ Greatest Hits.
When The Archies project ended, Dante moved to Decca Records and recorded Tracy under the name The Cuff Links. He moved into radio and television commercials before eventually producing hits Mandy, I Write The Songs, Could It Be Magic?, Looks Like We Made It, Can’t Smile Without You and Copacabana for Barry Manilow.
Prior to The Archies, Ron Dante had provided the voice for another fictitious group, The Detergents, who had enjoyed an American hit in 1964 with Leader of the Laundromat (a humorous take on The Shangri-Las‘ Leader Of The Pack).