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The Zone Interview

An Interview with Ron Dante of The Archies
by Wayne Adderley
 
The following interview was conducted by Wayne Adderley in October 2008 for The Zone Magazine, in conjunction with the release of The Archies Christmas Album.  It is reprinted here with permission.  Thanks, Wayne!

Wayne Adderley: I've just found out that The Archies have formed, but for anyone not aware of how it all started, how did you get involved with the comic/cartoon group?
 
Ron Dante: I was a studio singer in New York City and had worked for both Don Kirshner and Jeff Barry. They were the music producers behind the Archies.

One of my friends told me they were auditioning singers for the new Archies TV show.  I called Don up and he said come over for the audition.  I sang a bunch of different types of voices for them and finally got the job.
 
I ever recorded a lead vocal that day called "Truck Driver" which ended up on the first album.
 
WA:  Now The Archies were not a really band but I remember seeing a photo of you and one of the female Archies maybe taken in the early 70's at a concert so did you want The Archies to be a real band?
 
RD:  No.
 
The idea from the beginning was that the singers would not be named and the animated characters would be in the videos.

I was happy just to be involved with what I knew would be a huge hit since both Don and Jeff were hit makers.
 
WA:  Now The Archies have formed how did that come about and who are you working with in the band?
 
RD: Archie Comics and I met and I came up with the idea of reforming the group with Betty & Veronica doing many of the lead vocals. Kind of like High School Musical and Hannah Montana meet The Archies.

I engaged two wonderful teens, Danielle Van Zyl and Kelly-Lynn, to be the voices of Betty & Veronica. I too will continue to sing the voice of Archie.
 
WA: Will we be seeing any of the female singers from the late 60's and early 70's return to the line up or future recordings?
 
RD:  I may have some guest spots for the original singers on the next CD.
 
WA:  I see you and the band have recorded a Christmas CD.  What made you want to put together this album as The Archies?
 
RD: The Archies had five albums out over the years but never a Christmas Album.

I wanted to do one for all the families that loved The Archies so they could play it for their children.
 
WA:  Over the years you have been recording under your own name, you had another hit under The Cufflinks name and produced many people's records ... who have you worked with?
 
RD: I had the pleasure of producing the legendary Barry Manilow, Cher and Pat Benetar among many others.

I was co-producer of all the early Manilow hits and I'm curently working with him on his new Best of The Eighties CD.
 
WA:  Will you be touring with this line up of The Archies and will you bring it to England?

RD: Hopefully some promoter will bring my show to the UK.  I hear both "Sugar,Sugar" and "Tracy" were huge hits there.

WA: Will we see an Official Archies band website?
 
RD: There is a new web site featuring the Christmas album up at http://www.myspace.com/archiesusa.
 
WA: From what I understand The Cufflinks were also a session band with you on vocals but there's a semi gigging band in the UK touring as The Cufflinks though without you ... how does that make you feel?
 
RD: I'm not pleased that some bogus Cuff Links band is touring there but I don't want to sue working musicians and leave them out of a job.  They have kids to feed and bills to pay.

WA:  What are your plans for the future, Ron?

RD:  I will continue to perform, write and produce music.

 

 

MySpace pages:

Ron Dante

Kelly-Lynn

Danielle van Zyl

The Archies

Wayne Adderley


Laura's Ron Dante Fan Pages was my first website, but I've got a bunch of others!
Please visit:
Laura Pinto Online (this lists all of my sites and social networks)
Laura's Oldies Sites (links to my oldies-related websites)
Life Rocks On (website for my novel)
The D.A.'s Forever (website for my novel)

Visit Ron's official site, Ron Dante Online
 
 
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