25 April 2014

Say Goodbye to Riverdale: Part Two

POP ART0001

Say Goodbye to Riverdale
The Secret History of Archie Records
Cartoons + Castanets presents Part Two 
of a bawdy cartoon burlesque starring
The Archies
Josie + The Pussy Cats
Sabrina the Sorceress
Toni Topaz     Jason Blossom     Kevin Keller
and other fan art  images based on 
Archie Comics Characters
with super-bitchin' cameo appearances by Burt Bacharach,
Jeff Barry, Pat Benatar, Mario Canedo, Andru Charlz, 
Anderson Cooper, Ron Dante, Jackie DeShannon, 
Neil Diamond, Louise Goffin, Art Greene, Mick Jagger, 
Carole King, Sherry Kondor, Eileen + Jerry Maneker, Barry Mann, 
Wynton Marsalis, Ricky Martin, Bill Medley, Tom Mourgos, 
Phil X Milstein, Mike Pellerito, Laura Pinto, 
Chuck Tackett, Jon Trouten, Cynthia Weil
and Nero the Dog
Burlesque written, directed and staged by 
DC Hampton Jacobs

2006
Ron Dante, who took over producing The Archies after Jeff Barry moved on, contacts Archie with a Christmas album concept. Everyone agrees that it’s a great idea, but due to previous commitments, it will take a year for the project to come together. In the meantime, The Archies decide to cut an album of Ron Dante tunes. “You’ve never gotten credit for being a great songwriter,” Archie tells him. “Maybe we can help change that.” They can, and they do: The title song from their Psychedelia-tinged album Get It On Today! is released as a single, and it becomes one of The Archies’ biggest yet!  However, the album fails to meet sales expectations because of turmoil in the group; there are no personal appearances and little in the way of promotion.

Here’s why: Still grieving over her father’s death, Veronica returned to London with Archie, where he and Laura Pinto (now an independent producer) were completing work on the film score for Black Belt Smackdown! Ralfi Chingas, Ron Dante, sound engineer Alan Mayberry and the rest of the band joined them there, booking Abbey Road for the Get It On sessions. Archie felt that making new music would do Roni good, but the opposite proved true. She was miserable, and since misery loves company, she made working with her a living Hell for the others: Arriving late, leaving early, flubbing take after take, and picking b*tch fights with Betty Jones!

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HERALD FOR THE 
GET IT ON TODAY! ALBUM AND 
THE BLACK BELT SMACKDOWN! 
SOUNDTRACK

Making matters worse, Roni resumed an on-again, off-again affair with Jughead (“Come on over here, honey child. Mama’s got some candy for you”)! Upon learning of her husband’s infidelity, an enraged Betty then seduced Archie (“I was your first time, Archiekins, and I’ve been keeping it warm for you. Get what you’ve been missing”)! The uproar that ensued nearly destroyed the band, two marriages and two lives! 

Wracked by guilt, Archie and Betty got sh*t-faced on Grenadian Rum and went joyriding together. Archie lost control of his car; it spun off a bridge and crashed into a lake!  Dazed, Arch managed to pull Betts out of the submerged wreck and swim for shore. He escaped with minor injuries, but she was seriously hurt; paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene!  Cradling her limp body in his arms, Archie tearfully begged God for a miracle and got one: Betty started breathing again. "We've got to stop meeting like this," she wisecracked between coughs, and that's when Arch knew she'd be OK!  Later in the hospital, Betts claimed to have had a near-death experience. "I saw the future," she insisted. "None of us are going to die early. We're all going to live for a long time!"

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BETTY DREAMS OF 
CLAY AND KEVIN KELLER 
AS AN ELDERLY GAY COUPLE

Learning of the accident, Veronica became hysterical. Consumed by remorse and fear for Archie and Betty, she suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized, too.  Fortunately, most tracking for the new LP had been completed by then; Alan Mayberry flew the sound mixes back to Archie Sound Studios.  Reggie and Ron Dante joined him in Mamaroneck, and their combined vocal and instrumental prowess filled in the gaps.  Alan M ended up supervising the album’s release.

Betty’s accident and Roni’s illness rallied the fractured group, including a contrite Jughead.  "Sometimes, I get stupid and think with the little head instead of the big one," he told his wife.  "Which one's the little head?", she wanted to know, winking an eye.  While caring for each other, the band members realized that their shared love was stronger than any adversity; well before the women had fully recovered, both couples reconciled. Friendships were re-affirmed!  When Roni and Betts were well enough to travel, the entire group returned to the USA, and everybody took some much-needed time off.

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THE ARCHIES RECEIVE
 A PLATINUM RECORD FOR THEIR 
HIT SINGLE "LET'S GET IT ON TODAY!"

2007
Black Belt Smackdown! is released to scathing reviews: Variety calls it “a mash-up sexploitation/kung-fu-fighting flick with an absurd plot, wooden acting and non-existent production values!”  The Archie Records movie soundtrack album gets a better critical reception, but it sells poorly regardless.  Rumors circulate that Benazir Bhooty’s sex scenes with Archie were genuine, a claim that Arch hotly denies. "Do you think I'd make a porn film?" he fumes.  "I've been naked with plenty of beautiful women.  I can control myself.  Sure, I can!"  Standing within earshot, Jughead struggles to keep from cracking up . . .  contacted for her response to the rumors, Benazir prefers not to comment.

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EUROPEAN PROMO FOR 
THE MOVIE BLACK BELT SMACKDOWN!

In February, The Archies meet Ron Dante in Hollywood and lay down tracks for their Christmas album. Contrasting these dates with the disastrous London sessions from which he fled with Alan Mayberry, Dante remembers them as “some of the most fun I’ve ever had in the studio. And the bond between band members was stronger than ever!” Jughead will recall “Ron asking me to whinny like a horse on 'Sleigh Ride'. I was stoned drunk on Betty’s egg nog when I did it, and I wore reindeer horns on my head. I know I must've looked like a meshuggenah, but it was hella fun!” Veronica has fun, too.  Her behavior surprises everyone: The usually petulant Ms. Lodge-Andrews is cooperative, considerate and professional.  She almost seems like a different person.  Only once does her mood darken.  Listening to the playback, she whispers sadly: "Daddy would've loved this record."

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HERALD FOR THE RELEASE OF
ARCHIE'S CHRISTMAS ALBUM

In the summer, the group flies to New Orleans with Kevin Keller to play more benefit concerts.  While there, they record some new material at Spanish Eddie’s (located in the Latin Quarter, Eddie Roxchild’s bar/studio was barely damaged by Hurricane Katrina). Three singles emerge from these sessions, all of which appear on Greatest Hits of All-Time; it's a collection of 14 Archies recordings dating back to their 2002 renaissance. The first single is a Ska arrangement of “Soul Deep”, the old Box Tops hit; Archie introduced it during the Hot, Sweet And Live! concert, and has been singing it on stage ever since.

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CHAPEL OF ROCK OWNER 
JEFF BARRY STARS IN THE MUSIC VIDEO 
FOR "SOUL DEEP SKA"

The second single is a mash-up of two vintage Neil Diamond tunes: “Two-Bit Manchild” and “Practically Newborn” feature Reggie on lead vocals. (Because of legal issues involving Neil's music that will develop later on, this single won't appear on an Archies compilation until the year 2075. More about this later.) The third 45 is “Lady Jane”, remaking an old Tommy James Rock ballad. Archie sings lead, but just before releasing it as a single, he and Ralfi Chingas decide on a change. They replace Archie's vocal track with a new one recorded by Jughead. The switch pays off: Juggy does his Barry White thing, coming across as super-virile and seductive.  "Ooooh," moans Betty when she hears the playback.  "I think I'm getting moist!"  Jug's performance makes “Lady Jane” one of the best make-out songs ever; Latino Archies fans will turn it into a lowrider standard! (The Archie-sung version only appears on the album and will become a rarity). Both "Lady Jane" and "Soul Deep Ska" land in Billboard’s Top Ten, helped by popular music videos directed by Raj Patel. In the fall, the Ron Dante-produced Christmas album is released. Both LPs are warmly received by fans and win Gold Record awards.

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PROMO FOR THE LOWRIDER FAVORITE 
"LADY JANE", SUNG BY JUGGY AND FEATURING 
RONI ON LEAD GUITAR

2008
Physics professor Dilton Doiley (now known as Dilton Doiley Briseño after reclaiming his Blaxican heritage) is also a musical genius.  Dude adores Latin music; he plays accordion and several other instruments, and leads a Tejano band in his spare time. Dilton was a sideman on The Archies' Like A Rolling Stone album and, at Archie's request, served as musical director for their 2004 American tour.  He wrote the Ska arrangement for their “Soul Deep” remake, too.  In April, he presents Ralfi Chingas with a Tejano-flavored arrangement of “Sugar, Sugar”. The Archies love it and decide to cut their only American #1 hit in Spanish for South American fans. Ralfi and Dilton co-produce the new version, which tops numerous Pop charts south of the border as well as in Spain.

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PROMO FOR THE RELEASE OF 
"SUGAR, SUGAR" IN SPANISH

The group tours Spanish-speaking countries during the summer, and response is overwhelmingly positive; so much so that Latin-American fans christen the members with Spanish names! Archie becomes Archito; Reggie is called Carlos Marín and Juggy becomes Torómbolo. (“Man! That’s a mouthful,” Jughead quips. “But I don’t care what they call me, as long as they call me for almuerzo!”) The ladies’ given names sound Spanish enough to survive translation, but both Veronica and Betty hear Latino men refer to them as mamacitas quite often . . .

REGGIE'S NEW LOOK

REGGIE COPS A NEW LOOK ON TOUR

When their mini-tour hits Madrid, Reggie proves to be the most popular with female fans. With his Latin lover looks (he's half-Cherokee) and perfect Spanish, dude is often mistaken for a native. Between concert dates in Barcelona, he steps out for some solo appearances. On a bill with Ricky Martin at the Teatro Odéon, “Carlos” performs a new Latin Rock number called “Papichulo Mambo”. Ricky’s notorious onstage sexuality is tame compared to Reggie’s: dancing “The Hip Shaker” in slow motion while spanking his own ass, he almost makes the “Vida Loca” Pop star look shy! He works the crowd into a frenzy.  Several horny muchachas rush the stage, and a riot breaks out: He and Ricky Martin need a security escort to leave the venue!  They go straight to Ricky’s hotel room for a steamy one-on-one ("Sookie sookie, now," Reg hisses, halfway through an "around-the-world" trip.  "Pour a little sugar on it")! The next day, Spanish newspapers compare Reggie to Elvis Presley. Elated, he basks in his new notoriety.

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PAPICHULO TIENE TUMBAO! 
 REGGIE'S SEXY SPANISH 
CENTERFOLD PHOTOS

Soon afterward, racy nude photos of Reg appear in a Spanish Gay men’s magazine.  Tabloids all over the world report on his erotic escapades with both women and men! Archie is scandalized; he thinks the lurid publicity will reflect poorly on the band. He and Reggie clash, and the latter threatens to quit The Archies. In retaliation, Arch suspends him from the group for six months! Outraged, Reg accuses him of hypocrisy.  "You’re as much of a horndog as I am!”, he sputters. “What about you shagging Benazir Bhooty?”  The rest of the group pleads with Archie to reconsider, but his Dutch/Irish/Italian temper takes over, and he won’t budge. Reggie flies back to the USA that same night. One week later, he’s in New Orleans for a solo recording session at Spanish Eddie’s Bar + Grill.

PAPICHULO MAMBOBookScanStation-2013-09-01-01-08-48-PM

MEXICAN PROMO FOR 
THE RELEASE OF REGGIE'S SOLO HIT 
"PAPICHULO MAMBO"

Ralfi and Dilton produce “Papichulo Mambo” for Reg as a solo single. Remixed by Eddie Roxchild and leased to the Fantasy label, it scores a huge hit in Latin dance clubs on both sides of the border!  Archie barely notices Reggie’s triumph: He is preoccupied with Josie + The Pussy Cats, whom he’s just signed to his label. He doesn’t care for the Punk Rock sound they’ve adopted, and wants to change their musical direction back to Soul. Back in the day, Josetta James, Valerie Smith Cabot and Melody Munro-Jones were icons of England's Northern Soul movement: “The kids at Wigan Casino and Blackpool Mecca were The Pussy Cats’ biggest supporters,” Arch recalls. “I’d like to win back that original fan base!”

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HERALD FOR "HEAVY MUSIC" 
BY JOSIE + THE PUSSY CATS, 
THEIR DÉBUT SINGLE ON ARCHIE RECORDS

Taking a huge gamble, he hires Alexandra Cabot-Mayberry, Alan’s wife and Josie’s longtime nemesis, to produce the trio’s comeback album. She and Archie are both avid R & B fans, so together, they choose a selection of vintage Soul numbers for the Pussy Cats to record. When the sessions begin at Abbey Road Studios, it doesn’t take long for fur to start flying! Alexandra rejects Josie’s lead voice (“darling, that Joan Jett bullsh*t you do is so 20th century”), and gives her sister-in-law Valerie most of the leads. The rest she gives to Melody; this was the vocal configuration when the group first tasted success in the 1970s.  She tells Josie to concentrate on her lead guitar-playing, which she feels could be “great, instead of just loud!” Xandii also augments the trio with her studio band, The Kooltyme Katts; they’re a Dap Kings-styled rhythm section she recently discovered.

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PROMO FOR THE SOUL GALORE ALBUM 
BY JOSIE + THE PUSSY CATS, 
PRODUCED BY ALEXANDRA 
AND REMIXED BY ALAN M

Josie blows her top (“b*tch, you couldn’t carry a tune across the street! Where do you get off, choosing lead singers?”) and almost smacks Alexandra; but Archie's gamble is a lucky one.  Josie + The Pussy Cats’ Soul Galore album zooms up the charts and makes the legendary all-woman trio Soul music queens once again! Unexpectedly, their expanded audience includes many if not most of the Punk Rock fans they’d cultivated over the past few years.

As Soul Galore goes Platinum, Reggie signs a recording deal with Fantasy Records and hires red-hot México City producer Don Felipe X to supervise his third solo album. He and PX Milstein (Felipe's real name) play all the instruments on it: Keyboards, guitar, bass, strings, horns, and a battery of Latin percussion. "I f*cking don't need The Archies," Reg fumes, "and this new album will prove it." Back in Riverdale, the group auditions substitute bass players.  They settle on Betty’s old high school boyfriend Trevor Smith. "WTF?" Arch exclaims when Trev lays into the bass line of "Mustang Sally."  "The floorboards are shaking, and his amp isn't even turned up!"  With their new bass man, The Archies fly down to the Chapel Of Rock and cut a double-length album in Spanish: Ralfi Chingas and Dilton Doiley Briseño co-produce the sessions.  For help translating the tunes, they call on Olga San Quentin; she happens to be the composer of “Papichulo Mambo.” Olga joins Veronica, Betty, Juggy and Trev on backing vocals, but leaves the sessions early to fulfill another commitment (about which she is very secretive).

LOS ARCHIES POSTERBookScanStation-2013-10-02-09-38-07-AM

LIMITED-EDITION POSTER 
FOR THE ARCHIES ALBUM 
ÉXITOS EN ESPAÑOL

Released on Discos Fuentes (Archie Records’ sister label in South America), Éxitos en Español burns up the Pan-American Pop charts! Old Archies favorites like “Get On The Line” (A La Linea), “Who’s Your Baby?” (¿Quién Es tu Novia?) and “Love Light” (Luz de Amor) sound bitchin' fresh with a dash of cilantro and lime on them. Demand quickly builds for a North American release. Archie and Veronica do release Éxitos in the USA, along with “Angelito Mío”, a six-track Spanish-language EP; both earn Gold Record awards. A promotional video for “Angelito”, directed by Raj Patel, features Jughead wearing a jockstrap and twerking as he fries up a hamburger!  "He's always doing that around the house," Betty tells Raj.  It becomes nearly as controversial as Madonna’s 1990 “Justify My Love” video, and barely avoids getting banned!

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JUGHEAD SHAKES AND BAKES 
IN THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR 
"ANGELITO MÍO"

Veronica, Betty and Juggy are still in contact with Reggie.  To no avail, they try to mend fences between him and Archie!  At the invitation of their exiled bass player, they fly down to México City and end up singing background vocals on his solo album.  Olga San Quentín is there; officially, she's the vocal arranger, but it soon becomes apparent that babe is carrying on an intense love affair with Reggie. Later, Jughead learns that she's expecting his child!  Reg admits impregnating her.  "Yeah, I'm gonna have me some baby mama drama," he smiles, "but I don't care.  It's really love this time!"

  A professional ballroom dancer as well as a singer/songwriter, Olga portrayed Cuban cabaret star Ninón Sevilla in his “Papiculo” music video.  That's where they first met.  When they danced the samba in a Brazilian carnival scene, Reggie matched her move-for-move. "I think he hips-notized me", she laughs, describing their dance floor introduction to Veronica and Betty; but her thrusting pelvis had the same effect on him. Once filming ended for the day, he could hardly wait to get in her pants!  "He doesn't have a very big chorizo," Olga confides, "but he sure knows how to use what he's got.  Ay-yi-yi!  Can that boy wear out a headboard!" In unison, Roni and Betts, reply: "Yes, we know."  Soon, the parents-to-be will again dance together in new Raj Patel-directed music vids.

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NERO THE DOG REPORTS ON 
REGGIE'S NEW SOLO ALBUM

2009
Olga San Quentín gives birth to Reggie’s child in April. Dante Carmine Mantle San Quentín is named after producer Ron Dante, who agrees to be the baby’s godfather. This joyous news coincides with the release of Love 2 Love, Reggie’s Latin-flavored album of early Neil Diamond songs. The music videos filmed to promote the LP send the entertainment media into a state of shock; Raj Patel has pushed the envelope further than ever before! The clip for the title track depicts a Bisexual ménage à trois, and is so explicit, VH1 bans it.

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REGGIE EXPRESSES PANSEXUAL PRIDE
 IN HIS MUSIC VIDEO FOR 
"LOVE TO LOVE"

The furor over these erotic videos attracts the attention of Neil Diamond, who declares them “X-rated!” Diamond sues to halt sale of Reggie’s album, citing defamation. Despite ecstatic critical reviews, Fantasy pulls Love 2 Love off the market to avoid litigation (it immediately becomes a collector’s item). Soon afterward, the company exercises an option to release Reggie from his contract: Dude's just too hot to handle! Heartbroken, angry and demoralized, he flees to St. Petersburg with Olga, where they go into seclusion with their newborn son.

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REGGIE AND OLGA SAN QUENTÍN 
CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF THEIR SON, 
DANTE CARMINE

The Archies (including Archie himself, who now regrets Reggie’s suspension) invite the new family to Bayamón, Puerto Rico.  The band is on a working vacation, finishing up Return To Archie Country! their second album of Country Rock classics. Reg reluctantly accepts the invitation at Olga’s urging. When they arrive with the baby, all residual bad feelings between Reginald and Archie melt away; "Uncle Archito" falls in love with little Dante, as does the rest of the band. At Ralfi Chingas’ home studio in Bayamón, both Reggie and Olga dub vocal parts onto the new recordings.  Promotional materials will trumpet his return to The Archies, but he hasn´t actually done that yet; officially, Reg is a “guest artist”.  Ralfi also dubs Trevor Smith’s voice onto older tracks left over from the original Archie Country! sessions.

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PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES' HIT 
REMAKE OF "GOOD DEAL, LUCILLE"

Release of the new album, which ships Platinum, rekindles Archiemania, but not always in a good way. Jughead starts dancing his "Hamburger Twerk” in concert. He just wants to add some comic relief to the shows, but his bouncing butt in a tight pair of Daisy Dukes proves a bit too provocative! One night, a mob of sex-crazed fans rushes the stage. We want to see Little Jughead!, they scream. "They're not talking about our son Montana," warns Betty.  "Dude, you better book it!"  Juggy tries to run, but they tackle him and rip off his Daisy Dukes in front of 25,000 people!  Unfortunately, he isn’t wearing a jock this time; he isn’t wearing any underwear. Somebody films a video of the incident (and of “Little Jughead”, who turns out to be not so little at all) that will later end up on YouTube! A security detail hauls the crazies off stage, leaving poor Juggy cowering naked behind his drum kit.  “As God is my witness,” he swears, “I’ll never twerk again!”

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JUGGY ADOPTS A "GOT IT, FLAUNT IT" 
ATTITUDE ABOUT GETTING "PANTSED" 
ON YOUTUBE

Hit singles from Return To Archie Country! include the ensemble vocal showcase “Love Of The Common People”; Betty’s sassy "redneck woman" take on Neil Sedaka's “Jacky Daniels and You”; Reggie’s rockabilly-styled “Good Deal, Lucille” (like “Soul Deep Ska”, it was first heard on the Hot, Sweet And Live! album), and Trevor Smith’s début lead vocal on a cover of “Jet Airliner”. Trev’s wailing rendition of the old Steve Miller Band hit will win The Archies their only Grammy nomination. At year’s end, the band announces that he will remain on bass permanently.

JET AIRLINER0001

PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES' 
GRAMMY-NOMINATED SMASH HIT 
REMAKE OF "JET AIRLINER"

2010
The Archies spend four months touring the world on the strength of their two Platinum Country albums. They also perform “Sugar, Sugar en Español”, “Angelito Mío” and other selections from their Gold Spanish-language collection. Their 30-city international tour sells out all the venues it plays in North and South America. The band returns to Riverdale exhausted, and the members decide to take a breather before starting work on anything new. However, the best-laid plans . . . !

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PROMO FOR TREVOR SMITH'S 
JAZZ VOCAL GROUP, SAVOY SOUND, 
AND THEIR FIRST ALBUM

Trevor Smith turns Archie on to Savoy Sound, a Manhattan Transfer-style singing group he’s discovered. Archie Records signs them up, but by the time a recording date is set, lead singer Art Greene has split the scene.  Trevor explains what happened:  "Art walked in on his girlfriend, group member Britney Birdsong, and caught her serving 'box lunch' to their vocal arranger, Justin Strickland!  Art blew up, called Britney and Justin 'skeezers' and quit the group."  Trev stands in for him, and the reconstituted quartet cuts Begin The Beguine, a Laura Pinto-produced collection of Latin Jazz standards. Critics are not impressed by Trevor’s vocal improvisations (“Tony Bennett has nothing to worry about” one snipes), but the LP and extended play disc both sell a respectable number of copies.

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HERALD FOR THE BURT BACHARACH-
PRODUCED SONGBOOK ALBUM 
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT, ARCHIE?

The reverse is true of Archie’s first solo record, on which he sings a collection of Burt Bacharach Pop standards. When an opportunity arose to work with the legendary composer, Arch couldn’t turn it down; after all, Burt is his wife's favorite songwriter! He, Roni and Burt co-produce the album together in Paris where Burt is scoring a French film.  (Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi? stars Arch's former leading lady, Benazir Bhooty. When the busty sexpot visits him at the recording studio one day, a chilly Veronica lays some serious side-eye on her!) Reviewers give Archie’s take on classic hits like “Make It Easy On Yourself” and “You’ll Never Get To Heaven” an enthusiastic thumbs-up, but the public isn't buying him as a lounge singer. Still, Burt Bacharach enthuses: “Archie Andrews just might be the best interpreter of my songs since Dionne Warwick!” Original copies of What’s It All About, Archie? have now become rare, and are known to sell for upwards of $200.00 in eBay auctions.

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PROMO FOR MAMBITO, RALFI CHINGAS' 
SOLO ALBUM FEATURING THE ARCHIES 
AND INTRODUCING JONNIEMAE

In July, Ralfi Chingas records Mambito, a solo album that features Jughead, Betty and Reggie as his rhythm section. Producer Laura Pinto overdubs Ralfi playing six horn parts; essentially, he becomes a one-man salsa band! To play flamenco guitar, Laura hires the amazing Jonniemae Trouten; she's a Transsexual musician Ralfi met at an Iowa City drag bar. Critics hail her as a major discovery, and Ralfi’s LP, released on Discos Fuentes, is called the finest fusion of Rock and Afro-Cuban music since Santana’s début. It is well-received by Latin music radio and sells quite well. Outwardly, Reggie is happy for his friend-with-benefits (he’s tapped Ralfi’s pint-sized ass twice more since that drunken encounter in Key West), but dude is suffering inside; how he envies Ralfi his solo success!

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PROMO FOR BETTY'S 
CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED 
SOLO ALBUM, PATSY, JACKIE AND ME

While making personal appearances with Ralfi and Jonniemae, Betty receives a message from singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon. Praising how much she sounds like Patsy Cline on the single “Jacky Daniels And You”, Ms. DeShannon asks to work with her. Flattered, Betts agrees. Sun Studios is booked, and Jackie hires the cream of Nashville session players to back up her vocal tracks. On the first day of tracking, Ralfi Chingas comes up with a novel idea: Why not have Betty interpret an album’s worth of Jackie DeShannon songs using Patsy Cline’s impeccable phrasing? "She won't have to imitate Patsy, because their singing voices are already similar," he explains. "I don't know, Ralfi," Betts warns.  "What if I offend Patsy's fans?"  But the concept excites Jackie, and she gives the go-ahead.  “It lets me imagine how Patsy would’ve sounded doing my songs,” she later explains to the music press. “Betty Jones did a phenomenal job; I will treasure this recording forever!”

JUGHEAD AND BETTY

COLLAGE ASSEMBLED BY BETTY, 
COMMEMORATING THE BIRTH OF 
MONTANA JONES, HER SON WITH JUGHEAD

However, Betty's misgivings prove well-founded: Ralfi's album concept splits longtime Patsy Cline fans into two camps. One adores the record, while the other takes umbrage at it! The only thing they agree on is the singing, which is superb. Although the Jamie Records CD Patsy, Jackie And Me gets little airplay and fails to chart, Betty will be nominated for a Best New Country Artist Grammy. She’ll get many lucrative offers from Nashville promoters over the years, but will always decide against launching a Country music career. Betts prefers living in Riverdale, playing sax with The Archies, raising her son, and running a catering business with her husband.  However, all that will change one day.

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SUPERHERO COSTUME DESIGN FOR 
"THE EQUALIZER", AN ABORTED TV SERIES 
STARRING KEVIN KELLER

At Riverdale’s George Gladir airport, she runs into Kevin Keller, who’s returning from a job in Canada. Since singing background on The Archies’ first three studio albums, the former US Senator has been pursuing an acting career without much success. Kelly auditioned for and won the starring role in a forthcoming TV series about a Gay superhero. "It's a great concept," Kevin tells Betty, "but the producers won't let him have a boyfriend!  They're scared to show two men being affectionate.  Over time, I think I can loosen up their reticence."  Betts disagrees: "Don't bet money, honey!  The television industry isn't as progressive as you think."  "I prefer to stay optimistic," Kevin insists.  He just filmed a pilot episode in Toronto, but unfortunately, “The Equalizer” won’t be picked up by any network.