Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DBKP Bubblegum Music Video Festival: Top 16 Bubblegum Hits of All-time

16 Videos of Bubblegum Music 1967-70

Talk about a labor of love.

Songs with sugary-sweet hooks and lyrics drenched in 100% sucrose.

Ok, we admit it, bubble gum music--it's a guilty pleasure from the seventh grade.

Sweetest music this side of sugar-soaked syrup.

We've assembled 16 of our favorite bubblegum songs in video form from the Golden Age of Bubblegum (our term) 1967-70. All sixteen saw pretty extensive airplay in the U.S. or U.K.

One group, Sweet, started out with bubblegum and wound up as glam rockers with mainstream pop hits, especially "Ballroom Blitz". They do appear a bit "glam" already though, in the videos here.

Back when FM radio was for doctor's offices and AM radio was flooded with bubblegum--most of it churned out by Buddah Records.
The first wave of "pure" bubblegum came with Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz - music producers who formed Super K Productions in 1967 and gave the world the Music Explosion's "Little Bit o' Soul" and The Ohio Express's "Beg, Borrow and Steal" (the latter being a knock-off of "Louie Louie"). However, these songs were closer to R&B garage band music, and missing the element of nursery rhyme/nonsense lyrics that would be introduced by staff songwriters Joey Levine and Elliot Chiprut.

About a year later, Kasenetz and Katz released the Ohio Express's memorable "Yummy Yummy Yummy," a #4 hit in June 1968. Although the Ohio Express was a real, touring garage band in the Midwest, their hit singles were recorded by session musicians fronted by singer-songwriter Levine. The band members were handicapped attempting to reproduce Levine's distinctive nasal whine for their live performances.

Our Top 16 Bubblegum Hits of All-time:

"Yummy Yummy Yummy"
The Ohio Express

"Goody Goody Gumdrops"
--1910 Fruitgum Company

"Green Tambourine"
--Lemon Pipers

"Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'"
--Crazy Elephant

"1-2-3 Red Light"
--1910 Fruitgum Company

"Little Willy"
--The Sweet

"Quick Joey Small"
--Kasenatz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus

"Chewy Chewy"
--Ohio Express

--Tommy Roe

"Sugar Sugar"
--The Archies

"Wig Wam Bam"
--The Sweet

"Down at Lulu's"
--Ohio Express

"Simon Says"
--1910 Fruitgum Company

"Funny Funny"
--The Sweet

"Indian Giver"
--1910 Fruitgum Company

From Wikipedia:
Kasenetz and Katz developed a strong relationship with Buddah Records, and scored many hits on Buddah during 1968 and '69: "Indian Giver" and "Simon Says" by the 1910 Fruitgum Company, "Chewy Chewy" and "Down at Lulu's" by the Ohio Express, and one-offs such as "Quick Joey Small" by The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus (another front for the same batch of Levine-fronted studio players). Kasenetz and Katz also influenced other Buddah artists not other their direct control, most notably The Lemon Pipers: their 1968 hit "Green Tambourine" was produced by Paul Leka but had a distinct Kasenetz-Katz feel.

Others joined in, including music publisher Don Kirshner and "Hanky Panky"'s co-author, Brill Building writer/producer Jeff Barry. Kirshner's 1966 creation The Monkees is often called bubblegum, due to their producer-driven career and reliance on outside songwriters and session players. Barry often contributed to the Monkees' projects as a songwriter and/or producer.

Kirshner and Barry struck gold again in 1969 with the Filmation cartoon group The Archies, whose "Sugar Sugar" (written by Barry with Andy Kim) was the year's best-selling single. (Ron Dante and Toni Wine provided the Archies' singing voices.) Cartoon producers Hanna-Barbera created The Banana Splits, costumed actors miming to pre-recorded tracks for a Saturday morning cartoon show, around this same time. Other animated acts included Josie and The Pussycats (from Hanna-Barbera), The Hardy Boys (Filmation), the Groovie Goolies (Filmation), The Sugar Bears, and (in the UK) The Wombles. US singer Tommy Roe also scored a massive bubblegum hit with "Dizzy" in 1969.

Okay, one more.

--The Ohio Express

Did we leave any out?

Let us know.

We're so avant-retro-garde.

[NOTE: The only reason 1910 Fruitgum Company's "Special Delivery" wasn't included was we couldn't find a video of it.

compiled by Mondoreb
image: artie wayne
* Bubblegum pop


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