“Whenever I hear an Andy Kim song I can’t help but be transported back in time. So many of my childhood memories are hinged upon these classic pop songs such as “Sugar Sugar”. “It feels like some kind of surreal dream to be able to call him a friend.” – Ron Sexsmith
In 1967, at the tender age of 15, Andy Kim left Montreal for New York City with $40 in his pocket and a Billboard Magazine under his arm earmarked to the page listing the addresses of record labels. His search led him to the Brill Building and the office of Jeff Barry, the man who penned such hits as Be My Baby, Then He Kissed Me and Chapel of Love. Kim was later signed to Barry’s new label, Steed Records, and the pair would go on to become an incredible songwriting team.
One of their most successful collaborations, Sugar Sugar, was written for Don Kirshner’s new CBS cartoon television series The Archies that featured a manufactured pop band with the same name. The animation took the once one-dimensional characters from between the pages of comic books and brought them to life on the small screen with vocalists Ron Dante, Toni Wine and Andy Kim lending their voices to the cartoon band. While Kim and Barry had already enjoyed success with previous compositions written for the cartoon series, the pair could not have foreseen the heights to which the song would soar.
In 1969, the year of Woodstock, Easy Rider and the Underground Movement, Sugar Sugar not only climbed to the top of the charts, but would go on to become both Song of the Year and Record of the Year; eventually selling 13 million copies worldwide. The single has also been heard in another popular animated television series, The Simpsons, and on the big screen featuring another manufactured band, The Brady Bunch, in the 1996 film A Very Brady Sequel. Sugar Sugar was used in Oliver Stone’s Heaven and Earth, (also known as Entre ciel et terre) about the American-Vietnam War, its aftermath and reconstruction. In 2005, Sugar Sugar made an appearance in the Shrek II DVD and continues to be heard in countless commercials around the world.