- Song Highlights
- Associated Acts
The Archies are a fictional garage band founded by Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones, a group of adolescent characters of the Archie universe, in the context of the animated TV series, The Archie Show. The group is also known for their real world success, through a virtual band.
The fictional band’s music was recorded by session musicians featuring Ron Dante on vocals and released as a series of singles and albums. Their most successful song, “Sugar, Sugar“, became one of the biggest hits of the bubblegum pop genre that flourished from 1968 to 1972
The Archies play a variety of contemporary popular music, consistent with the era in which the comic is drawn. They seem to have a preference for rock and roll, however.
Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge later also joined the group. Every member sings vocals, with Jughead handling the bass voice on a few tracks. Though their singing voices were soft and appropriate for pop vocals, their speaking voices are much different. The roles the teens played in the fictional band were:
Archie: lead vocals / lead guitar
Reggie: bass guitar / backing vocals
Hot Dog: mascot / conductor
The Archies are sometimes jokingly compared to The Doors, as they also had no bass player. However, there is some controversy as to whether Reggie played bass or not. In most drawings, his guitar looks identical to Archie’s, making him the band’s second (or co-lead) guitarist. However, a number of drawings (including the one above) clearly show Reggie’s instrument to have four tuning keys, the most common bass design. Six-string bass guitars do exist, however, and the Archies’ recordings regularly featured a bass player. In more than one comic strip, Reggie is described as playing bass (however, this is not necessarily canon, as storylines and hobbies/activities in the Archie world change from story to story). Finally, in the liner notes for 2008’s The Archies Christmas Album, Reggie is listed as the bass guitarist.
One distribution mode for the Archies’ music was cereal boxes: a cardboard record was embossed directly into the back of a box such that the record could be cut out and played on a turntable (although their music was also available on standard issue LPs and 45s). Though the group no longer appears in animation, they are still frequently used in stories published by Archie Comics.
A set of studio musicians were assembled by Don Kirshner in 1968 to perform various songs. The most famous is “Sugar, Sugar”, written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim, which went to #1 on the pop chart in 1969, sold over six million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In Billboard’s Hot 100, it was ranked as the number one song of that year, the only time a fictional band has ever claimed Billboard’s annual Hot 100 top spot. Other Top 40 songs recorded by The Archies include “Who’s Your Baby?” (U.S. #40), “Bang-Shang-A-Lang” (U.S. #22), and “Jingle Jangle” (U.S. #10). “Jingle Jangle” also sold over one million copies, garnering a second gold disc award.
Male vocals for the fictional Archies group were provided by The Cuff Links’ lead singer Ron Dante and female duet vocals were provided by Toni Wine. Wine, who was only paid for the recording session and quit the group when the song became a huge hit, was succeeded in 1970 by Donna Marie, who in turn was replaced on the final recordings by Merle Miller. The only Archies song not to feature Ron Dante on lead was 1971’s “Love Is Living In You”, sung by Richie Adams. The last single, released 1972, was “Strangers in the Morning”; its B-side song was “Plum Crazy”.
Jeff Barry, Andy Kim, Ellie Greenwich, Susan Morse, Joey Levine, Maeretha Stewart, Bobby Bloom and Lesley Miller contributed background vocals at various times, with Barry contributing his trademark bass voice (portrayed as being sung by Jughead in the cartoon) on cuts such as “Jingle Jangle”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music”, “A Summer Prayer For Peace” (which hit number one in South Africa and Scandinavia in 1971), and “You Little Angel, You”. Musicians on Archies records included guitarist Hugh McCracken, bassists Chuck Rainey and Joey Macho, keyboard player Ron Frangipane, and drummers Buddy Saltzman and Gary Chester.
The Archies’ records were initially released on the Calendar Records label, but the name was shortly thereafter changed to Kirshner Records.
The sound engineer was Fred Weinberg, who was Jeff Barry’s and Andy Kim’s favorite, and who also recorded Barry’s and Kim’s other hits “Be My Baby”, “Baby I Love You”, and “Rock Me Gently”. Fred Weinberg is an award-winning composer and producer in his own right. However, the music for The U.S. of Archie TV show which aired in 1974, was produced by Jackie Mills, a Hollywood producer, who also produced Bobby Sherman and the Brady Kids. The vocalist for these shows was Tom McKenzie, who also sang on some Groovie Goolie segments, and was a regular member of the popular singing group, the Doodletown Pipers.
Although the verses of Jingle Jangle are supposedly sung by either Betty or Veronica (the only two female members of the fictional group), in reality, it was not performed by any female vocalist, rather it was Dante using a falsetto voice
- AM Pop
- 1968 – 1972
- Archie: lead vocals / lead guitar
- Reggie: bass guitar / backing vocals
- Jughead: drums
- Betty: tambourine
- Veronica: organ
- Hot Dog: mascot / conductor
- Andy Kim
- Ellie Greenwich
- Jeannie Thomas
- Jeff Barry
- Ron Dante
- Toni Wine
- Sugar Sugar 1969 Everything’s Archie
- Archies Theme 1968 The Archies
- Jingle Jangle 1970 Jingle Jangle
- Bang-Shang-A-Lang 1968 The Archies
- Everything’s Archie
- Melody Hill 1969 Everything’s Archie
- A Summer Prayer for Peace
- You Little Angel You 1969 Everything’s Archie
- Senorita Rita 1970 Jingle Jangle
- Feelin’ So Good 1969 Everything’s Archie
- Truck Driver 1968 The Archies
- Boys and Girls 1968 The Archies
- Get on the Line 1970 Jingle Jangle
- Seventeen Ain’t Young 1968 The Archies
- Kissin’ 1969 Everything’s Archie
- Hide and Seek 1968 The Archies
- Who’s Your Baby
- You Know I Love You 1970 Jingle Jangle
- Justine 1970 Jingle Jangle
- Little Green Jacket 1971 This Is Love
- Circle of Blue 1969 Everything’s Archie
- Catchin’ Up on Fun 1968 The Archies
- I’m in Love 1968 The Archies
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Music 1969 Everything’s Archie
- This Love
- Rock ‘n’ Roll
- La Dee Doo Down Down 1968 The Archies
- Who’s Gonna Love Me?
- Inside Out, Upside Down 1969 Everything’s Archie
- Everything’s Alright 1970 Jingle Jangle
- Should Somebody Ask
Sugar, Sugar (Original 1969 Music Video)
“Who’s Your Baby?”
Jingle Jangle (1969 Full Album) (HD Vinyl)
Over And Over
YouTube Mix – The Archies – Over And Over
- RCA Records
- Ron Dante
- Andy Kim