Dave & Sugar

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Dave & Sugar
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country
Years active 1975–1982
Labels RCA, Elektra
Associated acts Charley Pride
Past members Lisa Alvey
Etta Britt as M. Dean
Jackie Frantz
Vicki Hackeman
Jamie Kaye
Regina Leigh
Lori Mason
Sue Powell
Dave Rowland
Cindy Smith

Dave & Sugar was a pop-styled country music trio that enjoyed its peak success in the mid- to late-1970s. The trio 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 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 fronted by Rowland (born January 26, 1942 in Los Angeles, California), while two female vocalists made up the "Sugar" part. 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 (who was touring with Elvis Presley at the time), and later the Four Guys.[2] He also was a prominent member of country singer Charley Pride's road show.[3] 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.[3] Powell also charted two singles on RCA as a soloist, and later went on to host the TV series Nashville on the Road.[4] Rowland later reformed the trio and chose Cindy Smith and Lisa Alvey as his "Sugar" vocalists, followed by Regina Leigh and Lori Mason.[2] In 1997, Leigh founded Regina Regina with Regina Nicks.[5]



Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country US CAN Country
1976 Dave & Sugar 3 RCA Victor
1977 That's the Way Love Should Be 10 157
1978 Tear Time 8 4
1979 Stay with Me / Golden Tears 20
1980 New York Wine Tennessee Shine 47
1981 Greatest Hits 35 179
Pleasure 31 Elektra

Dave Rowland solo albums[edit]

Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country
1982 Sugar Free 56 Elektra


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US Easy Listening CAN Country CAN AC
1975 "Queen of the Silver Dollar" 25 21 Dave & Sugar
1976 "The Door Is Always Open" 1 1
"I'm Gonna Love You" 3 2
1977 "Don't Throw It All Away" 5 32 5 34 That's the Way Love Should Be
"That's the Way Love Should Be" 7 45 6 33
"I'm Knee Deep in Loving You" 2 4
1978 "Gotta' Quit Lookin' at You Baby" 4 9 Tear Time
"Tear Time" 1 3
1979 "Golden Tears" 1 2 Stay with Me / Golden Tears
"Stay with Me" 6
"My World Begins and Ends with You" 4 7
"Why Did You Have to Be So Good" flip
1980 "New York Wine and Tennessee Shine" 18 10 New York Wine Tennessee Shine
"A Love Song" 40
1981 "It's a Heartache" 32 37 Greatest Hits
"Fool By Your Side"A 6 Pleasure
"The Pleasure's All Mine"A 32
  • ACredited to Dave Rowland & Sugar.

Dave Rowland solo singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country
1982 "Natalie" 77 Sugar Free
"Why Didn't I Think of That" flip
"Lovin' Our Lives Away" 84

Sue Powell solo singles[edit]

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

Another popular single was "Livin' At The End Of A Rainbow" however the band can not take credit for the hit due to copyright issues that arose several years later. The original writer of the song Rickey Lee White, (formerly guitarist for "Nitty Gritty Dirt Band") founding member of the "Cut N' Loose" band, had written the song for his future daughter. Years later, still without a daughter for whom to dedicate the ballad, he gave the song to long time friends and fellow musicians "Dave and Sugar". In 1984 his first born, a daughter finally came along and without any kind of disagreement the song was returned and never performed again by "Dave and Sugar". It rarely appears on any lists of singles or albums for the band. You can find a live recording of the trio performing the song on a television special during the brief time it was in their possession.


Country Music Association

Year Nominated work Category Result Notes
1976 "The Door Is Always Open" - RCA Single of the Year Nominated Dave Rowland, Jackie Frantz, Vicki Hackeman[6]
1976 Dave & Sugar Vocal Group of the Year Nominated Dave Rowland, Jackie Frantz, Vicki Hackeman[6]
1977 Dave & Sugar Vocal Group of the Year Nominated Dave Rowland, Sue Powell, Vicki Hackeman[7]
1978 Dave & Sugar Vocal Group of the Year Nominated Dave Rowland, Sue Powell, Etta Britt (as M.Dean)[8]
1979 Dave & Sugar Vocal Group of the Year Nominated Dave Rowland, Sue Powell, Etta Britt [9]


  1. ^ "Dave & Sugar". Biography. MusicCityAttractions.com. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Brennan, Sandra. "Dave & Sugar biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 115. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, p. 328
  5. ^ Patterson, Jim (5 March 1997). "Regina Regina hopes pairing pays off". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1976". CMT. 1976. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1977". CMT. 1977. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1978". CMT. 1978. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "CMA AWARDS // ARCHIVE 1979". CMT. 1979. Retrieved 12 October 2013.