Ron Dante along with Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods
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Pop music fans know Ron Dante as the voice of The Archies who performed the legendary hit song “Sugar, Sugar”. His hit single top the charts for over 7 weeks and was the “Record of the Year” in Billboard Magazine for 1969 selling over 10 million copies.
Dante was the singing voice on hundreds of popular radio and tv commercials.
It’s Dante’s voice you hear on spots for Coke, Dr. Pepper, McDonalds, American Airlines and even today Dante is the voice of Yoplaits new campaign singing “Itsy Bitsy Yellow Poka Dot Bikini”.
Dante is also known for his work as a producer for such artists as Barry Manilow, Pat Benetar, Cher, Ray Charles, John Denver and other major recording artists.
BO DONALDSON AND THE HEYWOODS had been performing for nearly a decade when they hit Teen-Idol pay dirt. Touring in the mid 60’s as an opening act for supergroups like The Rascals, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Box-Tops, Grassroots and Herman’s Hermits gave the group enough exposure to garner them a strong following on the live circuit. An opening stint for The Osmond Brothers and appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and “Action ’73” TV shows poised Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods into the right realm for the stardom they would soon achieve.
The first single, “Special Someone,” hit the charts in 1972 then the next single “Deeper and Deeper’ came in 1973. “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” was all that was necessary to shoot Bo and The Heywoods up to the #1 spot for two weeks, sell more than three million copies and earn The Heywoods a gold record. Four more Top 40 singles followed on the heels of “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero.” The Top 15 follow up hit, “Who Do You Think You Are,” was an utterly irresistible pop song from the pens of Jigsaws Clive Scoff and Des Dyer. The acts next Top 40 hit, “The Heartbreak Kid,” was written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, who had written hits for The Grassroots. The next single “House on Telegraph Hill” dealt with the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The band’s last chart showing was the ballad, “Our Last Song Together’wriften by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.
Although “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” went to #1 over twenty-five years ago, it has maintained a presence in the entertainment industry even today. Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods and “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” have been mentioned in Stephen King’s book “The Stand” and also in such Television shows as “Get A Life,” “ALF,” and “Friends”. The song was also used in such feature films as Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and in the unique film “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. VH-l’s 8 Track Flashback with Suzanne Summers featured The Heywoods and “Billy.”
“Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” can currently be found on Rhino Records “Super Hits of the 70’s” and on the 7 CD box set “Have a Nice Decade.”
Dennis Tufano and the 1910 Fruitgum Company
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The “Original Voice” of The Buckinghams’ Hits – Kind of A Drag, Don’t You Care, Mercy-Mercy-Mercy, Hey Baby-They’re Playing Our Song, Susan & more.
Dennis Tufano, a native of Chicago, was the “Original Voice of The Buckinghams”, 2009 inductees into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. With Dennis’ vocals leading the way, the Chicago- based group scored with a string of five Top Ten hits in the late-
sixties including , the No#1 “Kind Of A Drag”, “Don’t You Care”,
“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song”, “Susan” and “Back In Love Again”. Following his success in the Buckinghams he was part of the song writing duo “Tufano and Giammarese” and recorded three albums with Lou Adler’s custom label, Ode Records (1971 to 1976). In 1978, he wrote the music and performed with Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s lyricist, on Taupin’s album, ” He Who Rides The Tiger “. He has also performed as guest vocalist and co-written with renowned composer and musician Tom Scott. With Scott as composer, Dennis performed the “original title/theme song” for the long running “Family Ties” television show. (first 13 episodes)
In 1982, Dennis toured with Olivia Newton-John and was featured,
with Olivia, on her HBO Special in two dramatically inspired duets.
In 1995 Dennis was invited, once again, to co-write, co-produce and perform with Bernie Taupin, Robin Le Mesurier and Jim Cregan on the Discovery Records CD “Farm Dogs, Last Stand In Open Country”.
The 1910 Fruitgum Company® virtually exploded onto the National charts in 1968 with the first single release, “SIMON SAYS”. The song quickly moved up the charts to become a # 2 record on the national charts and reached the top of the charts in the United Kingdom. The 1910 Fruitgum Company followed up this initial success with another smash hit, “1-2-3 RED LIGHT”. The group’s next hit record, “INDIAN GIVER” became The 1910 Fruitgum Company’s third Gold record. Other releases to follow included, “MAY I TAKE A GIANT STEP”, “SPECIAL DELIVERY”, “THE TRAIN”, “WHEN WE GET MARRIED” and “REFLECTIONS IN THE LOOKING GLASS”.
Several other songs created a virtual treasure chest of albums!Today, The 1910 Fruitgum Company travels and performs throughout the United States. Our venues include large capacity concerts and we have appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and numerous tv and radio shows as well as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The group has shared the stage and toured with such music and entertainment giants as, The Beach Boys, Lou Christie, Sly and the Family Stone, The Buckinghams, John Ford Coley, Maxine Nightingale, Tommy Roe, Mark Lindsey (original lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders), The Vogues, The Archies’ Ron Dante, Gary US Bonds, Jim Yester of the Association, Melanie, Commander Cody and numerous other top acts.Today, the group is back, with original founding member Frank Jeckell along with Mick Mansueto, and going strong.