Friday, August 22, 2008

Ronnie Dante and the Detergents

Last week or so while channel surfing I happened upon the local public tv station's fund drive. They were pushing those 60s compilation cds. Michele Phillips of the Mamas and Papas gushing over the greatness of the 60s music, flashes of clips from original artists, and some recent performances of these "oldies but goodies" singing to an audience filled with more "oldies but goodies."

I always enjoy watching these things in bits and pieces. The music is always fun and a little bit of nostalgia is good for the soul.

This time what piqued my interest was Michele Phillips introducing Ron Dante, noting that he was the original lead voice of the Archies. My mind tumbled. I knew who the Archies were, I even own a couple of the 45s. Hmmm, I thought, Ron Dante, could he be Ronnie Dante?

Cut to the recent performance and upon close inspection, yeah, this guy looks like an older version of guy I met 40+ years ago, who gave me these:

Way back when, my Aunt Irene and Uncle Ted lived in Staten Island. On one of many family visits, my dad took my young Aunt Karen (she's just 7 years older than I am) and myself across the street to meet a new teen idol--Ronnie Dante. Karen, who was probably 15 or 16 at the time, appreciated this opportunity more than I did.

Ronnie was cute and cheerfully gave us his autograph and these 45s. I have no idea were the autograph is, maybe Karen knows. But as you can see by my boldly placed Magic-Markered initials, I took possession of the records.

After that PBS show I dug through the basement boxes and found them. Never realized before that they're "not for sale" copies.

We had our picture taken, Ronnie, Karen and I. It's small, square, and black and white, typical of the time, and I can't find it anywhere. Somewhere in one of the many, many, many boxes of old photos all my family members (including me) are storing, that photo is hiding. Maybe I'll find it one day.

Hadn't thought about Ronnie Dante at all since that "fan" meeting. How interesting it's been Googling him and discovering he had/has a very successful career after "Poor Boys" and "Here She Comes." He has a myspace page with songs, You Tube clips, etc., etc.

Though I'd rather just listen to my old 45s.

"Here she comes, m-m-m-my that's my baby, here she's comes...."

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