Thursday, September 15, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 09/15/2016 Update

Today, take a look at two very different 1967 bubblegum hits, and the production team that linked them.

The 1910 Fruitgum Company's Simon Says (featured on Volume 4 - 1967's Super Spectacular Singles Superstars) and The Music Explosion's cover of Little Bit O' Soul (featured on Volume 8 - Nancy's Favorites) were two early critical hits for the Buddah Record's bubblegum-oriented production team of Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz.

For the originally more garage-y Mansfield, Ohio-based Music Explosion, Little Bit O' Soul would be their only hit, peaking at #2 in the weeklies and finishing #11 on Billboard's Year End Hot 100, but it would empower the Katz/Kasenetz team and set them on a path of producing several more bubblegum classics.

Simon Says, a later hit for the Katz/Kasenetz team that same year, would be more typical of their actual process, pairing an unknown act, in this case, New Jersey's Jeckell And The Hydes, with various anonymous studio musicians to cut the track.

Released in December of 1967, Simon Says peaked at #4 in the weeklies and ended up taking the #33 spot in the 1968 Year-End Hot 100.  A string of additional hits for the quasi-manufactured band would follow over the next few years, enough to sustain various incarnations of the lineup as a performing act to this very day.

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