http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-bubblegum-boy-young-teenager-blowing-balloon-image34762424No! Not the kind you chew. A new style of music known as “Bubblegum Pop”, “Bubblegum Rock” or “Bubblegum Music”. It has also been referred to as “Sunshine Pop”, but that sub-genre is much closer in form and function to a more contemporary style of music (Europop) influenced by show tunes and the British Invasion.

Bubblegum had a direct appeal to the young crowd. This new sound was specific with catchy melodies, simple harmonies, singalong choruses and an upbeat happy feeling. Many of the songs in this new genre have been heard over the years in the marketing of edible, sugary foods, because of happy feeling they imparted to the listener.

A segment of this new music was manufactured in various studios using session musicians. Most of these were one-hit wonders. Still, there was success with established groups and solo acts. And there were some like The Archies, The Banana Splits and Josey & The Pussycats who were transformed into cartoon characters or live action kids’ shows.

Some of the earlier Bubblegum influences were The Royal Guardsmen with “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron” in 1966 and The Fifth Estate who gave us “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead”. Tommy James and The Shondells contributed to the beginning with “Hanky Panky”, “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Gettin Together”. In my opinion there are a few other groups who had an influence with their music. Namely, on television there were The Monkees and The Partridge Family. The Cowsills were another who had something to add.

The song that is credited with the “Birth” of Bubblegum Music was “Green Tambourine” by The Lemon Pipers. Followed by a procession of popular tunes from the late 1960′s to the early 1970′s with a slight resurgence to around 1977 when disco took center stage.

Producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz have claimed credit with the creation of the term “Bubblegum Music”. As Super K Productions, they gave us a series from The 1910 Fruitgum Company’s “Simon Says”, The Ohio Express’ “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” & “Down At LuLu’s”. Other memorable Bubblegum hits were “Quick Joey Small” by The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus and  “Gimme, Gimme Good Lovin’” by Crazy Elephant.

Don Kirshner also produced some great Bubblegum gems. Namely, “Tracy” by The Cuff Links, “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies (The best selling single in 1969). Some others by The Archies: “Bang Shang-a-Lang”, “Jingle Jangle” and “Who’s Your Baby”.

Tommy Roe probably had the most bubblegum hits as a solo artist than anyone else during this genre’s heyday. Namely: “Dizzy”, “Jack and Jill”, “Jam Up and Jelly Tight”.

The late 1970′s had some leftover bubblegum elements in the Bay City Rollers and some of ABBA’s material, especially, “Take A Chance On Me” was arguably borderline bubblegum.

Sources: About Oldies; Wikipedia

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24 Responses to “Bubblegum”

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