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Review: Bubblegum music

GUEST,282RA 10 Jan 07 - 01:39 PM
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Subject: Review: Bubblegum musc
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 01:39 PM

[I'm putting a bubble gum comp CD set together right now. I wanted to provide some background. Below is my assemblage of notes. Not done yet. I was pretty young when the bubblegum thing hit. I'm hoping to talk with others who might have been a little older who can provide some insight or history that I would have missed. Thanks--282RA

If we're going to trace the history of bubblegum music, let's do it right and start with the source. The source is not a band or set of bands. The source is a record company. To give a little history, the late 40s saw a rise in "minority labels" i.e. small labels that put out "race music" which included both black and "hillbilly" styles, which had become popular after WW2. Most of these labels were tiny, subsisting on a single band and, not infrequently, a single song. Minority music entrepreneurs had to be sharp and savvy for their label to survive the fierce competition. Many were ruthless and disreputable and a good A&R man or label owner had to learn the ropes and learn them quick.

Those that did became the movers and shakers of the rocknroll era. Aside from Sam Phillips at Sun, there was Lew Chudd of Imperial Records who gave us Fats Domino, Art Rupe of Specialty Records who gave us Little Richard and Sam Cooke, Leonard and Phil Chess who gave us Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, the Bihari Bros. of Modern Records who gave us B.B. King. Not to mention Jerry Wexler, Max Silverman and Herb Abramson who helped Ahmet Ertegun found Atlantic Records. Another of these entrepreneurs was George Goldner.

Goldner started his first label, Tico, in 1948. It was strictly for Latin music (which he loved). Branching into blues and R&B, Goldner founded Rama Records in 1953. He signed the Crows who recorded a hit called "Gee," an early rocknroll number. With the money from that record, Goldner then founded Gee Records and signed Frankie Lyman & the Teenagers. By 1955, Goldner sold 50% interest in all three labels to Joe Kolsky in partnership with Morris Levy. In 1957, Goldner and Kolsky founded Roulette Records with Morris Levy as president. Goldner then sold his shares to his partners later that year and went off to found other labels. One of them, End Records, signed Little Anthony & the Imperials. Eventually, Goldner would sell these labels to Morris Levy as well. In 1965, he co-founded Red Bird Records along Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. One of the acts to sign on Red Bird were the Dixie Cups whose two excellent 1966 hits, "Chapel of Love" and "Iko Iko" were early examples of what would become bubblegum.

One of the men Goldner had hired in 1955 as an assistant was Artie Ripp. Ripp learned the industry upside down and backwards under Goldner's tutelage. By the time Goldner sold his second round of labels to Roulette in the early 60s, Ripp had left and co-founded Kama Sutra Productions in 1964 along with partners Hy Mizrahi and Phil Steinberg. Kama Sutra Productions was a hit factory employing people to write hit songs for them to peddle. They saw some success and, in 1965, they brought in Art Kass, an accountant from MGM, and became Kama Sutra Records. MGM agreed to distribute them. That year, one of Kama Sutra's clients, the Lovin' Spoonful (under control of Koppelman-Rubin Productions), gave the label one of their biggest hits, "Do You Believe in Magic."

In fact, Kama Sutra lived off Spoonful's hits for the next couple of years. While much of the Spoonful's music was rather sweet and had some teen appeal, they were not a bubblegum band. They were a true band with legitimate folk and folk-rock credentials prior to forming the Spoonful. In fact, fans regarded them as folk-rock despite the fact that their music was nominally folky at best and the label made them dress in some decidedly non-folky clothing in their publicity shots. They wanted to present the Spoonful as a "good times" band. Songs as "Summer in the City" and "Nashville Cats" are simply not bubblegum. The Spoonful evolved over time as all bands must. Bubblegum bands never evolved because they weren't real bands and played only what they were told to play by their producers and performed these songs strictly for the money. The Lovin' Spoonful probably lent some influence to the bubblegum industry due to their proximity to the people who created it but they are today rightfully regarded as a legitimate rock band.

To be sure, there was a proto-gum contingent for some years prior to the emergence of bubblegum. Among the earliest was Leslie Gore with her 1963 hits "It's My Party" and "Judy's Turn to Cry." Both songs crafted to appeal to the West Coast valley girl in all her self-centered, spoiled, vapid splendor. Strictly speaking, Gore's material is not bubblegum but it definitely served as a forerunner and certainly garnered many fans in that same market (I was 5 and can remember my 8-year-old sister and her friends constantly singing "Judy's Turn to Cry") but it was actually geared closer to 16-year-olds than 12-year-olds (neither of whom consider the other to be in the same generation).

One of the primary sources of bubblegum structure comes from soul and, specifically, Motown songs and arrangements. The string section for 1965's smash "Can't Help Myself" was borrowed and recycled by Bubblegum producers as Lew Warburton countless times. Much of Holland-Dozier-Holland can, in fact, be classified as proto-gum. "Can't Help Myself" is itself a proto-gum song as evidenced by it's more popular second title, "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch," parts of which seem to have served as a model for Edison Lighthouse's 1970 hit, "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" or Jay & the Techniques' 1967 hit, "Keep the Ball Rollin'." Another Holland-Dozier-Holland number from '65 gave us another important proto-gum piece—the Isley Bros. and "This Old of Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)." Perhaps more than any other song, this one was pulled to pieces and carefully dissected by the bubblegum writers. The melody turns up in countless ways, e.g. 1970's "My Baby Loves Lovin'" by White Plains (which, not coincidentally, are really the same people as Edison Lighthouse) and Kenny O'Dell's 1967 gummy hit, "Beautiful People."

Another example of proto-gum would be Nancy Sinatra's 1966 song, "Sugar Town" written by her producer and collaborator, Lee Hazelwood. While Ms. Sinatra was certainly not a bubblegum artist and "Sugar Town" was actually more popular among older people than the bubblegum audience, the song itself presents us with a recipe for fashioning gummy songs right down to using "Sugar" in the title and lyrics of a "not a care in the world" bent (in fact, the album was called "Sugar"). In addition, a harpsichord can be heard which later made its presence felt in bubblegum also due to its light, silvery, child-like sound. "Sugar Town" is not true bubblegum as it actually exhorts adults to revert to child-like optimism whereas bubblegum was never made to address that audience, in fact, ignored it completely. After all, who cares about grown-ups?

Another important source of bubblegum and actually shared a good deal of common ground was the garage band. In this case, we refer to a genre rather than the junior high kids down the street. Garage bands started that way but perfected this sound into something viable on the market. One example was the Shadows of Knight with their remake of the Van Morrison & Them staple, "Gloria." The Standells were another garage band that was popular. They had a bad reputation because their lyrics were racy for that time as in the song "Dirty Water" when they sing of going "down by the river with muggers and lovers and thieves—they're groovy people!" This kind of got them in hot water rather than the dirty variety. Their single "Try It" was penned by Ritchie Cordell and was promptly banned in some areas. As a joke, a DJ edited the song with bleeps inserted at points said to be offensive but the censored version became the most popular. The uncensored version was frankly anti-climactic since there wasn't really anything offensive in what was being bleeped out of an ordinary love song with a bit of saucy sexuality thrown in. At least the bleeped version lent more of a bad-boy air to the Standells who even found themselves debating the merits of the song on the air with Art Linkletter.

In 1966, Kama Sutra started what would become the formula of bubblegum: Artie Ripp knew that Kama Sutra needed to expand. Ripp wanted veteran writers and performers that he could coax the proper material from. He called Pete Anders and Vinnie Poncia at Red Bird (co-founded by Ripp's old boss, George Goldner) and induced them, with promises of higher pay and more production work, to come work for Kama Sutra (Red Bird folded later that year). Anders and Poncia masqueraded as two bands: the Trade Winds and the Innocence (and even included Ripp in their album cover photos as though he was a band member) and enjoyed some chart success. This practice of a cabal of producers and writers masquerading as various bands would become a staple in bubblegum.

Kama Sutra seemed to be looking ready for 1967 with some decent chart successes—most of them from the Spoonful. But within the company, turmoil had developed between the label and MGM the distributor. Art Kass, dissatisfied with the current situation which MGM was unwilling talk about, founded his own label, Buddah. The label didn't operate entirely separate from Kama Sutra but no band signed to Buddah operated under Kama Sutra's agreement with MGM (oddly, the Kama Sutra is a Hindu work but the label featured a Buddha in the logo while the Buddah logo featured a Hindu Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva image).

[img]http://www.lpcd.de/12/A8401_01.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.collectable-records.ru/images/singles/e_n/kama_sutra/1.jpg[/img]

Kass then hired Neil Bogatz away from his post as VP and sales manager at Cameo-Parkway Records (a.k.a. CamPark Records). Bogatz, who went by the name Bogart, had known Kass back at MGM when Bogart had been a GM there. Bogart teamed up at Buddah with two studio wizards he had known while at CamPark, Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz, known collectively as Super K. They had in 1967 produced the hit, "Little Bit O' Soul," by Ohio band, Music Explosion, a gum/garage song based on Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" riff, for Laurie Records before coming to Buddah. This was the Holy Trinity of bubblegum: Kasenetz, Katz and Bogart.

The first thing Super K and Bogart wanted to do was find a good garage band that would do some songs crafted purely as adolescent entertainment where they knew a lot of money was to be taken. Jeff Katz's father told his son about a good garage band he had seen called the Jeckells and Hydes (after guitarist Frank Jeckell). They had also called themselves Lower Road and then Odyssey. Katz and Kasenetz caught the band in New Jersey playing at someone's house, liked singer/organist Mark Gutkowski's voice and decided to sign them. Super K told the band that they would have to change their name to 1910 Fruitgum Company. Their style of sounding something like Procol Harum would also have to change. Super K already had songs for them to record. The band agreed and went into the studio in 1967 to record "Simon Says"—a song they disliked until they decided to give it a "Wooly Bully" beat. At this point, virtually all historians of contemporary music agree, bubblegum music started.

Sometime apparently in early or mid '67, a Buddah employee heard a finished demo of a song with music by Paul Leka and lyrics by Shelley Pinz. It was called "Green Tambourine."   The demo was produced by Leka.   The band, out of Oxford, Ohio, didn't like the song. Buddah had signed this psychedelic unit and Bogart wanted to find them a song with big hit potential—their own material being too rocking and esoteric for teenyboppers. That band—Ivan Browne (vocals), Bill Bartlett (guitar), Steve Walmsley (bass), Reg Nave (keyboards), and Bill Albaugh (drums)—was originally Tony & the Bandits until Ivan Browne replaced Tony in 1966. The band then became the Lemon Pipers (Browne stated that the idea was not his and that he never liked the name). Supposedly, the band had attracted the attention of Super K who put them under the direction of Leka and Pinz but this is not likely (Ivan Browne stated that neither K had anything to do with the career of the Lemon Pipers, even stating that he had never met them). The employee told Bogart about the recording saying it seemed to be perfect for the band and they were about to trash it. Bogart listened to the demo and intervened telling the band that "Green Tambourine" was going to be a hit and they needed a hit. The Pipers resisted and Bogart told them point blank that they either record it and release it or they would be dropped from the label. They recorded and released it.

"Green Tambourine" was released in the fall of '67 along with an album of the same name. It immediately caught on in the teen market. Within a short while, the single went #1 on the charts, a first for Buddah. There is some debate about whether the song is bubblegum or psychedelia.    Ivan Browne stated unequivocally that the song was not bubblegum. Whatever, Bogart liked it when he heard it—psychedelic enough for a band like the Lemon Pipers but with enough hooks to catch themselves entire schools of adolescents and you couldn't match that cool Gypsy tambourine tag at the end which was rather ungummy. Certainly Leka and Pinz considered "Green Tambourine" both gum and psychedelia as they had the Decca band Peppermint Rainbow cut their own version in 1969 even borrowing the Lemon Pipers' original instrument tracks and having the band simply sing over them. Rumor has it that the employee who had brought the song to Bogart's attention was Gary Katz (no relation to Jeff Katz of Super K), who would produce all of Steely Dan's material as well as signing up some of the most influential acts in contemporary music (I can find no evidence that Gary Katz ever worked for Neil Bogart or Buddah Records).

Super K were also interested in another Ohio garage band Rare Breed (apparently also called Sir Timothy & the Royals) who were signed to CamPark Records before Super K's departure. CamPark released their single "Beg, Borrow and Steal" written by producer/singer/songwriter Joey Levine which was pure garage and built out of "Louie Louie." CamPark had renamed the band the Ohio Express and "Beg, Borrow and Steal" would be one of the last of that label's hits. Levine had also written songs for the Standells. He had formed a band in 1967 called Third Rail along with another producer and songwriter, Artie Resnick and his wife Kris who also wrote songs. They had a minor proto-gum hit called "Run, Run, Run" (which was actually disguised social commentary). Now all three rails were at Buddah and looking to put something out. So Super K simply created a new Ohio Express composed of Dale Powers (lead guitar), Doug Grassel (rhythm guitar), Dean Kastran (bass), Jim Pflayer (keyboards) and Tim Corwin (drums). Levine would handle vocals. Super K, Levine and the Resnicks would act as writers, arrangers and producers of the material (according to Kastran, the band lineup was the same since "Beg, Borrow and Steal" back at CamPark and was the original lineup from Sir Timothy with the exception of Levine and continued to exist with this lineup unaltered). One of the songs they recorded was the 1968 smash single "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" written by Levine and Artie Resnick (for Jay & the Techniques, who turned it down as too pigeon-holing). Backing vocals were supplied in part by Jim Sohns, leader of the now-defunct Shadows of Knight. He would sing backup on most of their songs. As Buddah's follow-up to "Simon Says" (which Sohns also sang backup on) the kids ate it up like ice cream and bubblegum was on the musical map.

What constitutes bubblegum is open to question. But essentially, we're talking simplistic lyrics often based on nursery rhymes or popular children rhymes. Games are often mentioned in the lyrics or titles and are often used metaphorically for adolescent sexual exploration and hanky-panky. This is nothing new—rockabilly had made a name for itself in the 50s doing this same thing. But rockabilly was aimed at an older audience employing the innocent metaphors to thwart the mores of the 50s, which were certainly stricter than in the 60s. Another prime ingredient to a bubblegum was the presence of the Farfisa organ. The Farfisa had a shrill, thin tone—a "toy" sound like a peanut whistle—that came across as sexually non-threatening. When even a Farfisa seemed a bit too heavy-handed, bubblegum sometimes switched to the harpsichord ("Wait Til Tomorrow"). Hard to imagine "Simon Says," "Chewy, Chewy" or "Little Bit O' Soul" without a Farfisa. There are exceptions such as "Sugar Sugar" which uses a Rhodes and vibraphone instead of a Farfisa. "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" doesn't appear to have utilized a keyboard at all. So, while many gum tunes shared common ground, not all of them did and yet were undoubtedly still bubblegum.

In fact, even the term "bubblegum music" was contrived by Super K. Neil Bogart wanted this music to be given a name so that kids could identify it and identify with it. When Super K suggested "bubblegum," Bogart loved it and so that was how the name started. Bogart later stated, "Bubblegum music is pure entertainment. It's about sunshine and going places and falling in love and dancing for the fun of it. It's not about war and poverty and disease and rioting, and frustration and making money and lying and all the things that 'really' matter. It's not about these things and that is why it is so popular. It's about the good things in life... that sometimes (you) lose sight of ... but can find again."

This doesn't mean that the bands that played bubblegum liked it. Most of them hated it. Their reasons have more to do with their own creativity being stifled by being forced to perform studio crap rather than any highbrow notions. Ohio Express was a manic rock band that electrified their fans with their live performances and were highly popular in central Ohio. By contrast, their studio presence was extremely watered-down and barely noteworthy beyond being a famous bubblegum vehicle for Joey Levine. The 1910 Fruitgum Company toured during the height of their fame as the original band Super K had come to see in New Jersey. After launching into a bubblegum song to start the show, they would stop after a couple of bars while the singer blew his nose on the sheet music, wadded it up and threw it off the stage. The band would then launch into the high-energy rock music they loved and had played before Buddah turned them into a bubblegum hit factory and would play that way for the rest of the show whether the audience liked it or not.

When we get past the obligatory contempt towards this shallow, expedient trash called bubblegum, we discover some rather admittedly excellent songs expertly performed, recorded and produced by people who knew exactly what the hell they were doing. If one thinks that being a bubblegum musician was something any musical hack could do, one would be tragically mistaken. Bubblegum musicians were some of the best in the recording industry simply because they could have been virtually any musician in the industry—best or worst—in need of a gig…and musicians are always in need of a gig. If you were a gum musician, you had to come down to the studio ON TIME, hear the song, learn the song, record the song and do all this in no more than two hours (and were very fortunate to get that much time). The musicianship had to be just right. It had to fit the song convincingly. On top of that, the song had to hit or nobody called you again. There was no such thing as a label nurturing a bubblegum band. Those guys just played what they were told, when they were told. They weren't an investment for the future, they were to produce hits immediately and do it every time for as long as public demand lasted. It was a hard way to pay the rent. But at least, for a time, it did.

POSTSCRIPT

The Lemon Pipers had two bubblegum releases following "Green Tambourine": another Leka-Pinz song, "Rice is Nice" (from the 1967 Green Tambourine LP, produced by Leka) and the pseudo-acid sounding name of "Jelly Jungle (Orange Marmalade)," also written by Leka and Pinz and which Ivan Browne called pure bubblegum (but sounds more psychedelic than the very gummy "Rice is Nice"). This song came from a very nice album, Jungle Marmalade, produced by Paul Leka in 1968, but the band and Buddah were simply not agreeing over the band's direction—according to Browne, the Lemon Pipers sounded nothing like what was on the Buddah recordings but were much more on the rocknroll side of psychedelia (more like the far more underground cut "Dead End Street/Half Light" from Jungle Marmalade) and the band was very unhappy about the decidedly un-rock direction they were going—so much so that they broke up in 1969. Guitarist Bill Bartlett stuck around, joining the band August in 1973 who were signed to Buddah. When this fizzled, Bartlett co-founded Ram Jam who, in 1977, released the rockin' blues, "Black Betty," on their first album, a rather spirited rendition of a Leadbelly song that Bartlett had recorded on Epic with an earlier band out of Cincinnati but which didn't chart. Epic had Bartlett and Ram Jam re-cut the song and were rewarded with a hit. Apparently unaware of the song's origin, the NAACP and CORE pronounced it racist. A perfect example of post-gum, Super K produced Ram Jam's first album upon which Artie Resnick co-wrote "Too Bad On Your Birthday."

Another example of post-gum bands were the Boston-based Cars. The Cars' songs, mostly written by Ric Ocasek, were simplistic, beat-oriented, melodically light, lyrically unsophisticated. The essential bubblegum recipe for making music specifically geared to a teeny-bopper audience. A synth replaced the Farfisa organ. The hit "Just What I Needed" virtually steals the beginning of "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" and not by coincidence.

Speaking of the Ohio Express, they continued on after Levine's departure when Super K went to England to talk musician/songwriter Graham Gouldman into writing bubblegum for them as the latest incarnation of the Ohio Express. Gouldman had come out of the Mindbenders (after the departure of Wayne Fontana). Gouldman was not small potatoes by any means. He was a surprisingly successful and yet unknown songwriter who had written "For Your Love" and "Heart Full of Soul" for the Yardbirds, and "Look Through Any Window" and "Bus Stop" for the Hollies. Gouldman (usually bass) teamed up with fellow ex-Mindbender Eric Stewart (usually guitar), a friend from an earlier band—drummer Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme (usually keyboards). In 1969, the band released "Sausalito" (sung by Gouldman) on Buddah. The band also recorded under Super K's auspices for other labels and under other band names usually with Gouldman singing lead including Fighter Squadron, Silver Fleet, Crazy Elephant and Freddy & the Dreamers ("Susan's Tuba" b/w "You Hurt Me Girl," 1970, Philips—a million-seller). Kevin Godley stated, "We did a lot of tracks in a very short time – it was really like a machine. Twenty tracks in about two weeks – a lot of crap really – really shit. We used to do the voices, everything – it saved 'em money. We even did the female backing vocals." By 1972, with much musical and studio experience under their belts thanks to Super K, the Ohio Express of Manchester, England had mutated into the highly successful 10 c.c. (who did eventually work with Gary Katz, for what that's worth).

By 1970, Kama Sutra got back in the saddle signing and recording a bar band discovered by Joe Rock called The Jaggerz. A bubblegum hit resulted—"The Rapper." A few years later, the Jaggerz's lead singer/guitarist, Dominic Ierace, would join Wild Cherry still giddy from the huge success of 1976's biggest funk hit, "Play That Funky Music." Ierace became tight with the band's keyboardist, Mark Avsec. They formed the Cruisers, writing and scoring a hit in 1980, "Ah, Leah" under the name Donnie Iris.

Earlier, I mentioned that Motown songs seem to serve as a base for certain bubblegum stylings and particularly the songs of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who eventually left Motown to form their own label, Hot Wax/Invictus Records who signed the Honey Cone ("Want-Ads") who were produced by "General" Norman Johnson, lead singer of another Invictus band, Chairmen of the Board ("Give Me Just a Little More Time"). Hot Wax/Invictus also gave us Freda Payne ("Band of Gold") and the Flaming Ember ("Mind, Body and Soul"). The Hot Wax/Invictus roster was a masterful tightrope act balancing between soul and gum. Not surprising then that Buddah was the distributor of Hot Wax. They also distributed Curtis Mayfield's label, Curtom, who had signed the Staple Singers ("I'll Take You There") and the Stairsteps ("Ooh, Child"). During that time, Mayfield recorded and released "Freddie's Dead" and "Superfly." Buddah also distributed Sussex Records who had signed Bill Withers and, during that time, Withers recorded and released "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean On Me."

After the success of the 1966 hit, "Just Walk Away, Rene" by the Left Banke, lead singer Steve Martin signed with Buddah in 1971 producing a great single, "Two By Two" b/w "Love Songs In The Night." Ostensibly a Martin solo project, the band was almost entirely the original Left Banke. One member of the band, Michael Brown, signed with Buddah after forming a new band called Stories. They released an excellent album in early 1972 called Stories About Us. The album yielded a minor hit, "I'm Comin' Home." Brown left the band by April of that year and the singing duties fell to raspy-voiced Ian Lloyd. They covered Hot Chocolate's "Brother Louie" and garnered a #1 slot on the pop charts in 1973. The string section revealed it to be a post-gum.

Buddah branched out into other genres besides gum, psychedelia and good-times pop when they signed Gladys Knight & the Pips for some of their most enduring recordings including "Midnight Train to Georgia." Buddah also delved into the bizarre side of things by signing Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band.

In the wake of the demise of classic bubblegum, those labels that had profited from the venture were now hard put to survive as bubblegum was no longer selling as it once did. Many record companies were forced to do some radical reshuffling. The British label, Bell, which had put out records by Crazy Elephant, Tony Orlando & Dawn, the Partridge Family, Edison Lighthouse, the Bay City Rollers, Sweet, Suzi Quatro, the 5th Dimension, Barry Manilow and Barry Blue was combined with Colgems (Columbia-Screen Gems, the Monkees' label) and Colpix by Clive Davis in 1974 to form Arista Records. After the merger, many of the acts, as Tony Orlando & Dawn and the 5th Dimension, were simply cut loose.

Neil Bogart left Buddah and went on to found Casablanca Records in 1973 and signed on such acts as KISS, Donna Summer, the Hudson Brothers, Village People, Cher, The Captain & Tennille, Parliament, Stephanie Mills and Angel. Casablanca also signed Lipps, Inc., Cameo and Irene Cara. The label went defunct in 1984, outlasting Buddah by only a year. A new Casablanca Records was formed in 2004 but has no connection to the original. Buddah was reconstituted as Buddha but it too has little connection to the original company. Kama Sutra was reconstituted simply as Sutra.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: oldhippie
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 02:26 PM

re:What constitutes bubblegum is open to question. But essentially, we're talking simplistic lyrics often based on nursery rhymes or popular children rhymes. Games are often mentioned in the lyrics or titles and are often used metaphorically for adolescent sexual exploration and hanky-panky.

Does "Brand New Key" (Melanie Safka) qualify?
How about "Afternoon Delight"?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 03:46 PM

You should refer in some way to the French pop music called "ye-ye" - upbeat empty-headed dance music of the sixties.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 04:55 PM

>>Does "Brand New Key" (Melanie Safka) qualify?<<

Absolutely and it's already included. After all, Melanie recorded with Buddah and was one of Neil Bogart's pet projects. Ironically, he never made her do bubblegum, she did "Brand New Key" after leaving Buddah. It was, IMO, a big mistake on her part. She had the rep as a serious folk/spiritual artist when she was on Buddah and when she did "Brand New Key" her fan base deserted her and those not familiar with her earlier material thought she was some weird novelty act and didn't buy anymore of her records. She definitely needed to establish herself more before trying to pull off something like "Brand New Key."

>>How about "Afternoon Delight"?<<

It was on our original draft along with songs as "Brandy" by Looking Glass and "Dancin in the Moonlight" by King Harvest. After arguing back and forth, we determined these were not bubblegum songs but more like adult-oriented light pop. Looking Glass's "Jimmy Loves Maryann" will be on the comp though. We also removed Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun" because it too does not fit the bubblegum genre--plus none of us can stand it. God, I hate it. We did decide to keep Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again" even though it isn't a gum. It has a gum melody but it's wrapped around some pretty depressing lyrics. We classify it as an example of post-gum, which broke some of the rules of gum songs.

We hate Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" and wanted to strike it from the list but we kept adding it back on for one reason or another. It's another post-gum. Maybe because it's a shameless rip off of Rachmaninoff the way the Toys ripped off Bach with "Lovers' Concerto" (which is also on our list).

>>You should refer in some way to the French pop music called "ye-ye" - upbeat empty-headed dance music of the sixties.<<

Cool. Any examples or websites?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: clueless don
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 08:55 AM

As I recall, "bubblegum" music was the term used to describe the songs of a certain era, notably "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (I got love in my tummy)". As I recall, there was even a "band" called "The 1910 Fruit Gum Company" in the bubblegum era. "Wooly Bully" (and anything else by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs) was loooong before the bubblegum era.

Don


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM

What about the "Archies"? They were the biggest act, even though they didn't really exist--but the music was bubblegum, by any standard. It was certainly called "Bubblegum" at the time(I was a DJ back then, and I remember it all too well--There was a lot of acrimony, at the time, toward music that wasn't "heavy", which is probably has more to do with the reason that the people who played it disliked it--it was not cool to play that kind of stuff at all--Musicians, to be taken seriously, had to be "counterculture"--this was "teeny bopper" music, and totally uncool to listen to, let alone play.

One thing that you've missed, musically, is the "Tom Tom" bass line--it was a straight eight, like the cliche Indian tom toms in the TV and Movie Westerns--and was a break away from the syncopated "Hully Gully" beat that had been at the bottom of all the teenybopper dance music from the middle sixties--


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 12:40 AM

Been thinking about this for a while--Lou Christie was really the king--everything that would be bubblegum music is layed out in "Lightening Strikes"--it was really great music, disdained at the time, but the new wave in the late seventies really took a lot of the sound and made it hip--"Cruel to Be Kind" is probably the high point--


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 01:53 PM

>>As I recall, "bubblegum" music was the term used to describe the songs of a certain era, notably "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (I got love in my tummy)".<<

After checking around, we think bubblegum started in '67. There was a gummy form of music prior to that that looks like it lent impetus to the bubblegum industry (I hesitate to call it a movement). "YYY" came out the following year. That was the Ohio Express and their previous release, "Beg, Borrow or Steal" was more of a garage tune than a gum tune even though it was written one of the prime movers of the gum industry--Joey Levine. As I said above, gum and garage are intimately and inextricably linked.

>>As I recall, there was even a "band" called "The 1910 Fruit Gum Company" in the bubblegum era.<<

They did "Simon Says" in '67 and many consider this the official beginning of the bubblegum era. I don't have any objection to that so long as we realize that, while Buddah was largely responsible for gum, they didn't invent it out of thin air. It was already something in the air. That same year, Kenny O'Dell did "Beautiful People" and when you listen to it, you have to concede there's a definite gummy thing going on there. It's not gum the way Super K or Neil Bogart would have done it, but it's gummy--maybe aimed at an older crowd but not much older. I remember the song very well then and I was only about 8 or 9.

Then there's songs like "Georgie Girl" by the Seekers that we are including as a pre-gum because it very definitely has gummy elements stuck all over it. Anyone who doesn't believe "Georgie Girl" wasn't popular among the 7-14 crowd was obviously not alive then. I was and it was HUGELY popular among the younger kids--enormously popular, every kid could sing it for you if you asked them to--including me, including every kid I knew, actually. I even have the 45 single laying around somewhere. One of my older siblings bought it way back when and I still have it somewhere.

>>"Wooly Bully" (and anything else by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs) was loooong before the bubblegum era<<

Not more than a year maybe--although that is a long time by bubblegum standards. Remember that "Wooly Bully" is one of the premier gargage band songs--second only to "Gloria." The Fruitgum Company deliberately fashioned "Simon Says" to the same pumping Farfisa beat that "Wooly Bully" had. Also remember that the leader of the Shadows of Knight--perhaps the permier garage band of all time--sang backup on "Simon Says." His name was Jim Sohns and he sang backup on nearly everything put out by the Fruitgummers and the Ohio Express (before they turned British anyway--but maybe even then).


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 02:20 PM

>>What about the "Archies"? They were the biggest act, even though they didn't really exist--but the music was bubblegum, by any standard.<<

Of course we didn't forget the Archies. But there weren't part of Buddah. I haven't yet gotten around to writing about Don Kirshner. But, yes, Kirshner certainly had the bubblegum formula down pat. He was in it strictly for the money--which was all bubblegum was really about. The Monkees were a bubblegum band under his guidance. Their first three albums, they didn't even play or write on. Just their voices. By the 4th album, the Monkees had booted Kirshner to the curb and started playing and writing their own material for the records (from what I gather, most of the Monkees didn't know him all that well and didn't particularly like him although he did have an excellent ear for picking hits). While their material was still light and poppy, it was not bubblegum anymore. The Monkees had become a real band and bubblegum bands were not real bands (with perhaps the exception of the Lemon Pipers whose music was not overly gummy to begin with).

>>It was certainly called "Bubblegum" at the time(I was a DJ back then, and I remember it all too well--There was a lot of acrimony, at the time, toward music that wasn't "heavy", which is probably has more to do with the reason that the people who played it disliked it--it was not cool to play that kind of stuff at all--Musicians, to be taken seriously, had to be "counterculture"--this was "teeny bopper" music, and totally uncool to listen to, let alone play.<<

There was a certain hypocrisy in the recording industry concerning bubblegum because it was contrived, created strictly to make money. But is this not equally true of the counter-culture? Granted they weren't under the pressure to produce hits the way bubblegum bands were and their music was allowed to evolve whereas bubblegum bands did not evolve--but nevertheless, they had to garner up some kind of hit material sooner or later or they were going to get dumped. The purpose was still the same--to make money. It's an industry and a business and you have to make a profit--it's that simple. But the counter-culture was all about not making money and so the labels had to pitch these bands that way but all the while intending to make a killing off these guys. At least bubblegum was honest about it.

>>One thing that you've missed, musically, is the "Tom Tom" bass line--it was a straight eight, like the cliche Indian tom toms in the TV and Movie Westerns--and was a break away from the syncopated "Hully Gully" beat that had been at the bottom of all the teenybopper dance music from the middle sixties--<<

That's an interesting point. I'm not sure I follow it fully. "Sugar Sugar" kind of had that tom-tom bass and certain the Fruitgum Company did with "Indian Giver" but I can think of a lot of bubblegum that didn't use it. But I think ou might have something there. Could you provide an example of what you're getting at?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 02:33 PM

>>Been thinking about this for a while--Lou Christie was really the king--everything that would be bubblegum music is layed out in "Lightening Strikes"--it was really great music, disdained at the time, but the new wave in the late seventies really took a lot of the sound and made it hip--"Cruel to Be Kind" is probably the high point--<<

We've included "Lightning Strikes" as a pre-gum. I can remember Lou Christie very well. I think that power falsetto in pop naturally lends itself to bubblegum interpretations. We've also included the Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry" as a pre-gum. There's just something "kiddy" in that falsetto.

What is little acknowledged about bubblegum and where it had a tremendous, indelible influence on all contemporary music is that production values and arrangements. While it may have been contrived, quick-buck muzak, it was also extremely well arranged, recorded and produced muzak--mostly because the guys doing WERE producers (such as Joey Levine).

Did you Lou Christie did ALL his own backing vocals? The only voice you hear on "Lightning Strikes" is Christie's. For the mid-sixties, that was pretty damned advanced recording techniques. Another example is "Tracy" by the Cuff Links. This was sung by Ron Dante--the singing voice of Archie. Again, all the vocals on it are Dante. When you listen to the piece--gummy though it certainly is--you can't deny the producers did a fantastic job with it. Really, I'm awed that they could put that together like that in 1969.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 04:07 PM

I think you've stretched the term "bubble-gum music" beyond all recognizability.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: number 6
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 04:09 PM

Good Gawd!

biLL


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 08:06 PM

>>I think you've stretched the term "bubble-gum music" beyond all recognizability.<<

Or it could be that your definition is too narrow.

For instance, we included Tommy Roe's "Sheila" as a pre-gum. If he had released it between '67 and '70, it would have instantly been called a gum. His "Jam Up and Jelly Tight" from 1970 is a gum. I also consider "Dizzy" to be a gum. Likewise for "Sheila" and yet listen to it closely. Who does it sound like? Buddy Holly. And when I think about it, quite a number of Holly songs had a sweet tooth melody. There is some Buddy that carried into the bubblegum era. He is an influence.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 08:31 PM

for the love of bubblegod !!??

please if someone with a sharp shitty stick

could fend off musicoligists.. critics .. accademics.. sociopoliticalpopayayaists.. chartocorporatewankofistuparseists..



the Arhies 1st album has just finally been released on CD

by German Repetoire records


bubble yeah bubble yeah..!!!!!

finest pop LP ever..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



so..


..then theres bubble punk & bubble post punk & bubble power pop..

& bubble post first new wave retro agit pop grrrrll power anti sugar bubble gum pop!!!!?!?!???!??!?!?!


dear bubble god protect us from misguided serious clever people

who need to get all serious about our stupid daft musical fun !!!??


[ok.. serious for a few secs..
the rubinoos.. girls at our best .. delta 5.. zigue zigue sputnick.. transvision vamp.. darling buds.. def leopard..
and most of all the rest of my record colection in boxes back at me mumms attic..]


f@ckin sugar dada postindustrialpopculturual bonkerism..

wank !!!!!! [sound of a duck singing LATE 60'S pop music !?]


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 08:35 PM

When I was a kid, we ALL had that first Archies album. Got played to death at every birthday and Christmas party.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 08:53 PM

My sisters had all the bubblegum singles and all the Monkees albums between them. So I had a pretty good background in it. Plus, as a kid at that time, you couldn't avoid it. Bubblegum was everywhere.

>>..then theres bubble punk & bubble post punk & bubble power pop..<<

There's also Bubblepuppy who, in 1969, did "Hot Smoke & Sassafras" which is about as unbubblegum as you get. One of the first songs of true metal or maybe even THE first.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:02 PM

I seem to remember that every garage band around was trying to get that bubble gum sound too. It got them lots of "dance" bookings.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:21 PM

just in case i'm not too drunk or loud enough..

the Archies 1st LP


is the..



[damn i wish i could remember them big words about post modernism and post cultural humptydumtykingsnewclothesism..]



f@ckin best pop LP ever!!!!!!!




respect mate..

compiling a bubble loving retrospective CD is a glorious project..!!!



remember the pebbles protopunk LPS that stretched on forever..
??

[errrmm.. brownsville station.. the runaways...

at last a stranger i can share the darkest secrets of my record collection with]


best of luck and best wishes..


cider flavoured bubblegum pop punk is alive and well in a nasty little
decaying post thatcher ravaged declining sinktank town in the west of england..


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:25 PM

Yep, bubblegum and garage are bedmates. Can't really separate 'em. Like punk is a descendant of bubblegum whether punk cares to admit it or not. Punk is like the ultimate garage band music/noiz. Anyone who doubts should listen "Quick Joey Small" by the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus. Written by Joey Levine and Kris Resnick and released in 1968, this tune shows how closely allied garage, gum and punk really are. This song was not well known but it was perhaps the best of the bubblegum songs. It was raw, sort of grim, not sweet at all, had some grit to it and yet the chorus was like a rhyme you might hear young girls doing while jumping rope. And yet, it would sound perfectly at home in a punk tune. This is a clear link IMO. Punk descended far more from bubblegum/garage than it did metal. In fact, I think punk influenced metal WAY more than the other way around.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:43 PM

yeah..!!

GUEST,282RA..

if i can ever remember to log on here..

["punkfolkrocker" is registered member name here..

my password surely cant be that tough to remember..!??]

and if you wanna join this mudclat place if you havent already,..??]

please PM me..


there is an essential shared heartbeat throbbin ball spurtin core at the nexus of all the genres of
brilliant exciting daft vapid disposable music i adore..

..folk included..

and who's to say the origins and province of "sugar sugar"
wont be hotly disputed by cultural
accadmics and boring amateur folk music custodians 1000 years from now..


BTW.. bubble folk.. errmm.. mugwumps.. seekers.. new seekers..


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:01 PM

i'm maybe a bit confused..

seems i'm actually logged in rather than "GUEST"



anyway..



i'm one of the only blokes i know in UK who has been lifetime devoted
to bubblegum pop asthetic


[ie.. not getting payed ridiculous money writing about it in mainstream midlebrow e4asy cheesey aspirational lifestyle culture magazines..


unlike some of my ol sckool mates..!!!??]]


so i say again.. archies would always beat fairports &sex pistols in a jelly bomb fight!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:28 PM

Another thing that bears mentioning about the creation of bubblegum is that it was largely invented by Jewish men. Kasenetz, Katz and Bogart are Jews. Buddah was founded by Art Kass, Jewish. He came from Kama Sutra which had been founded intitially by Artie Ripp, Hy Mizrahi and Phil Steinberg--all Jews. Ripp's mentor was George Goldner, Jewish. All Goldner's recording industry colleagues--Morris Levy, Joe Kolsky, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller are all Jewish.

Joey Levine, Artie Resnick (not sure about his wife, Kris, but it's certainly possible), Don Kirshner, and a guy named Jerry Goldstein of the Rock & Roll Dubble Bubble Trading Card Co. of Philadelphia - 19141--that's the actual name of the band--who did "Bubblegum Music" in 1969 co-written with Bob Feldman--all Jews.

Graham Gouldman of the Ohio Express/10 c.c. is also Jewish as is drummer Kevin Godley.

To give an idea of how motivated the record label owners were, Curtis Mayfield recalled Neil Bogart coming to him once for advice on how to change his fortunes. Bogart was flat broke and in hock and turned to Mayfield for advice because he was a trusted old friend. Mayfield and Bogart talked and when Mayfield bumped into Bogart about a year later, Mr. Bubblegum was a millionaire.

This is not a rap on Jews in the recording industry--it would be fair to say there would not have been such an industry without Jews--it's just interesting.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:31 PM

GUEST,282RA With all due respect , what is this CRAP you are spouting about Race records in the 1940's ?? What were Gennett and the like doing in the mid Nineteen twenties ? They were recording the REAL Blues guys , as well as the GOOD jazz bands , and establishing a serious grounding for minority music forms to build on !


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:33 PM

Well one thing I know is Bubble Gum is virtually undigestible, much like the post that started this thread. Thought it was a thesis. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

In my mind bubblegum is pop where the performers are the product not the music at all. Like Mili Vannili. Or The Archies, or The DiFranco Family. At least the Monkees had Neil Diamond going for them.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:37 PM

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I disagree with most of what the thread starter has to say about anything.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:49 PM

dont know.. sugar sugar bubblegum jew music..?


20th century pop culure.. jew conspiracy....!!!???



wierd but fascinating theory..


my synapses are collidin & fryin..


i'm only 8th jew by blood..

but i have inate sensitivity & sensibility for east euro klezma..
yank factory production 60's pop
.and bubblygum..

so.. somewhat arguable but very interesting theory..

but .. hey what the f@ck what !!!!


i listen to bubblegum an meditate gettin closer to the source of all why and what for we exist..


an my mrs tell me wake up turn that terrible pop music CD off..

an stay stiff till she finish climax!!???


i'm easy at my age .. i can do whaT SHE NEEDS AND ENJOY

while i lie back and listen MY POP music CDs..

talkin about pop musik.. pop pop musik..


postscript:

I and the wife only listen to music in bed on weekend early afternoons

[time is prescious at our age]


we may be the only middle aged couple in the UK shagging to Archies CDs....

yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: number 6
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:58 PM

Good Gawd!!

biLL


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:38 AM

>>GUEST,282RA With all due respect , what is this CRAP you are spouting about Race records in the 1940's ?? What were Gennett and the like doing in the mid Nineteen twenties ? They were recording the REAL Blues guys , as well as the GOOD jazz bands , and establishing a serious grounding for minority music forms to build on !<<

Well, Paramount beat them to it. They recorded Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1925 and he is believed the first artist to record real blues. They also recorded Charlie Patton.

There was also Okeh Records that predates Gennett substantially. I think RCA's Bluebird label did too.

With that said, however, my statement regarding the state of record labels just after WW2 is completely factual. There had been a recording strike in 1942 by the musicians' union which forbade any new recordings by union musicians with the exception of V-disks, which were not available to the general public but only to troops overseas. To hear any new music, one had listen to blues or hillbilly fare done by non-union musicians. Johnny Mercer got in on the act quickly in 1942 and co-founded Capitol Records which recorded exactly that music. Capitol's first single was "Cow-Cow Blues" which was a million-seller. They also released "Mean World Blues" that year by T-Bone Walker which was also a huge seller (the musician's strike sidelined Walker from recording although he continued performing live throughout the war).

Other labels began springing up. I mentioned some of them. R&B and hillbilly music was termed "minority" or "specialty" music at that time. Art Rupe called his label "Specialty" specifically for this reason--that's all he recorded. Atlantic formed at that time and it too was a minority music label. But there were many others. Sun was a relative late-comer.

Sorry, if that sticks in your crawl but that's simply the truth of matter. Please feel free to peruse that history yourself which is exactly what I did.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:46 AM

>>20th century pop culure.. jew conspiracy....!!!???<<

I don't know if conspiracy is the right word. However, consider this paragraph from my initial post:

"Those that did became the movers and shakers of the rocknroll era. Aside from Sam Phillips at Sun, there was Lew Chudd of Imperial Records who gave us Fats Domino, Art Rupe of Specialty Records who gave us Little Richard and Sam Cooke, Leonard and Phil Chess who gave us Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, the Bihari Bros. of Modern Records who gave us B.B. King. Not to mention Jerry Wexler, Max Silverman and Herb Abramson who helped Ahmet Ertegun found Atlantic Records. Another of these entrepreneurs was George Goldner."

Of the men mentioned above, the only ones not Jews are Phillips and Ertegun. And Ertegun was a Muslim.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 01:06 AM

well then.. as drunk as i am.

just listened to "hums of lovin spoonful" again.

its not buublegum..

but can understand how it may have informed evolution of buble pop..

i seriously respect your research and thesis..


but as a Brit.. i cant help thinking

you concentrate to much in detail on one strand of bubblegum ..
you clearly have great depth of knowledge
in a n aspect of music history most old f@ckers here
ignore and seriously disrespect..


sory .. i'm too drunk..

but to me bubble is specific historic contained genre

late 60s to earlyu 70s



but the esenc of buble transcend its cronology to inforom

the best of 1977 piop punk and its ill bread misongyny..

[sorry about speling,. an elderly relative died tonight so we got drunk..]



bubblegum is a cronological self contained genre


and compact and perfecty defined

that it is ageless in its trancendently pop perfection..


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cluin
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 01:07 AM

Good Gawd!!

biLL's friend.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 01:36 AM

>>Well one thing I know is Bubble Gum is virtually undigestible, much like the post that started this thread. Thought it was a thesis. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz<<

As long as you log on and read some of it.

>>In my mind bubblegum is pop where the performers are the product not the music at all. Like Mili Vannili. Or The Archies, or The DiFranco Family. At least the Monkees had Neil Diamond going for them.<<

But you're horribly wrong. The music IS what mattered to the gummers more than anything because that is what they were selling. That was the purpose of the whole thing: to sell kids lots and lots of bubblegum music--as much as they were willing to buy. The performers didn't matter--they were anonymous on the records and could have been anybody when you saw them live. In some cases, it was the Banana Splits touring and miming to recorded music in front of large crowds of kids. Didn't matter a hoot who was in the suit.

It's the "serious" artists where performer matters more than the music. If I pay to see Primus in concert, I expect to see the real Primus come out and play. I do not expect to see another band that sounds just like Primus. I expect it to be the actual performers that I hear on the record--at least Les Claypool should be there--and if it isn't so, I am going to be pissed.

But a bubblegum show? You only went to the show because you knew the songs. You knew little to nothing about the musicians who did the recording. Again, it's the music bringing in the money.

The only exception to this would be something like the Brady Bunch (who are in our comp) who were a visual vehicle long before becoming a musical one.

As for the digestibility of bubblegum, it matters little. My colleague on this endeavor is an avid record collector. A walking encyclopedia of American rocknroll, country and blues. But I've known him to listen to everything from Beethoven to Spike Jones. I rarely encounter some obscure song somewhere that he hadn't already heard years before. He's a whip on guitar and has played in rock and country bands and was even a drummer in one.

When I managed to find a digital remastering of "Wait Til Tomorrow" by the Banana Splits, I gave it to him saying that I thought I remembered hearing them do that song on their show. He replied that they did do it on the show and said, "That was the very first record I ever owned." That made me realize the influence this stuff has. Spit on it all you want, but it got a whole generation kids wanting to play music.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 01:45 AM

bublegum is purest distilled esence of pop..


i'm nearly 50..

been listening and playng music over 30 years


there is a backing chorus harmony on one of the tracks on archies 1st album..

sends shivers


sends me somewhere i'd like to spend rest of eternity in..


weird.. inexplicable.. embarassing..????


god gave rock and roll to you..[Argent/kiss]

his god gave bubblegum,to us all


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,Snorky
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 02:04 AM

Good Gawd!


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 11:42 AM

Damn, Punkrocker, I wish we lived closer, we could start a band--

From back in the days, those bands like Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, were actually called "Punk Rock" at the time. And the deal is that this sort of music, and the culture tied to it, were basically Tex-Mex, or what they now call Norteno Polka music--you haven't mentioned the Sir Douglas Quintet, but , "Mendocino" was a really teenybopper anthem--with the tinny Farfisa sound and all--The earlier hit, "She's About a Mover" was a classic garage band tune--where I grew up, anyway, right up with "Gloria" and "Louie, Louie"(and, sorry, but that was the ultimate garage band tune)--

Anyway, the bubbegum sound, especially the Kasenetz-Katz/Buddha stuff, features an uptempo bass line that mostly is straight eighth notes, with a duhduh-duhduh-duhduha-duhduh feel, hanging pretty much on the chord tonic(archies stuff had a much more funky bass line) with those Farfisa chords playing phrases that were mostly half and quarter notes(--Wooly,Bully had a Hully Gully beat, which was slower, very loose, and had a "mama-PApa-mamaPApa" beat, with emphasis on the third count(PA)----
The funny thing is that the Farfisa in the punk rock music was derived from the accordian--I grew up in an area where there were a lot of the TexMex Polka bands, and the accordian and farfisa were often interchangeable--

Another feature of the punk/garage/bubblegum genre was the "La Bamba/Twist and Shout" chord progression--

Anyway, "Sheila" is a brilliant choice--


Anyway, have you considered the tune, "Little Black Egg"--was a garage hit, and the vamp echoes through a lot of subsequent bubblegum stuff--

Final thought--there was bubblegum music first, and then bubblegum stars, like Bobby Sherman and the Cassidy brothers, who targetted the audience that bubblegum music appealled to--

And, yes, this is a great project!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM

>>The earlier hit, "She's About a Mover" was a classic garage band tune--where I grew up, anyway, right up with "Gloria" and "Louie, Louie"(and, sorry, but that was the ultimate garage band tune)--<<

I'll concede "Louie Louie" might be ultimate garage song but that's in terms of popularity (funny how so much legend is built up around the lyrics when it's about a Jamican sailor in a bar telling the bartender he has to go back out to sea). To me, the greatest garage tune of all time due to it's ferocious tribal energy is "Mona" by the Teddy Boys. It's positively tribal and I'm sure it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up to hear it performed in front of you by a band of greasers at 110 dB. It's as punk as any punk.

>>Anyway, have you considered the tune, "Little Black Egg"--was a garage hit, and the vamp echoes through a lot of subsequent bubblegum stuff--<<

Do you know who does it?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 03:42 PM

There's a vast difference between garage band music and bubble gum. Yeah, three chords and an attitude got every high school band to "Gloria" and "Louie Louie." So what? Emasculated bubble gum those songs ain't.

To put the Sir Douglas Quintet in the same category as bubble gum bands is patently ridiculous. Yes, they knew how to make hit singles. However, the band was made up of quality musicians, including the incomparable Martin Fierro, who has played with everyone from artists such as B.B. King, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk to bands such as Mother Earth, The Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band.

Sir Douglas toured for years. They were about making music, not only about turning out a few hits along the way.
Elmer


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM

>>There's a vast difference between garage band music and bubble gum.<<

Not as much as you think. 1910 Fruitgum Company was a garage band, the Ohio Express was a garage band, Tommy James and the Shondells were a garage band. One of the great garage songs, "Little Bit O' Soul" was produced by Kasenetz and Katz. Ritchie Cordell, who wrote "Try It" for the Standells (which was promptly banned in some areas) also wrote "I Think We're Alone Now." We call "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" bubblegum but we call "Beg, Borrow and Steal" garage and yet they were performed by the same band and written by the same guy--Joey Levine (who co-wrote "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" with Ritchie Cordell). Then you have the guy from the Shadows of Knight singing backup on "Simon Says" and "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" and just about everything those two bands put out. Bubblegum and garage are inextricable.

>>Yeah, three chords and an attitude got every high school band to "Gloria" and "Louie Louie." So what? Emasculated bubble gum those songs ain't.<<

Nobody says they are bubblegum. We're saying bubblegum evolved out of garage bands and most garage acts had gummy songs and most bubblegum acts had garagey songs. There were exceptions of course. But that is the basic genesis. Even the Archies were depicted in their cartoons as a garage band.

>>To put the Sir Douglas Quintet in the same category as bubble gum bands is patently ridiculous. Yes, they knew how to make hit singles. However, the band was made up of quality musicians, including the incomparable Martin Fierro, who has played with everyone from artists such as B.B. King, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk to bands such as Mother Earth, The Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band.<<

Are you saying bubblegum musicians were no good? Bubblegum musicians were often excellent. You listen to those old singles and the musicianship and production values and arrangements were highly professional. Listen to the musicianship and production on the Archies' "Bangshangalang" from 1968 and tell me that was done by hacks. Listen to the bass in Bobby Sherman's "Easy Come, Easy Go," that guy rips whoever he is--for that matter so does the drummer! Listen to the bass on the Grassroots' "Midnight Confessions." Same thing. That's top-notch musicianship.

>>Sir Douglas toured for years. They were about making music, not only about turning out a few hits along the way.
Elmer<<

That's all well and good but it doesn't alter the fact that bubblegum and garage are intimately linked.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:24 PM

I agree Elmer, bubble gum music was not garage band. You're a Dirty Robber did not come from the same place or ethic as Yummy Yummy, Yummy, unless maybe you misheard it as, "I've got come on my tummy". Garage bands of the Pacific Northwest and their edge, came from a far tougher environment.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:27 PM

Bubble gum music was as contrived as the f#ckin Mouseketeers.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cool Beans
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:57 PM

Fascinating stuff. Please, 282, spell Lesley Gore's first name correctly before you go to print. She was a friend of mine when we were little kids in the 50s
Also, Melanie's "Brand New Key" is a sly Freudien double entendre and therefore, IMHO, too lyrically sophisticated to be considered bublegum.
Speaking of the 50s, as we were, what about "Honeycomb" and "Sugartime" as precursors to bubblegum?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 08:09 PM

Boys liked garageband music and hated bubblegum, but that doesn't mean that the music was any different--just the image, and the marketing--and yes, "Mendocino" was a teenbopper hit--and, because of that, a lot of people never got the fact that Doug Sahm and company had a great band--

"Little Black Egg" was by the Nightcrawlers, featuring Dick Bartley, who would, much later, host American Top 40--it isn't in the Billboard Hot 100 book, because, though it was a national hit, it hit the charts at different times in different regions, and therefore never broke 100--it is in the Bubbling Under book though--if you can't find it, PM me with your email address--

"Contrived" is an interesting concept--in retrospect, a lot of the hip, alternative 60's music sounds very different than we thought--a lot of the bubblegum stuff has "folkie" chord progressions, as opposed to pop chord progressions, and some of the teenybopper idols started out as folksingers, too--


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 11:44 PM

>>Bubble gum music was as contrived as the f#ckin Mouseketeers.<<

What music isn't contrived?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 11:58 PM

>>Garage bands of the Pacific Northwest and their edge, came from a far tougher environment.<<

This is a contrived statement. Anybody who could play had a garage band. My older brother played in one during that era, I played in a few when I was older and my younger bro did likewise. None of us were that tough. That's like saying all rappers come from the ghetto, have done time in prison and pack heat everywhere they go. That might have been the case for a few but not for the vast majority.

Not everybody in a garage band was a greaser with a leather jacket getting in chain fights with rival gangs.

Bubblegum music was "garage light" and whether you care to admit it or not, you had your favorite gumball tunes. You can deny it all you want but you had em and you played em because that's what the chickies wanted to hear. Just like a friend of mine who played in a rock band who did a pretty cool assortment of songs but one song they did was "Achy Breaky Heart." Why? Because everywhere they played, people wanted to hear it--especially the women, so they could dance to it. The band hated the song but they HAD to learn it because everybody wanted to hear it. If his band didn't learn it, people would hire other bands that did. No getting around it.

My older brother--whose band was PURE garage and the leader of which was a straight up JD greaser--hated gum for the most part and yet I remember him constantly playing the Monkee's "I Want To Be Free" so he could play it in an acoustic set.

So come off your high horses and admit it--you listened to gum too, you couldn't have avoided it--and you had your favorite gum songs.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:04 AM

>>Also, Melanie's "Brand New Key" is a sly Freudien double entendre and therefore, IMHO, too lyrically sophisticated to be considered bublegum.<<

Actually, you just described bubblegum down to a T.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: M.Ted
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:32 AM

Thanks for starting this thread, 282RA, because it's got me listening to this stuff again, and it is great music, and really fun--I'd been listening to a 70's hard rock station that just started up, and, sad to say, a lot of the stuff was joyless and plodding--and, Metchosin, listen to "Beg, Borrow, and Steal", it's "Louie, Louie"--


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cluin
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:33 AM

Garage band used to have a different meaning when I was young, before the Seattle grunge boys took the term over. It was just essentially the neighbourhood boys who got together to learn a few of the AM radio hits to make some money playing dances and impress some chicks. There was always some poor hanger-on slob who got talked into taking bass lessons and hitting their parents up for money to buy a bass and amp.

This guy often became the best musician in the group.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Cluin
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:39 AM

Oh yeah, and they usually gave themselves some cheesy pretentious name like "Children of Avalon" or "Xanadu Decree".


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: Scrump
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 07:38 AM

Does "Combine Harvester" (a parody of Melanie's "Brand New Key", written in Ireland and a hit in the UK for The Wurzels in 1976) count as bubblegum music?


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 02:03 PM

////Been thinking about this for a while--Lou Christie was really the king--everything that would be bubblegum music is layed out in "Lightening Strikes"--////

Actually, his gummiest song was "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" from 1969. I think it was his last hit before his popularity and recording career ended. Not surprisingly, the single was released by Buddah.

////there is a backing chorus harmony on one of the tracks on archies 1st album..sends shivers////

Not sure who did the backing vocals but I know Toni Wine did the voices of both Betty and Veronica. She was already an established song writer. She wrote "Candida" for Tony Orlando & Dawn. She co-wrote a number of Archies songs and broke into the business by cowriting "Groovy Kind of Love" with Carol Bayer when both were 17 year old high school girls. As we know, Carol Bayer would go on to marry Burt Bacharach and made a solo career for herself as Carol Bayer Sager.

"Groovy Kind of Love" from 1966 should also be considered a contributor to the gum genre not to mention that it was sang by Eric Cramer of the Mind Benders who would go onto join up with Graham Gouldman to form 10CC / Ohio Express. O, what a tangled web we weave.


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Subject: RE: Review: Bubblegum music
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 02:29 PM

Sorry, last post was mine.


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