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1910 Fruitgum Company

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Biography

The prototypical bubblegum group, the 1910 Fruitgum Company was the brainchild of Buddah Records house producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, also the masterminds behind such phenoms as the Ohio Express and the Music Explosion. The Kasenetz-Katz formula was a simple one: they enlisted anonymous studio musicians (in this case, vocalists Mark Gutkowski and Joey Levine -- also the singer in the Ohio Express -- along with guitarists Frank Jeckell, Pat Karwan, and Chuck Travis, horn player Larry Ripley, and drummers Rusty Oppenheimer and Floyd Marcus), and prolifically recorded lightweight, fluffy pop songs which found an eager audience in fans looking for an alternative to the edgier rock music of the late '60s. With the 1910 Fruitgum Company, the Kasenetz-Katz team scored their first major hit, the 1968 Top Five smash "Simon Says," launching the bubblegum craze; that same year they also scored with the singles "1, 2, 3 Red Light" and "Goody Goody Gumdrops," all three issued as title tracks from the group's first trio of LPs. 1969's "Indian Giver," the title cut from the Fruitgum Company' s fourth album, was their last Top Five hit, and after one last LP, Hard Ride, the group disbanded; some of its members later resurfaced in the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus. ~ Jason Ankeny
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