The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Paul Vance, Lee Pockriss)

Roulette 4590

No. 19    January 9, 1965




Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss had been writing pop songs together for years.  In the late ’50s, they penned

“Catch A Falling Star” (Perry Como), “What Is Love?” (The Playmates),  and “ltsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie

Yellow Polkadot Bikini” (Brian Hyland).   Columbia Records let them make a stack of silly singles as Lee &

Paul.   Only “The Chick,” their nutty number of 1959 about a beatnik chicken and his electric guitar, ever

earned a notch on the Hot 100.


Ron Dante (b. Carmine  Granito, Aug. 22, 1945, Staten Island, N.Y) was working for Don Kirshner’s Aldan

Music, recording demos for staff songwriters like Burt Bacharach, Carole King,  Neil Sedaka, and Vance &

Pockriss.   In 1964, the latter duo worked up a parody of the Shangri-Las’ chart-topping “Leader Of The

Pack.”   Dante and a couple of  Brooklyn boys–Danny Jordan (Vance’s nephew) and Tommy Wynn–were

recruited to cut a quickie demo on this “Pack” parody.   A few  minor changes were  made, sound effects

were  added, and  Morris Levy at Roulette Records issued the demo as by “The Detergents.”


The response was immediate and favorable.   Dante toured with the group for a few months, but eventually

was replaced by Phil  Patrick and Danny Jordan’s cousin, Tony Favia.  A half-dozen follow-ups were

issued, of which only a James Bond-inspired novelty number, “Double-0-Seven” (#89, 1965), was  mildly

successful.  Before they disbanded, the Detergents appeared with Nick Adams and Rose Marie in Morey

Amsterdam’s flaky flick, Don’t Worry, I’ll  Think of a Title (1966).


Danny, who had recorded clean teen tunes for the Climax, Leader, and Smash  labels, returned to his

staff  songwriter position at Columbia’s Screen Gems, and later produced HOT BUTTER’s 1972 hit,

“Popcorn.”   Dante, plus session singer Toni Wine, became the voices for the Archies (of  “Sugar Sugar”

fame); Dante was also, in multi­-tracked form, all the voices in THE CUFF LINKS lone charted, “Tracy.”   In

the ’70s, Ron worked  as a session singer for Melissa Manchester and Valerie Simpson; recorded as the

Webspinners, Dante’s Inferno and under the Ron Dante name; did numerous commercial jingles; and

formed a lengthy personal and professional relationship with Barry Manilow.