One of my favorite types of music has always been Bubblegum. I remember getting Mother to take me to the Sandy Springs, Georgia, K-Mart (the closest one to Alpharetta at the time) to buy the first Archies album on its release day.
I’ve decided, as part of Doyle’s Space Music Hall of Fame, where I’ve inducted Rock and Country Music stars so far, to add the category of “Bubblegum Music”. I’ll be inducting some of the pioneers of this genre and awarding them “Gummy Awards”.
What is bubblegum music?
Here is the explanation that I worked on with Donnie to create. He also came up with the award name, “The Gummy Awards”. We believe a song would meet one of three distinct categories that could cause a song to fall into the bubblegum category:
- Created As Bubblegum – Some songs were intentionally written to appeal to the pre-teen market such as those pumped out of the Kasenentz -Katz factory. Usually, these songs were written to fit the Bubblegum formula as closely as possible.
- Bubblegum By Their Sound – These songs just sound like “a bubblegum song”. They have a very catchy melody, and lighthearted lyrics giving the listener a happy feeling, fairly short and would definitely appeal to a 10-year-old. This type of song can be by any group of any year, not necessarily by a band/singer that is considered bubblegum.
- Bubblegum By Association – May not especially sound like bubblegum but was cranked out in a bubblegum manner. Most likely by a band/singer that was created in a bubblegum fashion (like The Archies, Sugar Bears, Rock Flowers, Banana Splits, etc.). An artist may also be included because of their involvement in the creation of Bubblegum music (such as Andy Kim who was heavily involved in the creation of the Archies music).
Producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffry Katz claimed credit for coining “bubblegum”, saying that when they discussed their target audience, they decided it was “teenagers, the young kids. And at the time we used to be chewing bubblegum, and my partner and I used to look at it and laugh and say, ‘Ah, this is like bubblegum music’.” The term was then popularized by their boss, Buddah Records label executive Neil Bogart.
- Kmart Corporation is an American retail company that owns a chain of big box department stores. The company is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States. The company was incorporated in 1899 as S. S. Kresge Corporation and renamed Kmart Corporation in 1977. The first store with the Kmart name opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. At its peak in 1994, Kmart operated 2,486 stores globally, including 2,323 discount stores and Super Kmart Center locations in the United States. As of April 16, 2022, that number was down to nine, including just three in the continental states. From 2005 through 2019, Kmart was a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation. Since 2019, Kmart has been a subsidiary of Transform SR Brands LLC, a privately held company that was formed in 2019 to acquire assets from Sears Holdings. [Back]