22 November 2016

Archie in MedallÍn




In early 2005, the adult members of THE ARCHIES had a joyful reunion with singer/songwriter TONI WINE. Toni had sung background vocals on "Sugar, Sugar" and other recordings they made as teenagers. When she expressed regret that her material wasn't right for the group, BETTY JONES insisted that it was. This led to a discussion about The Archies possibly cutting an album of Toni Wine tunes. 

 A month later, the possibility became a reality!  Toni and the band booked sessions at legendary SUN STUDIOS in Memphis; a Country-flavored ballad album was on their agenda. However, the record dates turned stormy when VERONICA and ARCHIE clashed with Toni over song arrangements. The Archies' regular producer, RALFI CHINGAS, was busy elsewhere; the band asked old friend DILTON DOILEY BRISEÑO to help them out. Dilton got the production back on track, but four months later the album still wasn't finished. Roni and Toni were embroiled in another battle over the album mix! 

 With the ladies at an impasse, The Archies departed Memphis to fulfill commitments in South America.  Veronica, Jughead and Betty carried shocking secrets with them!  Betts nervously awaited the results of a biopsy: possibly CANCEROUS tumors had grown inside her uterus. Babe maintained a cool façade, confiding in no one but PRECIOUS LOVEJOY, an empathetic stranger she met in Audubon Park. 

 Meanwhile, JUGGY had done the unthinkable and embarked on an adulterous LOVE AFFAIR with Roni!  Toni Wine had a secret, too: She was (and is) the earthly manifestation of VENUS, the goddess of love. It was actually her divine influence that inflamed FORBIDDEN PASSIONS between Betty's husband and Archie's wife.  Our story resumes in SOUTH AMERICA.


When Jughead f*cked Veronica, it was a four-alarm booty call! At Roni's urging, Jug ripped off her black lace brassiere and devoured her dark, ripe nipples. Then he snatched down her silk panties and tongued that clitoris until she screamed in ecstasy! This segued into ten minutes of frantic t*tty-f*cking. Roni gasped as dude slipped his little finger up her anus while plowing her c*nt.  Then he damn near drove her crazy, playing with her cl*t while f*cking her in the ass. Juggy finished by spurting hot jism all over her legs and back . . . but as he did these things, his mind was tortured by guilt and shame. Never before had he been untrue to Betty!

 Dude chastised himself: "I must be out of my mind!  My wife is the foxiest woman alive. WTF am I doing?"  He tried to break it off with Veronica by deliberately pushing her toward kinkier sex practices. During a tryst in Buenos Aires, Jughead boldly asked her for a rim job!  "She'll be grossed out big-time," he believed, "and that will be the end of it."  However, much to his surprise, babe didn't find the request repugnant at all.  On the contrary, this was just the kind of edgy sex play Roni loved best. Then when she let him sit on her face, Juggy thought the sensation was the closest thing to ecstasy he'd ever experienced!

Soon the forbidden lovers were playing around with butt plugs, strap-on dildos, Ben-Wa balls, sounding rods, etcetera.  Instead of pushing them apart, kinky sex drew them even closer together.  Archie's wife was such an exciting and versatile bed partner, Jughead struggled in vain to break free!  The taboo relationship became like a chain around his heart, and Veronica felt just as enslaved.  "I don't want to love him," she told herself, "Lord knows I don't! But I do. This so totally unlike me.  How did this happen?"


These torrid activities took place during a brief personal appearance tour in South America. The Archies played concerts in Perù, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and half a dozen other countries. Sparsely attended at first, the shows gradually began drawing sizable crowds; but Archies concerts always generated strong word-of-mouth business.

For the first (and last) time, Reggie Mantle served as touring music director.  Also for the first time, Veronica played lead guitar on stage and did herself proud!  Kevin Keller was on hand to play keyboards.  The band previewed "Love Me Like You're Gonna Lose Me", "That's What Life Is All About" and other recently-recorded Toni Wine numbers. These bilingual ballad performances not only lay a foundation for their tribute album, but also for ÈXITOS EN ESPAÑOL, a mega-hit LP they'd cut three years later.


 In Medallìn, Columbia, the group laid over.  Their manager, Big Nipsy Freund, had used his international connections to arrange TV appearances. These were more than just guest-shots: The Archies were contracted to both sing and play bit parts in a major serialized production.  La Diosa del Aire starred Rita Phoenix, whom South American media had dubbed ¡la reina de las telenovelas ("queen of the soap operas")!  Renowned for her chew-the-scenery acting style, behind the scenes her voracious sexual appetite was just as famous; La Phoenix's many bedroom conquests included all of her past leading men except (maybe!) Ricky Martin.


Ambitious Reggie Mantle had more than just a bit part in mind for himself. Gino flirted shamelessly with Rita, who directed as well as starred in the TV production. Predictably, the Latin diva offered him a seat on her casting couch.  He eagerly took advantage! After much panting, gasping and creaking of sofa springs, they emerged from behind her locked office door.  Gino's bandmates soon learned the reason for his self-satisfied smirk; dude had bagged himself a co-starring role! 

Archie was beside himself with jealousy: "Thimble-Dick Mantle strikes again!" he snarled! However, there were business matters to distract him.  He and Veronica were completing negotiations for an Archie Records distribution deal. Since 2001, their indie label had benefited from a worldwide hook-up with EMI-Capitol; however, neither of them were satisfied with South American sales figures. As a result of this new deal, legendary Latin label Discos Fuentes would market Archie product south of the border. The first release under this regional agreement was slated to be the forthcoming Toni Wine ballad album.


Discos Fuentes EP DFX-39078 (SOUTH AMERICAN release)
*Lead vocals by ARCHIE, BETTY + JUGHEAD
**Lead vocals by JUGHEAD + VERONICA
***Lead vocals by BETTY
****Lead vocals by REGGIE
Produced by THE ARCHIES

Rita Phoenix's latest telenovela was an update of the film noir classic Mildred Pierce. In the 1945 movie, Joan Crawford had played a restaurateur; but in the hands of Rita's screenwriters, the character became a female media tycoon.  They also moved the time period from the 1940s to the 1950s and tweaked the story into a musical drama.

The job of composing songs was assigned to an up-and-coming Colombian musician known as Otrapussy. A transsexual Rock en Español bandleader, she was a Discos Fuentes artist.  Advantageously for The Archies, Fuentes was contracted to release the soundtrack. However, when Rita heard Otrapussy's original tunes, she was appalled.  "¡Putamadre!" she swore, hurling the iPod demo across the room. "¡Què ruido insufrible!"  The diva refused to even consider singing them.


The next day, she happened to pass Archie and Veronica's dressing room. The music coming from within froze her in her tracks! What Rita heard were song snippets from The Archies' new album: Roni had brought a portable mixing desk down to South America so she could work on (her version of) the final mix. Enchanted by Toni Wine's ballads, La Phoenix burst into the room; she caught Archie emerging from the shower, stark naked and dripping wet! But the notoriously horny actress paid no attention to his long, uncut polla. "These songs are perfect for La Diosa del Aire," she declared excitedly. "I simply must have them! How soon can Spanish lyrics be written?"

When a Latin diva wants something tanto, she won't be denied! After much discussion involving The Archies, Discos Fuentes' A & R chief Chiquitito San Erasmus and Toni Wine (via Skype), an agreement was struck: Spanish versions of Toni's songs would indeed appear on the TV soundtrack. Chiquitito was far from happy with this development: Otrapussy was his lover! But if he was p*ssed at Rita's refusal to cut the rockera's original songs (actually his own songs, credited to her), he was boiling mad after La Phoenix trashed her song arrangements.  "Why are you bringing me this Punk Rock mierda?" La Phoenix screamed, stamping her stiletto-heeled foot. "My new telenovela is set in the 1950s, and the music must evoke that era. If you can't give me what I want, I'll find somebody who can!"

That someone ended up being El Vato Maestro, the same man who salvaged The Archies' latest album sessions. Big Nipsy put through the call to Dilton Doiley Briseño, and dude hurried down to Colombia; as usual, he was armed with a wealth of musical ideas.  Rita was as enchanted by Dilton's arranging skills as Toni Wine had been; but he still had to eat her p*ssy in order to land the job!  (Babe was such a fox, Dilt didn't mind at all.)  El Vato was overjoyed to have a full orchestra at his disposal, complete with woodwinds, brass, strings, keyboards, percussion and even a harp. La Phoenix spared no expense to get the sound she wanted!


The only ones who didn't love the new arrangements were Chiquitito and Otrapussy.  Biding his time, Chiqui schemed to impose his own musical vision on the project.  For the moment, the disgruntled A & R man had to settle for writing Spanish lyrics to Toni Wine's music (again, under his lover's name). He asked The Archies for a digital download of their ballad recordings, but they balked at this request.  "Our material is best heard on wax," Archie insisted.  Accordingly, he had Discos Fuentes press up a vinyl acetate of the forthcoming album; this disc was given to Chiqui for translation purposes with the understanding that he'd return it later.

 However, Roni didn't trust him! Worried about bootlegging, she insisted that the acetate be cut in low-fi monaural sound. Babe definitely had reason to worry, but she suspected the wrong person. Back in the USA, bootleg tracks from the album sessions were being leaked to various Southern radio stations. The culprit?  None other than Isak Chaudhury, The Archies' substitute sound engineer!


All the while, Roni and Juggy's secret love affair proceeded at full steam; but they weren't the only members of The Archies that Venus was manipulating. In a parallel to the telenovela plot, Reggie seduced the actors portraying the daughter and fitness trainer of Rita Phoenix's character! This was, of course, in addition to the sex he was having with Rita herself. Not for nothing had Venus/Toni Wine urged him to record "Holly Go Softly", a song sung from a gigolo's point of view!

Both actors fell in love with Gino and began fighting over him; this led to some embarrassing scenes that weren't in the script! "What's going on here?" Rita demanded. When the diva found out about Gino's bisexual two-timing, retaliation was swift! Dude saw his co-starring role nearly reduced to that of a supporting player: His character Pinguita was killed off just four episodes into the series.  Archie was exultant! "So much for the casting couch road to stardom," he cackled.  "Serves your skank ass right."  Flashing him a middle finger salute, Reggie shrugged off the setback. "Acting really doesn't interest me that much," he yawned. "I'd rather make music videos."

Around this time, Betty received the positive cancer diagnosis she'd been dreading! Babe compartmentalized the bad news and concentrated on her TV role.  She'd already decided to take Precious Lovejoy's advice and seek a second opinion; this she'd do after The Archies returned to the States. Her bandmates were still none the wiser, yet Jughead knew something was wrong. Betts had begun withholding his conjugal rights!  She told him "not tonight" so many times, it started sounding like a tape loop.  Her uterine tumors made sexual relations too painful, but she never told Juggy that.  Dude worried that she might suspect his infidelity!  However, those worries weren't enough to drive him out of Veronica's bed.

Sneak to your side
In the darkness
Where unfaithfulness must hide!

Before I say I want you
For the rest of my life
What are we gonna do
About your husband?
And what are we gonna do
About my wife?

Excerpt from 'YOUR HUSBAND, MY WIFE"
Music + Lyrics by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE
Published by EMI Soshaha Music/Irwin Levine Music/
R2M Music/Songs of LaStrada


Venus also had her capricious way with Gay males in The Archies' entourage.  Kevin Keller had tagged along on their South American mini-tour. He also got cast in the telenovela and ended up staying in Columbia longer than he'd planned. Restless when not on the set, Kelly and Archies manager Big Nipsy Freund sought diversion: They hit the low-profile-but-lively Gay nightclub scene in Medallìn.  One evening, they heard about an all-male nude beach several miles outside the city. The boys decided to rent a dune buggy and take a day trip to the locale.

Arriving at Playa de las Pollas, they found dozens of Latin hunks having themselves a butt-naked beach party! Kelly and Nipsy eagerly dropped their cargo shorts and joined in the a lo desnudo volleyball playing, surfing and dancing. A mix tape was playing; former folksinger Nicholas had brought a guitar and he began strumming along.  When the tape ended, dude broke into an impromptu performance of "I'm Into Lookin´ For Someone To Love Me".  Though not slated for their new album, The Archies had cut this Toni Wine rocker during recent sessions at Sun Studios.

Kelly started harmonizing with Nipsy, and on the spot, the hunky blond was inspired to invent a new dance! The other men immediately took interest: "¿Què estàs haciendo, Rubio?"  Kevin explained: "This dance is like a Hawaiian hula, but with Hip-Hop moves added. First you move your butt this way . . . and then you move it that way.  Mira còmo se mueve la nalga." Dude dubbed his new step The Toni Wine and invited the guys to follow his lead. Few did, but it wasn't because they didn't dig his moves; all of them were transfixed by the sexy sight of a bare-assed Kevin Keller bouncing and wiggling around!


His Toni Wine dance dialed the temperature on the beach up to fever pitch! Soon, the festivities turned x-rated: Men start pairing off in the sand dunes, and spontaneous orgies broke out. Even though he was engaged to marry a doctor, Kevin couldn't resist taking part. Neither could Big Nipsy!  The strapping redhead hardly had a choice, though: He was besieged by a small army of lust-crazed parceros, eager to sample his beefy ginger charms!

In the throes of passion, Nicholas happened to notice a teenager lurking in the dunes. In Spanish, he inquired of the cute brown-skinned chulo giving him a blow job: "Who's that, and WTF is he doing?"  Between slurps and gulps, the hunk replied: "That's Puchi, and he's filming us. Puchi is the director of this movie." Nipsy blanched and his d*ck went limp. "WHAT MOVIE?" he demanded.

By then, the big German had also spied two beach turtles crawling nearby. The reptiles had miniature cameras strapped to their shells, and the lenses were pointed right in his direction! "¡Mira què dulce!" his sex partner cooed. "Aren't they cute?  Puchi's pet tortugas are fascinated by Gay sex, so he puts them to work. He uses Turtle-Dum and Turtle-Dee as roving cameramen on every porno he shoots!"


"¡Coño!" The Archies' manager yelped, leaping to his feet. "This is a f*cking porn set!" Locating Kelly nearby, he yanked the blond out of a steamy clinch and quickly alerted him to their scandalous situation. The two naked gringos then beat a hasty retreat to their dune buggy! To no avail, Puchi pursued them down the beach. "¡No se vayan!" he shouted as they sped away. "Don´t go!  You two look wicked hot on film.  What's your fee? Let's negotiate, dudes!"

And that, in a nutshell, is how an uncredited Kevin Keller and Nicholas Freund ended up appearing in a 2005 Gay porn DVD called Man-Bitches On The Beach! Naturally, both men swore ignorance of the film when asked about it later. Six decades down the road, Puchi Schneider and his miniature cameras will still be busy; they'll figure prominently in the downfall of Ramsay Khalid Sharma, a member of The New Archies!

Videotaping and music tracking finished in mid-June. While Rita Phoenix sang most of the soundtrack songs, members of The Archies had vocal star turns as well. Most prominent was Betty Jones emoting to "I Think I Love You Again" in Spanish.  Roni Lodge-Andrews and Kelly Keller turned "Holly, Go Softly" into a comic duet.  Reggie Mantle, despite getting on Rita's sh*t list, held forth on a translation of "I Wanna See Morning With Him". At the Memphis album sessions, Veronica had taken the lead on this number; but Gino's exuberant reading gave it a whole different kind of edge:

Tonight we´re gonna see the sunshine
And I´m gonna love him
Though I´ll fight him for a little while

Then I´ll smile as he wins my heart away
Lips pressed on lips
Until the break of day
And I will be so happy when I
Wake up and see morning with him

(translated from Spanish)
Music + Lyrics by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE
Published by EMI Soshaha Music/Irwin Levine Music/
R2M Music/Songs of LaStrada/Unichappell Music

La reina de las telenovelas performed overwrought Spanish versions of "A Groovy Kind Of Love", "I Loved Him Like I Love My Very Life", "Heaven Help The Non-Believer" and "That's What Life Is All About." Vain about her modest singing ability, Rita could hardly wait for the public to hear them.  "Your orchestrations are maravilloso," she purred as Dilton serviced her clitoris for the second time, "especially with my voice out front. I didn't think it possible for a music director to improve on perfection, but that's exactly what you've done . . . ay, màs dulcemente, Vato.  ¡Asì!  ¡Asì!"


Meanwhile, Veronica and Toni Wine had finally agreed on mixes for two tracks: "If We Both Hold On", sung by Betty with prominent backing from Jughead and Archie; and "I'm Into Lookin' For Someone To Love Me", fronted by Reggie. Roni felt neither song was right for the new album, and Archie agreed; but he insisted that they be put out as a vinyl 45. The single was scheduled for July, but that pending release got derailed by what happened at the end of the month! 

The soundtrack for La Diosa del Aire preceded the telenovela into the South American market. Rita Phoenix got a complimentary copy of the CD, and The Archies were in her office when she first played it on her sound system.  Everyone was shocked by what they heard: Instead of Dilton Doiley Briseño's creamy 1950s-era strings and horns, the disc played snarling Punk Rock arrangements devised by Otrapussy!


Discos Fuentes' A & R chief had brazenly deleted Dilton's backing tracks; then he substituted new instrumentation performed by his lover and her Thrash Metal band. An outraged Rita was fit to be tied: "¡Es un desastre!  Why, you can barely hear my singing over those pinches guitarras gritando!"  Yet there was nothing she could do. The contract Chiquitito San Erasmus had with Discos Fuentes gave him the right to approve or reject musical arrangements.

Dude felt especially smug when his remixed soundtrack CD broke for a hit! Several of the selections were rushed into rotation on Colombian radio.  Consequently, the producers of La Diosa del Aire wanted them featured in the telecast. La Phoenix resisted, but in the end very little of El Vato's handiwork was heard on film. Dilton was heartbroken, and the bad news kept coming: he soon realized that his production work on The Archies' new album wouldn't be heard either!

When the radically reworked versions of her ballads reached Toni Wine's ears, babe hit the roof! "I trusted you, and you f*cked up my songs!" she screamed down the telephone at Archie.  He was willing to shoulder the blame, but Veronica rushed to his defense: "B*tch, how dare you talk that way to my husband?"  Fur flew anew between the women; lawsuits were threatened, and the call ended in much acrimony!  Promo copies of the new single had barely hit the streets before it was withdrawn from sale.

Post-production on the album ground to a halt.  As if that weren't bad enough, Isak Chaudhury got caught in the act of bootlegging Archies tracks.  When Big Nipsy Freund sacked him, dude retaliated in the most vindictive way imaginable: By deliberately corrupting the digital session tapes!  His electronic sabotage left the recordings both unlistenable and unsalvageable.

Naturally, The Archies sued the bastard for damages: They effectively drove his ass out of the music industry!  Rumor has it some of Nipsy's Mafia buddies "leaned" on Isak, too. For the next few years, he dropped completely out of sight.  Then in 2009, the Afro-Asian hunk resurfaced in the most unlikely of places: One of Puchi Schneider's Gay porn productions, as a strawberry-blond leading man!


So instead of releasing an album everyone felt would've been a huge hit, The Archies had to settle for appearing in a successful telenovela. La Diosa del Aire drew excellent ratings in South America, going on to enjoy a cult following that rivaled that of the film noir which inspired it. What's more, the TV soundtrack lodged in the Colombian Top Ten for nearly a month!  The cast had mixed feelings about this turn of events; Rita Phoenix's memories of the project would always be bitter.  However, the diva was shrewd enough to parlay the soundtrack's popularity into a successful spinoff career: She promoted herself as a Punk Rock/bolero fusion singer!

Betty Jones was one participant who felt no bitterness at all. After traveling to Boston's Dana-Farber Institute for a second opinion on her diagnosis, babe was pronounced cancer-free.  Later in 2005, she had surgery to remove her fibroid tumors; there were no complications.  Betts recovered quickly and eagerly welcomed Jughead into her bed again. Renewed ardor for his gorgeous wife finally snuffed out Juggy's secret passion for Veronica . . . or did it?  Only time would tell.


Archie Records 45 A-116
Lead vocals by REGGIE
*Duet vocals by BETTY + VERONICA
Arranged and Produced by

The remainder of 2005 was taken up by group members' solo projects. Jughead and Kevin Keller had an on-again, off-again duet act they called Blue-Eyed Soul.  Basically goofing around, they sang old R & B hits at parties; but everyone thought they sounded great together. Producer Ralfi Chingas paired their voices on "Chapel Of Love", a track from The Archies' last album.  In late July, the buddies teamed up again at the request of their old friend, video director Raj Patel. With Josie + The Pussy Cats as special guests, the duo headlined MARV-elous! a pay-per-view TV tribute to Marvin Gaye. Against the odds, it scored high ratings!

In mid-August, Veronica asked the surprise TV stars to meet her in London; babe was cutting a solo album and wanted them to appear on it as guest artists.  Suspecting she just wanted to rekindle their affair, Jughead refused; but a contrite Roni laid his fears to rest. "I love you and Betty too much to break up your marriage," she assured him, "and I know you don't want to hurt Archie, either." He reconsidered, and along with Kelly contributed lots of production help on her LP: An Olivia Newton-John tribute called DEEPER THAN THE NIGHT. 

But no sooner did Archie Records issue Roni's solo dèbut than tragedy struck: Her billionaire father Hiram Lodge died of a massive coronary!  The shocking news dominated business media for weeks.  "We should have seen it coming," his widow Hermione sobbed. "Ram was the epitome of an Alpha male, and you know what kind of stress that kind of personality generates. I told him to stop eating those jalapeño chit'lins, too, but he didn't listen!" Veronica left off promoting her album (which tanked) and returned to Riverdale with Archie. They helped her mother arrange the funeral and deal with estate matters.


One tragedy followed another when Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast, causing horrific devastation!  The Archies and friends (sans Arch and Roni) traveled to the region and played several benefit concerts. They also took active emergency service roles: Betty, Kelly and Big Nipsy helped out with search and rescue efforts, while Juggy, Reggie and Dilton prepared and distributed food to flood victims. 

 As soon as Archie was able to break away from Lodge family concerns, dude flew down and did volunteer construction work for Habitat for Humanity. Veronica stayed in Riverdale, but sent generous donations to the hurricane relief effort. "It's what Daddy would've wanted," she sighed, "but I'd do it in any case." Hearing these words, Maya Lodge gave her grieving daughter a warm hug: "You're your father's daughter through and through!"


Christmas 2005 found the group and their manager back in Memphis, headlining a Katrina telethon.  Playing rhythm guitar and piano, respectively, Big Nipsy Freund and Toni Wine subbed for an absent Arch and Roni. By now, The Archies had reconciled with Toni, mutually agreeing to put the album on indefinite hold.  The disguised Love goddess privately conceded that The Archies had indeed cut definitive versions of her songs! "Their Country recordings are superb, and they will see light of day," she vowed, "but not until I'm ready." Decades from now, the aborted single will appear on an Archies box set (and The New Archies will cover "If We Both Hold On").  As for that acetate containing the intended album tracks, Chiquitito San Erasmus filed it away and promptly forgot about it . . . 

Venus's secret participation spelled runaway success for the fundraiser: Over a million dollars was raised!  The telethon was hosted by Rev. Darling Lovejoy, the Memphis preacher who "slew" Archie in the spirit of Jesus.  Betty Jones met her for the first time when they sang "Take A Little Time Out For Love" together on live TV.  She wondered about the pastor's surname, identical to that of the young woman she'd met in the park. There was also a physical resemblance, so Betts asked if the two were related.

At the mention of Precious Lovejoy, all the color drained from the old woman's face!  Then she flinched when Betty described how Precious had helped her face a false cancer diagnosis. After a long silence, Darling Lovejoy stammered: "Yes, we're related.  Precious was my daughter. And yes, she did have uterine cancer. She died from it."  Betts recoiled in shock. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" she gasped.  "How tragic.  Precious seemed so healthy . . . it can't have been long since you lost her."  Fighting back tears, the pastor shook her head. "You don't understand.  Precious didn't die recently.  My poor, sweet baby has been with the Lord these last three years!"

As Betty digested this stunning news, another bombshell revelation was rocking Veronica's world. "Congratulations!" her gynecologist gushed during a routine visit. "You're pregnant!" Ignoring the deer-in-the-headlights look on Roni's face, the doctor continued to gush: "I know how much you and Archie want a child; you've tried to conceive for years.  Well, it's finally going to happen for you!" The expectant mother tried to appear joyful, but her emotions were in turmoil. Jughead was almost certainly this baby's father. . . or was he?  Could it be Archie's child?  Or did it belong to someone else entirely? To be continued . . .


And what of the lost ballad album? By 2045, Veronica and Toni Wine's competing album mixes will have long since disappeared; but there's sufficient interest in Discos Fuentes' ACETATE to spur marketing efforts. The first will be the two compilations mentioned in Part One, featuring bad remixes of the rare tracks. Those ill-conceived releases will deservedly fall by the wayside; it takes catalog A & R staffers at the Japanese PHILLES label to market the album in the proper way!


They correctly predict that Asian Archies fans will love the "vintage" sound of that crackly mono acetate. In the year 2098, they'll release it with barely any audio processing. Listeners will even hear SKIPS in the vinyl! PHILLES RECORDS will compensate for the warts-and-all presentation with excellent packaging and an aggressive ad campaign in Japanese, Chinese and Tamil. As a result, HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER: THE SONGS OF TONI WINE will become a best-seller on the Asian continent.

What the catalog producers don't realize is that the acetate no longer plays Veronica's album mix!  Amazingly, it plays the mix created by Toni Wine, despite the fact that version was NEVER TRANSFERRED TO VINYL. Another strange fact about that recording: Behind BETTY JONES's lead voice on "A Groovy Kind Of Love", there's a prominent, Gospel-tinged FEMALE BACKING VOCAL that can't be identified.

It doesn't belong to Betty, Veronica or Toni Wine. REGGIE MANTLE and KEVIN KELLER´s high voices are sometimes mistaken for women, but it isn´t either of them, either; and ARCHIE didn't sing on that track.  The Reverend DARLING LOVEJOY won't live long enough to hear this album, but she would recognize that voice immediately. Betty WILL live long enough, but babe won't ever tell what she believes is true!

Heaven help the non-believer
Help him see the light that's shining
Heaven help the non-believer
To believe in love, sweet love

Published by EMI Sosaha Music/R2M Music/
Songs of LaStrada


Ring it in with The Archies' Christmas Album featuring Betty + Veronica, 
still available on Fuel 2000 Records, and Cleopatra Records' brand 
new Archies box set Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection. 
Also look for another new stocking stuffer: The Ron Dante Anthology, 
available in late November 2016 from 
Sunset Boulevard Records.