One of my earliest memories is of a cereal box—Super Sugar Crisp, now called Golden Crisp—with an actual, playable cardboard ‘flexi record’ printed on the backside. My mom had just taken the box from the grocery bag, and it sat on the kitchen table, waiting to get stored. At age 4, I was already a music fan and pop culture scholar in the making, so I was both fascinated and excited. Still a preschooler, and so not great with scissors, I enlisted by big sister’s help in cutting the record from the package. I’m guessing the box, missing most of its backside, ended up in the cupboard. The small album, featuring brightly colored images of Archie and the gang, played at 33 1/3 speed and had 4 songs from cartoon band, The Archies, including one of my favorites, the mega-hit, Sugar, Sugar. The flexi-record stayed on my family’s turntable for at least a day. Which, in little kid time, is forever.
I didn’t know then that Archie and the gang had already been living on the pages of comics for 30 years. I did know that there was a Saturday morning Archie cartoon show aptly named: The Archies. This half-hour show began in ’68 and was expanded to a full hour in ’69. Looking back now, the expansion of the show might have been the reason for the album showing up on my cereal box. Back then, though, I just accepted the album as part of my world. A world that included Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats, and the rest of the kids from Riverdale.