If you can remember way back when there was a very popular comic book character named Archie Andrews and he had many friends and two lovely girls who always fought over him. Well even though these were all comic book characters they fictitiously formed a garage band which was the basis for an animated TV series that was known as “The Archie Show”. They played bubblegum rock and recorded the music which lots of teens enjoyed very much and which can still be heard today.
The band was formed by Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones and later joined by Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. The Archies lineup was Archie lead vocal and guitar, Reggie bass guitar and backing vocals, Jughead drums, Betty tambourine, Veronica organ and Hot Dog Jughead’s dog as a mascot. As you see it sounds like we’re talking about a flesh and blood group, not comic book characters. However, The Archie comic book series was so very popular that they could have almost really existed. Their music certainly was very real and enjoyed by many. One of their most popular songs became “Sugar, Sugar”.
In 1969 “Sugar, Sugar” did well for being a song supposedly played by a cartoon character group. It sold more than six million copies and got awarded a Gold disc. This was the first time that a non-existent group topped the charts. Other hits were “Who’s Your Baby?”, “Bang-Shang-A-Lang” and “Jingle Jangle” which sold more than a million copies and got The Archies a second Gold disc.
So who was doing all the singing? The male vocals were done by a group called The Cuff Links whose lead singer was Ron Dante and the female duet vocals were done by Toni Wine. She was replaced twice one by Donna Marie and the last time by Merle Miller. Two final songs by The Archies were “Love Is Living in You” in 1971 in which Dante was replaced by Richie Adams and “Strangers in the Morning” in 1972.
Even though The Archies as such were no longer on top of the charts there was an Archie album released in 2008 The Archies Christmas Party. For a cartoon character group, The Archies have quite a repertoire of songs among which one of my all-time favorites was “Seventeen Ain’t Young”. All together eight albums were recorded.