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 seven the final part of the series.
One of the things that makes FORGOTTEN HITS so much fun for me to do is sharing the life experiences of some of the folks on the list ... personal moments where music made a difference.
Thanks to list member STEVE CALANDRA, we're able to present a personal review of a RON DANTE / ANDY KIM Concert that STEVE attended in Las Vegas a couple of years ago ... along with a picture of STEVE with these '60's legends.
(On My Mind Editor: the photo is not included on this website as we do not have permission from Mr. Calandra. If you want to see the photo please e-mail Forgotten Hits at The60sShop@aol.com .)
What follows is what can ONLY be described as a gushing review of the show. (FRANNIE and I had ALSO hoped to attend this performance but with all the wedding hook-up stuff going on, we ended up missing the show. We're hoping to catch RON DANTE at one of his 2006 appearances ... that California show with THE BEACH BOYS and AMERICA sounds ESPECIALLY appealing!!!) Since we couldn't be there, we are grateful for STEVE's detailed review!
Back in September of 2003, I flew to Las Vegas with some friends for a wedding. (Ed and Diana Parker) On the first day there, I decided to go to the Hilton to see the Star Trek Memorabilia Display. While riding in a cab stopped at a traffic light, I stared a long time at a Billboard that said "Ron Dante and Andy Kim appearing at The Riviera." It took a while for dawn to break. But as it did, the cab started pulling away and I didn't remember where or when this event would take place.
For the last five years or so I had been collecting the old Archies LPs and CDs. I even have some of the records that were on the back of serial boxes when the Archies were popular in the late sixties. I've found that I enjoyed all of their music that wasn't made popular on the radio. I have a lot of favorites (Catching Up on Fun, Melody Hill, Rock 'n' Roll Music, Don't Touch My Guitar, Waldo P. Emerson Jones) to name a few.
These songs made me feel like a kid again and! (at 48 years old), I started to have silly daydreams about meeting Ron Dante and telling him how much I enjoyed his arrangements on these songs. I never thought that this would ever come true. But it did, and here it was staring me in the face for several minutes sitting at one of those long traffic lights in Vegas.
After returning to my hotel, I frantically tried looking through entertainment flyers and asking people on the street if they knew about it. I got the info from the front desk of my hotel that did some researching for me. I found out that the show was going to be starting in an hour at the Riviera. So I got my money together and rushed down there just in time.
There was an extra bonus to this show, when I found out that there was going to be a meet and greet session afterwards.
When the show started, I had written down every song in the order it was performed. I came across it about a year ago and tossed it thinking it was no longer needed. (Rats!) I remember hearing the most popular Archies tunes and Tracy by the Cuff-Links. There were also a lot of tunes co- written by Ron, Andy and the famous writers Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and Robin McNamara. Andy did some of his solo stuff that included a song called "Shoot Em Up" that he told the story about how he came to write it and the criticism that he endured when the critics misunderstood the title for sounding like he was a pro weapon lobbyist. It was just a song inspired by some good memories growing up with his parents. He also ended by singing Rock Me Gently and included the audience in singing the chorus.
After the show I saved the best for last by talking with people in line. I met a couple that brought their old record player for him to sign. I was the last in line to see Ron and Andy and realized that my dream came true. I told Ron about my favorite songs and that I wished they had gotten air play. He said that no one had ever said that to him before and he was very appreciative of my saying so. I asked him if he still lived in Staten Island, New York. He replied that he moved out west and goes back to visit sometimes. I have some relatives there and we talked about some of the towns and roads on the Island.
There was a photo session including two signed CDs and photos of Ron and Andy, AND! a picture of me with both of them! I never thought this dream would come true and I almost missed it. This must be a wish granted from GOD for some of the times I've helped people in need on the highway when their car broke down or other good deeds. Thanx GOD! I've sent you a copy of the photo in this e-mail message for the rest of your list to enjoy.
an exclusive picture of ANDY KIM, STEVE CALANDRA and RON DANTE
Thanks, STEVE, for sharing your experience with our list!TODAY'S MUSIC:Here's another track from RON DANTE's SATURDAY NIGHT BLAST CD. Since we've also got an interview with PETER NOONE coming up soon in FORGOTTEN HITS, we've selected the track that they cut together ... a medley of ROCKIN' ROBIN and LITTLE BITTY PRETTY ONE.
In fact, just for fun we'll send along THE DETERGENTS' track MRS. JONES, 'OW 'BOUT IT, too!!! Enjoy!
(On My Mind editor: If you have read and enjoyed this series on this site please send an e-mail to Forgotten Hits at The60sShop@aol.com or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org If they have another series of interest to you they may let me publish it here if they have enough e-mail from this site. Also, you can subscribe to their e-mail and get some wonderful .wav files of great music. Either way let them know that Rick at On My Mind sent you.)
I hope you have enjoyed our little mini-series on RON DANTE ... much more FORGOTTEN HITS to come (in about a month!) Stay tuned!!!