Dave and Sugar – Queen of the Silver Dollar
Formed in 1975 by charismatic L.A. session singer and ex-Charley Pride sideman Dave Rowland, Dave and Sugar (which also included co-lead singers Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackman, later Baker) was a slick sounding, soulful vocal trio that during their heyday was labeled “the country ABBA.” Although their career was much shorter-lived than that of Bjorn and crew, Dave and Sugar did share the Swedish group’s knack for catchy tunes, sparkling production, and full, rich, male/female vocal arrangements.
Rowland was an experienced and formally trained musician, having toured not only with Pride and vocal group the Four Guys but also as a member of the Stamps Quartet, which backed up Elvis Presley, among others. After signing on with Pride’s management team, Dave and Sugar shot straight to the number one spot on the country charts with their first single, “The Door Is Always Open,” a driving, lushly produced track that expertly combined Rowland’s resonant baritone with Frantz and Baker’s soaring harmonies. Two successive singles, “I’m Gonna Love You” (which also hit number one), and “Don’t Throw It All Away,” used the same basic formula as “The Door Is Always Open,” and also became huge hits in 1976-77. These singles were compiled with eight other songs, including the stirring “Queen of the Silver Dollar” to make up Dave and Sugar’s first, self-titled LP. Although the group had several other semi-successful singles, which were collected on their Greatest Hits album in the late ’70s, Dave and Sugar were never able to follow up their initial success and, despite a string of quality pop-country chart-toppers, are generally regarded as a one-hit-wonder.
~ Pemberton Roach
Hitmaker and founder of “Dave & Sugar”, Dave Rowland brings to the group experience in both music and theater. He was the first G.I. to receive a theatrical scholarship from the army, in which he played the trumpet and was a vocalist in the 75th Army band. He joined the famous gospel singing group, “J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet”, who did the backup singing for Elvis Presley, to which he and Elvis developed a close friendship. He also, in the early years, was part of “The Four Guys” and performed weekly at the Grand Ole Opry.
With the encouragement of Charley Pride and Jerry Bradley (president of RCA), Dave Rowland formed the group, “Dave & Sugar”. Their first single, “Queen of the Silver Dollar” became an instant country chart-topper, to be followed by a string of hits that includes: “The Door Is Always Open”, “Tear Time”, “I’m Knee Deep in Love With You”, “Don’t Throw It All Away”, “Golden Tears”, plus many others, showcasing the one-of-kind vocal harmony that has become the group’s trademark. This trademark won them numerous awards from the Country Music Industry and skyrocketed them into national prominence and made them a major force in country music.
FACT SHEET: AWARDS
“Most Promising International New Talent” – Wembley Festival, London
Top New Vocal Group – Record World
Top Vocal Group – Record World (Albums)
Top Vocal Group – Record World (Singles)
Singles Group of the Year – Billboard, Country Music Awards. (Two years in a row)
Vocal Group of the Year – Finalist, Music City News. (Two years in a row)
Vocal Group of the Year – Academy of Country Music Awards. (Two years in a row)
Vocal Group of the Year-finalist, Country Music Association Awards. (Four years in a row)
*Phil Donahue *Mike Douglas *Dinah Shore *The Today Show *John Davidson Show *Tommy Hunter Show *The Wembley Festival (BBC with Kenny Rogers) *Barbi Benton’s Christmas Special *”Special Delivery” (HBO with Dottie West) *Dave & Sugar Special (BBC/Christ Church, New Zealand *Nashville Now “Country Music Special” (with Dottie West & The Gatlin Bros.) *Pop Goes Country *Nashville On The Road *Dance Fever *Solid Gold *The Country Music Awards singing the top five songs of the year. *The Academy of Country Music Awards.