Dave & Sugar

Last updated
Dave & Sugar
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country
Years active1975–1982
Labels RCA, Elektra
Associated acts Charley Pride
Past membersLisa Alvey
Etta Britt as M. Dean
Jackie Frantz
Vicki Hackeman
Jamie Kaye
Regina Leigh
Lori Mason
Sue Powell
Dave Rowland (Deceased)
Cindy Smith

Dave & Sugar was a pop-styled country music trio which enjoyed its peak success in the mid- to late-1970s. The trio consisted of lead singer Dave Rowland and initially on backing vocals, Vicki Hackeman and Jackie Frantz. Over time, the female members ("Sugar") 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 1979. [1] 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 founded and fronted by Dave Rowland, born in Sanger, California, raised in Los Angeles, California [2] (January 26, 1944 – November 1, 2018), while two female vocalists made up the "Sugar" part. The "Sugar" lineup changed several times during the group's run of success, while the two original singers were Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackeman.

Before forming Dave & Sugar, Rowland was part of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet (which was touring with Elvis Presley at the time), and later the Four Guys. [3] He also was a prominent member of country singer Charley Pride's road show. [4] By 1975, with Pride looking for a backup band, Rowland hired Frantz and Hackeman, and Dave & Sugar was formed. 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 disbanded the trio briefly during the early 1980s to try a solo career, releasing an album entitled (appropriately) Sugar Free and charting two singles of his own. [4] Powell also charted two singles on RCA as a soloist, and later went on to host the TV series Nashville on the Road. [5] Rowland later reformed the trio with two new sets of "Sugar" partners: Cindy Smith and Lisa Alvey, followed by Regina Leigh and Lori Mason. [3] However, these second-era trios failed to gain the popularity the original trios had in the 1970s and the group disbanded for good after only minimal success. In 1997, former Sugar member Leigh formed the short-lived country duo Regina Regina with partner Regina Nicks. [6]

On November 1, 2018, Rowland died due to complications from a stroke in his Nashville home at the age of 74. [7]



YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US Country US CAN Country
1976Dave & Sugar3RCA Victor
1977That's the Way Love Should Be10157
1978Tear Time84
1979Stay with Me / Golden Tears20
1980New York Wine Tennessee Shine47
1981Greatest Hits35179

Dave Rowland solo albums

YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US Country
1982Sugar Free56Elektra


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US Country US AC AUS [8] CAN Country CAN AC
1975"Queen of the Silver Dollar"256121Dave & Sugar
1976"The Door Is Always Open"1841
"I'm Gonna Love You"32
1977"Don't Throw It All Away"532534That's the Way Love Should Be
"That's the Way Love Should Be"745633
"I'm Knee Deep in Loving You"24
1978"Gotta' Quit Lookin' at You Baby"49Tear Time
"Tear Time"13
1979"Golden Tears"12Stay with Me / Golden Tears
"Stay with Me"6
"My World Begins and Ends with You"47
"Why Did You Have to Be So Good"flip
1980"New York Wine and Tennessee Shine"1810New York Wine Tennessee Shine
"A Love Song"40
1981"It's a Heartache"3237Greatest Hits
"Fool By Your Side"A6Pleasure
"The Pleasure's All Mine"A32

Dave Rowland solo singles

YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US Country
1982"Natalie"77Sugar Free
"Why Didn't I Think of That"flip
"Lovin' Our Lives Away"84

Sue Powell solo singles

YearSingleChart Positions
US Country
1981"Midnite Flyer"57
"(There's No Me) Without You"49


YearNominated workCategoryResultNotes
Country Music Association
1976"The Door Is Always Open" - RCASingle of the YearNominatedDave Rowland, Jackie Frantz, Vicki Hackeman [9]
1976Dave & SugarVocal Group of the YearNominatedDave Rowland, Jackie Frantz, Vicki Hackeman [9]
1977Dave & SugarVocal Group of the YearNominatedDave Rowland, Sue Powell, Vicki Hackeman [10]
1978Dave & SugarVocal Group of the YearNominatedDave Rowland, Sue Powell, Etta Britt (as M.Dean) [11]
1979Dave & SugarVocal Group of the YearNominatedDave Rowland, Sue Powell, Etta Britt [12]

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  1. "Dave & Sugar Biography". MusicCityAttractions.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "Country singer Dave Rowland, leader of Dave & Sugar, dies at 74". usatoday.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. 1 2 Brennan, Sandra. "Dave & Sugar biography". AllMusic . Retrieved 28 February 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 1 2 Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 115. ISBN   978-0-89820-177-2.
  5. Whitburn, p. 328
  6. Patterson, Jim (5 March 1997). "Regina Regina hopes pairing pays off". Lawrence Journal-World . Retrieved 11 April 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. "Dave & Sugar Singer Dave Rowland Dead at 74". Tasteofcountry.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 82. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. 1 2 "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1976". CMT. 1976. Retrieved 12 October 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1977". CMT. 1977. Retrieved 12 October 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1978". CMT. 1978. Retrieved 12 October 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1979". CMT. 1979. Retrieved 12 October 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)