By permission of KENT KOTAL / THE60sSHOP / FORGOTTEN HITS I am posting this interview with Ron Dante this week. To subscribe to FORGOTTEN HITS, which is a great newsletter if you are like me and into music of the 60's, you can e-mail them at The60sShop@aol.com . Here is part six of the series.
RON DANTE is still performing and recording today. In fact, we've included a couple of tracks from his latest CD, SATURDAY NIGHT BLAST, with today's mailing. (You can order the CD directly from his website ... if you tell him that FORGOTTEN HITS sent you, you'll get an autographed copy!!!)
FORGOTTEN HITS: Tell us about the fans who come to see your shows today ... are these people who were there when these songs first came out or is it more of a "mixed" audience? These songs have held up VERY well today and seem to be just as popular. Our kids LOVE "the oldies" and I don't think there's a person on the planet over five years old who's not familiar with SUGAR, SUGAR ... it was GIGANTIC and STILL gets tons of airplay today. Are you touring now? I will be happy to plug your website and any upcoming events that you're involved with. Also, tell us about your CD, FAVORITES ... is this the last thing that you've recorded (other than some of the jingles that you mentioned)? Any plans for any other recordings in the near future? Is there a particular track off of FAVORITES that you would like us to feature to give our audience a look at RON DANTE today? And, where can we go to see RON DANTE perform on stage today? What type of events do you have coming up over the next several months?
RON DANTE: The fans who come today are a mix of old and new ones. Many women take their daughters to see the show and tons of couples show up who loved The Archies growing up. "Favorites" was put together with songs that I've always wanted to sing from the 60's and 70's. It came out in 1999. My latest CD is called "Saturday Night Blast" and it also features songs from those decades. I have guests singing with me on it: Andy Kim, Peter Noone and the original female voice of The Archies, Toni Wine. I also just did a TV show at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Andy Kim, Grand Funk, The Hollies and Badfinger. I'll also be playing a show in Jackson, TN for KOOL radio down there. You can always check the website for the latest concert and tour information.Ron Dante OnLine - The Official Website
FH: Ironically, I am ALSO interviewing PETER NOONE right now!
RD: Give Peter my best ... He's a great guy and star.
FH: How did you come to work with PETER NOONE on your new CD? Have you known him for a while? Ever worked with him before? Was he familiar with your MRS. JONES / DETERGENTS parody? (LOL)
RD: I met Peter while on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour in the 60's and we became friends. We kept in touch all through the years and started doing some live dates together around 2000 again. I don't know if he ever heard Mrs. Jones. When I did my Saturday Night Blast CD I asked him to sing with me on one of cuts. He showed up the next night to sing.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: You'll find PETER NOONE's vocals on the ROCKIN' ROBIN / LITTLE BITTY PRETTY ONE medley that appears on RON DANTE's new SATURDAY NIGHT BLAST CD ... it'll go out in tomorrow's FH / RON DANTE finale. I should point out that when I found out that PETER NOONE had worked with RON DANTE on his latest CD, I thought that it would be interesting to get a comment or two from PETER regarding that experience ... not unlike the comments I got from BOBBY VEE regarding HIS collaboration with RON DANTE back in the late '60's, which ran earlier in this special series. On FIVE separate occasions during the interview process I asked PETER about this experience ... and, on all five occasions, he completely ignored my question. Hey, Mama didn't raise no fool ... I can put two and two together ... and most often come up with four! As a well-seasoned, experienced journalist, I can ONLY draw the conclusion that when it comes to discussing the subject of RON DANTE, as far as PETER NOONE is concerned, this topic is "A Must To Avoid!")
FH: Two of my favorite songs on the new CD are EVEN AFTER and ANGELS AMONG US ... unusual choices, perhaps, because the rest of the album pretty much concentrates on oldies remakes. What can you tell us about these songs? These are OUTSTANDING recordings, BOTH deserving of hit record status in the Adult Contemporary field ... truly EXCELLENT recordings of some very strong material. What drew you to these songs in the first place? Can you give us any behind-the-scenes insight into these recordings?
RD: I wrote Even After with Bob Merrill. He wrote all the songs from Barbara Steisand's hit musical Funny Girl. He also wrote How Much Is That Doggie in The Window and others. Angels Among Us was recorded by Alabama about 10 years ago and I always wanted to record it. I don't know who wrote it, but it meant a lot to sing it. (For the record, ANGELS AMONG US was written by BECKY HOBBS and DON GOODMAN. It first appeared on ALABAMA's CHEAP SEATS album back in 1993 and also was thrown on the B-Side of one of their Christmas singles, SANTA CLAUS, I STILL BELIEVE IN YOU. Actually, it makes for a GREAT seasonal song and RON DANTE does an EXCEPTIONAL job with it. This song deserves to be a hit!)
FH: We simply can't do this interview without covering your OWN, extensive career recording these little "jingles" snippets. Can you tell our list some of the ad campaigns that you were personally involved with ... I think the folks on our mailing list just might be surprised to find out just how many times they've heard RON DANTE singing on the radio or TV without even realizing it!!!
RD: My list of commercials could fill a book. Here are some I remember: Dr Pepper, Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds, Campbells Soup, Budweiser Beer, Cadillac, GM, Tang, General Tires and Toyota.
FH: What are some of the current ads you've been working on?
RD: This year I'm on the Yoplait commercial singing Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and another one for White Castle Hamburgers.
FH: And, finally, is there anything that YOU would like to say to the many, many fans of your music out there? A personal message from the artist himself?
RD: My message to my fans is a huge thank you for supporting me and my dream over the years. I will be happy to autograph copies of my Saturday Night Blast when they are ordered ... no problem at all! All the best, Ron Dante
And there you have it ... I really enjoyed talking with RON DANTE for this special FORGOTTEN HITS interview ... and hope that you have enjoyed it as well. Check out these tracks from his latest CD release ... I really think you'll like them!
above photo courtesy of BROTHER MARK!!!
Even After and Angels Among Us by Ron Dante ... from his SATURDAY NIGHT BLAST CD ... available through his website at the link shown ab