Toonarific Interview – Ron Dante

Originally posted: 7-20-2000

Singer and writer for the various “Archie Show” cartoon melodies.

After we saw that Ron had signed our guestbook, we jumped at the chance to interview the man behind the Archie songs. For those of you who don’t know about Ron, he sang many of the songs on the Archie shows, including the famous “Sugar, Sugar”. You can visit his site at and find out when he is touring by you.

During Ron Dante, the early years, what were you like growing up? What was your family situation like? What were your ambitions and goals as a youngster?
As a kid I studied guitar after I saw Elvis on TV. I started to sing and formed my own band at 12. My father always sang around the house. He had a great voice but suffered from stage fright. He and his 2 brothers would use an old tape recorder in the cellar and sing tons of pop tunes of the day.
What was your favorite cartoon(s) while growing up?
My favorite cartoons was Winky Dink and Cecil and Beanie.
If you could be any cartoon character out there, who would you be?
If I were to be a cartoon character I would be The Road Runner cause he’s very fast.
When did you get started making music and when was your first musical debut?
I started writing songs at about 13 and had my musical debut at the CYO center in Staten Island when I was 14.
How did the singing job for the Archies shows come about?
I auditioned for the Archies at the RCA studios in New York City in 1968 sometime. Jeff Barry and Don Kirshner were looking for the voice of Archie to sing all the songs they were writing for the CBS tv show due that fall. Kirshner instantly wanted me to be the voice but Jeff took some convincing. After I sang a few songs for him he agreed with Donnie that I was the voice.
Did you do ever single Archies show, including US of Archie, etc.?
I sang for 3 Archie seasons but didn’t sing for the US of Archie shows.
Who was your favorite: Betty or Veronica?
Throughout all the different shows, there has been tons of songs, each that were written for the particular series. Who wrote the music for the shows?
Jeff Barry wrote many of the Archie songs some with Andy Kim..Sugar,Sugar..Jingle,Jangle.. The other writers were myself, Gene Allan, Mark Barkan and Ritchie Adams.
I noticed that you tour now with other bands and still sing those great songs. When did you start touring around? Is it worldwide, or just the US?
I have started performing again just in the past few years.
Do you have a family of your own? Do they travel with you while you do your shows?
I am single and travel alone.
Throughout your musical career, who did you enjoy working with the most and why?
My favorite artists I have worked with are.
1. Barry Manilow. Great professional in the studio.
2. Cher. Wonderful person, great star and easy to work with.
3. John Denver.. Beautiful human being. Strong singer/songwriter.
If there was anyone out there that you wish you could work with, who would it be?
People I would like to work with.
1. The Boss
2. The Stones
3. Barbra Steisand
4. Whitney Houston
5. Celine Dionne
Do you perform new material, or stick to the classics?
I stick to the classics when I sing live.
Out of everything you have done in life, what was your greatest achievement?
The year I produced the Grammy award winning CopaCabana for Manilow and won the Tony for producing Ain’t Misbehavin on Broadway. Second to that was the time Sugar,Sugar went number one.
A great talent of the ages. We are thrilled at being able to interview such a legend. We hope all his future wishes come true and that his music lives on forever (which it will!)