Friday Song: ‘Quick Joey Small’ by Kasenetz-Katz
Bubblegum pop music gets a bad rap from many circles, but let’s face it: if you don’t find yourself humming along to the bubblegum hits that were popular there for a short spell in the late 60’s, then check your pulse.
Jerry Kasenatz and Jeff Katz are the two fellas probably most responsible for those impossibly catchy bubblegum pop songs…I’m talking about stuff by 1910 Fruitgum Company, Music Explosion, Ohio Express, Crazy Elephant, and others. One thing these groups (and others) had in common is that they were all pretty much manufactured by Kasenatz and Katz and their Super K Production Company. The know-it-alls at Wikipedia define bubblegum pop as:
“…a genre of pop music with an upbeat sound contrived and marketed to appeal to pre-teens and teenagers, that may be produced in an assembly-line process, driven by producers and often using unknown singers. Bubblegum’s classic period ran from 1967 to 1972.”
Most bubblegum pop groups, including those mentioned above, were nothing more than groups of session musicians assembled by producers. Groups in name only, for the most part. Manufactured “bands.” But that doesn’t take away from the ridiculously catchy pop songs they recorded. This manufactured quality is part of what I consider my definition of classic-era bubblegum. Manufactured groups, fake band names, and super-melodic songs with light, very light, and lighter-than-air lyrical content. What sounds like it should sound like a nightmare (like most of today’s pop music, also pre-assembled and manufactured in-studio by armies of faceless producers) actually turned out some of what I’d consider the finest pop music of all time. Including ‘Quick Joey Small.’
‘Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)’ is a 1968 track credited to the Kasenatz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus (or Kasenatz-Katz, or Kasenatz Katz Super Circus), which is yet another made-up band, this time a collection of musicians who performed as members of Super K’s other hit-makers. There are lots of great jail-break songs out there (not really), but this one’s my favorite.
Get out the Hubba Bubba, it’s time to start chewin’!
What the hell: Here’s a Spotify playlist of some classic Bubblegum Pop. Nothing too deep here…