The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

Main MenuConcept Refinement The Author..Wayne JancikGolden Age Of The 50sGolden Age Of The 60s1970s and There After




(Lee Pockriss, Paul Vance)

Decca 32533

No. 9   October 25, 1969




“I had two different singles in the Top 10 at the same time under two different group names and nobody

seemed to notice,” Ron Dante, lead singer for the Archies and multi-tracked voice of the Cuff Links, told

DISCoveries’ Gary Theroux.   “I couldn’t believe it, ’cause my voice sounded the same.   The same week that

‘Tracy’ entered the Top 10, ‘Sugar Sugar’ was the number-one record in the country.   I even had a third

record out as the Pearly Gate [“Free;’ 1969].   It was yet another of my ghost groups.”


Ron Dante was born Carmine Granito, on Staten Island, New York, on August 22,1945. When he was 11

years old, he fell out of a tree, and learned how to play the guitar as he recuperated.   A year later, he was

fronting the Persuaders, a junior-high band made up of fellow classmates. By 1963, Carmine was working as

a “runner” for an accounting firm, and he would drop by 1619 Broadway (the famed Brill Building) to knock

on doors in hopes of selling off some of his songs.


Don Kirshner hired Carmine as a staff songwriter for Kirshner’s Aldon Music and renamed him “Ron

Dante.”   When Tony Orlando, Kirshner’s top demo­ maker, left to pursue a solo career, Ron was called in to

fill the void.   In that capacity, he cut background tracks for Neil Diamond, Jay & The Americans, Andy Kim,

and The McCoys.   He also did demos for songs that would eventually be recorded by the Animals, Ronnie

Dove, Gene Pitney, and the Vogues.


In 1965, one of Dante’s demos was issued as the DETERGENT’s–“Leader of the Laundromat,” a parody of

the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack.” was a smash.   Four years later, Ron sang lead on the Archies’ “Sugar

Sugar” (#1, 1969).   At that time, he was struggling to establish a solo career, but decided to do some singing,

songwriting, and producing for the cartoon group.   ” I did the singing for the Archies, yes, but I didn’t want

to become a star from that.   I just wanted to earn some money to pay some rent.   When those records first

hit the charts, I just hid.”


As for the Cuff Links, “Tracy” was a song that a friend handed to Dante.   Ron agreed to record it, so he

overdubbed his vocal tracks to sound like a group of singers.   He refused to tour behind it because he was

“in a ghost-group phase.”   But he did consent to doing just one album (Tracy, 1969).   “When the royalty

check came in, Paul Vance called me up and said, ‘Well, are you ready for the next album?’   I said, ‘What

next album?’  I told you I was going to do just one LP and that’s it. Now where’s my money?'”


Ron did get his money and Vance did get a second Cuff Links album, but not with Dante’s involvement.

Called in to substitute was Rupert Holmes, the arranger on the group’s first LP and later quite a successful

singer/songwriter in his own right.


Ron Dante has never stopped, or, as he claims to have, never even slowed down.   In addition to doing jin­gles

(for Coca-Cola, Coppertone, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Lifesavers), he has worked as a

record producer (Irene Cara, Cher, LADY FLASH, Barry Manilow), as a producer of plays (Duet for One,

Whose Life Is It, Anyway?), and as co-producer of the Fats Waller revue Ain’t Misbehavin’.   Dante has had

solo recordings issued by Almont, Music Voice, Musi­cor, Columbia, Dot, Mercury, Kirshner, Scepter, Bell,

RCA Victor, Handshake … whew!   As a continuation of his ghosting activities, Ron has recorded as Bo

Cooper, Dantes Inferno, Ronnie & The Dirtriders, C. G. Rose, and the Webspinners.   Ron Dante was also, for

a brief time, the publisher of the Paris Review–reportedly, he acquired the literary journal from George

Plimpton by beating him in a billiards match.