Five Interesting Tid-Bits About The Archies And Their Hit “Sugar, Sugar”

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UPDATED 1/26/2021

it’s time for a particularly catchy blast from the past. Everyone about the Archies’ presentation stands unique both for its time and to this day. All this, combined with some clever writing, helped make “Sugar, Sugar” a chart-topping musical staple.

But there’s actually a bit more to this song than meets the eye. While listeners can recite the lyrics, bob their head, and dance around, they may not know just how this song came into existence. As stated, everything about it is still pretty unique to this day.

Artistic and musical style combine

The Archies as a band transcends mediums, with roots in comic books, cartoons, and music
The Archies as a band transcends mediums, with roots in comic books, cartoons, and music / Everett Collection

The Archies was a group that performed on the Saturday morning cartoon titled Archie. The group itself was never seen, just the cartoon characters. In the lore of the show, vocalist/guitarist Archie Andrews founded the band. He’s then joined by bassist Reggie Mantle, drummer Forsythe Jones, vocalist/keyboardist Veronica Lodge, and vocalist/percussionist Betty Cooper.

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Before becoming musical legends, before even their cartoon debut, the Archies first appeared in comic books, in a series titled Life with Archie. As if the colors of the cartoon weren’t enough; their limited comic time ended up full of nonsensical panels that simply provided spectacle and whimsy.

Archies, assemble!

The Archies got the green light thanks to the success of The Monkees, which made them think this premise might just work again
The Archies got the green light thanks to the success of The Monkees, which made them think this premise might just work again / Everett Collection

The Archies group was put together by Don Kirshner, a prolific promoter and producer. Kirshner was the initial supervisor for the Monkees, and wanted to do the same thing with cartoon characters because they are much easier to work with than people.

A popular urban myth says “Sugar, Sugar” was offered to The Monkees, but they turned it down. However, this proved to not be the case. It’s simply a factoid Kirshner loved telling that added to the mythos nicely.

Composing a bubblegum pop hit

Before Kidz Bop, other bands already formed the genre that would be accessible to all listening demographics
Before Kidz Bop, other bands already formed the genre that would be accessible to all listening demographics / Facebook

The song was written by Andy Kim and Jeff Barry, and was performed by session musicians including Kim, Toni Wine, Ron Dante, and Ellie Greenwich. Kim had a hit in 1974 with “Rock Me Gently,” Dante produced “Mandy” for Barry Manilow and “Heartbreaker” for Pat Benatar.

Greenwich has written many famous songs, including “Be My Baby” and “Chapel Of Love.” Toni Wine wrote the hit songs “A Groovy Kind Of Love” and “Candida.”

As part of the bubblegum pop genre, the Archies’ biggest hit represented one of the most successful songs aimed at (or at least accessible to) younger listeners.

Everything fell into place with ease

Toni Wine, Valerie Simpson and Lesley Miller
Toni Wine, Valerie Simpson and Lesley Miller / Wikipedia

In our interview with Toni Wine, she explained: “It just was a very easy session. Donnie Kirshner wanted to bring the Archies to life, which he did. And Jeff Barry was going to produce this fictitious animated group called The Archies. We went into the studio. Jeff and Andy Kim, who had hits on his own as a writer and singer, Jeff and Andy wrote ‘Sugar, Sugar,’ Ronnie was Archie, and I was Betty and Veronica. We went in, we did the record. It was a fun session, it was a blast, and at the session, we just knew that this was something, and something huge was going to happen. We didn’t really know how huge, but it was huge.”

Wine further went on, “In fact, a friend of mine had been in town, Ray Stevens, who’s an incredible songwriter, singer, producer, musician, and we were going to just grab a bite to eat, so I told him to meet me at the studio, pick me up, and then we’ll go eat. And he wound up handclapping on ‘Sugar, Sugar.’”

How did it measure up?

Its fame would span decades
Its fame would span decades / Amazon

This was the #1 song of 1969 in the US. It beat out songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, and Stevie Wonder. It was also a huge hit in the UK, where it stayed at #1 for 8 weeks.

Sing along with “Sugar, Sugar”

Sugar, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you
Honey, sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you

I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you
(I just can’t believe it’s true)
I just can’t believe the wonder of this feeling, too
(I just can’t believe it’s true)

Sugar, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you
Honey, sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you

When I kissed you girl I knew how sweet a kiss could be
(I know how sweet a kiss can be)
Like the summer sunshine pour you sweetness over me
(Pour your sweetness over me)

(Oh, sugar)
Pour your sugar on me, honey
Pour your sugar on me, baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah, yeah, yeah

Pour your sugar on me, oh, yeah
Pour your sugar on me, honey
Pour your sugar on me, baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah, yeah, yeah
Pour your sugar on me, honey

Sugar, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you
Honey, sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl

Certainly one of the best One-Hit Wonders of All-Time… see which other classic tunes made our 1960’s Collection! 🙂

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The post Five Interesting Tid-Bits About The Archies And Their Hit “Sugar, Sugar” appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Kaye Bassett Millar

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