Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In the late '60s and early '70s, there was a performer named (I think) Don Dante who sang lead for quite a number of different studio bands.

I believe him to be the actual vocalist on records that are credited to the Archies, Cuff Links, White Plains, Brotherhood of Man, Badfinger, Lighthouse, Gallery, First Class, and Raspberries. Who knows how many others?

It's no wonder we like songs made by these bands, they are all by the same guy!

Will you please list all the groups that feature Dante, and correct my list above, if necessary.

Has anyone ever issued an album containing all of the tracks by Don Dante?
—Bill Ross, Rosemont, Ill.

DEAR BILL: First, let us get his name right. It is Ron Dante.

Ron is definitely the vocalist on “Sugar Sugar,” and many other songs by the Archies. He is also the voice of the Cuff Links, though he's overdubbed to make it sound like there is more than one voice.

The Archies and Cuff Links are the most successful, though Ron Dante is also heard on recordings by the following: Bo Cooper, Dante's Inferno, Noah's Ark, Pearly Gate, C.G. Rose, Ronnie and the Dirt Riders, Two Dollar Question, Webspinners, and the Detergents, who had the Top 20 hit (1964), “Leader of the Laundromat.”

As for White Plains, Brotherhood of Man, Edison Lighthouse, First Class, those feature another man who, like Ron Dante, performed under many different names, and he is Tony Burrows.

Burrows is the vocalist on hits by groups with names like Edison Lighthouse (“Love Grows”), Pipkins (“Gimmie Dat Ding”) First Class (“Beach Baby”), White Plains (“My Baby Loves Lovin'”), Brotherhood of Man (“United We Stand”), and Flowerpot Men (“In a Moment of Madness”).

The lead singers of Gallery (Jim Gold), the Raspberries (Eric Carmen), and Badfinger (shared by members) are not connected to either Dante or Burrows.

While I know of no Ron Dante anthology, there is a superb collection of Tony Burrows music available — an 18-track CD titled “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes): The Voice of Tony Burrows” (Varese Sarabande VSD-5725).

DEAR JERRY: I was quite a fan of Patience & Prudence as a little girl, and I was thrilled to find them the topic of one of your columns.

However, I'm confused. You listed several Patience & Prudence 45s, but I swear that the record I inherited from my mom had “Tonight You Belong to Me” backed with “A Smile and a Ribbon.”

It had a purple and silver Liberty label. Am I crazy?
—Catharine Honeyman, Honolulu

ALOHA CATHARINE: Let me see if I have this right. You admit to being confused, yet merely wonder if you are crazy?

Perhaps both issues will now be resolved, as I can confirm that “A Ribbon and a Smile” is indeed the flip side of “Tonight You Belong to Me.”

The only reason I didn't mention the B-side is because the focus that week was on the 1956 hit side.

One microscopic correction worth mentioning is that the Liberty label on that record is green — not purple — with silver print.

Amazingly, yours is not the only inquiry today about Patience & Prudence, and “A Smile and a Ribbon.” DEAR JERRY: In the movie, “Ghost World,” there is a song credited to Patience & Prudence, titled “A Ribbon and a Smile.”

When did this song first appear? Is this the same Patience and Prudence that once recorded for Liberty?
—Michael Dennler, Chicago, Ill.

DEAR MICHAEL: It now seems all of your questions are answered in my reply to Catharine.

For 10 years or more, we received absolutely no inquiries about Patience & Prudence. Then two arrive on the same day. Are you sure you and Catharine don't know each other?

IZ ZAT SO? Though no official records are kept of such minutiae, London-born Tony Burrows has probably been the uncredited lead singer on more hit recordings than anyone in the past 100 years.

We know of at least 15, and there may be others yet to be discovered.

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