Dave & Sugar was a pop-styled country music trio that enjoyed its peak success in the mid- to late-1970s. It consisted of lead singer Dave Rowland and initially on backing vocalists, Vicki Hackeman and Jackie Frantz. Over time, the female members of the group changed: Frantz was replaced by Sue Powell in 1977, who in turn was replaced by Jamie Kaye in 1980, while Hackeman was replaced by Melissa Dean (Etta Britt) in January of 1979. Overall, Dave & Sugar charted 16 times on the Billboard country charts, including three No. 1 hits: "The Door Is Always Open", "Tear Time" and "Golden Tears". Powell also had two chart singles outside the group.
The trio was fronted by Dave Rowland (born January 26, 1942 in Los Angeles, California), while the "Sugar" part was composed of two female vocalists. The "Sugar" lineup changed several times during the group's run of success, and the original singers were Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackeman.
Before forming Dave & Sugar, Rowland was part of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, and later the Four Guys. He also was a prominent member of country singer Charley Pride's road show. By 1975, with Pride looking for a backup band, Rowland hired Frantz and Hackeman, and Dave & Sugar was born. They signed a deal with RCA Records.
The trio's first single, "Queen of the Silver Dollar" (written by Shel Silverstein, and originally recorded by Dr. Hook in 1972, and also included on Emmylou Harris' debut solo album earlier in 1975) broke into the Top 25 of Billboard magazine's country singles chart in early 1976. Their next single, "The Door Is Always Open", became their first No. 1 hit in July. Their peak run garnered nearly one dozen Top 10 singles, including two more No. 1 hits - "Tear Time" (1978) and "Golden Tears" (1979).
Rowland broke away from the trio briefly during the early 1980s to try a solo career, releasing an album entitled Sugar Free and charting two singles of his own. Powell also charted two singles on RCA as a soloist, and later went on to host the TV series Nashville on the Road. Rowland later chose Cindy Smith and Lisa Alvey as backing vocalists, followed by Regina Leigh and Lori Mason. In 1997, Leigh founded Regina Regina with Regina Nicks.
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