Formed in 1975 by charismatic L.A. session singer and ex-Charley Pride sideman Dave Rowland, Dave & Sugar (which also included co-lead singers Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackman, later Baker) was a slick-sounding, soulful vocal trio who during their heyday were labeled "the country ABBA." Although their career was much shorter lived than that of Bjorn and crew, Dave & Sugar did share the Swedish group's knack for catchy tunes, sparkling production, and full, rich, male/female vocal arrangements.
Rowland was an experienced and formally trained musician, having toured not only with Pride and vocal group the Four Guys, but also as a member of the Stamps Quartet, which backed up Elvis Presley, among others. After signing on with Pride's management team, Dave & Sugar shot straight to the number one spot on the country charts with their first single, "The Door Is Always Open," a driving, lushly produced track which expertly combined Rowland's resonant baritone with Frantz and Baker's soaring harmonies. Two successive singles, "I'm Gonna Love You" (which also hit number one), and "Don't Throw It All Away," used the same basic formula as "The Door Is Always Open," and also became huge hits in 1976-1977. These singles were compiled with eight other songs, including the stirring "Queen of the Silver Dollar" to make up Dave & Sugar's first, self-titled LP. Although the group had several other semi-successful singles, which were collected on their Greatest Hits album in the late '70s, Dave & Sugar were never able to follow up their initial success and, despite a string of quality pop-country chart-toppers, are generally regarded as a one-hit wonder. Dave Rowland died on November 1, 2018 following a stroke. He was 74.