The Yummy, Gummy And Sugar-Sugary Story Of Bubblegum Pop

Left: The sleeve art for the Portuguese release of the Lemon Pipers' 'Green Tambourine.' Right: The Monkees. Source:; IMDB

Who remembers bubblegum pop? Chart hits like the Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine," the Music Explosion's "Little Bit O' Soul," and the Archies' "Sugar Sugar" are just a few examples of the bubblegum phenomenon. The music was contrived to appeal to teens and pre-teens by producers, sometimes with little input from the actual bands -- the result was often catchy nonsense, like the Ohio Express's "Yummy Yummy Yummy," and the Archies' "Bang Shang-A-Lang." 

Some bubblegum bands didn't mind the manufactured nature of their careers, while others rebelled. And the most famous bubblegum band rebelled to the point they weren't really bubblegum anymore -- the Monkees, who were put together for a TV show but almost immediately campaigned for, and were granted, more artistic input. It's telling that one big bubblegum band was actually a cartoon, and thus completely controllable by producers. 

Manufactured pop music existed before the late '60s, and still exists today, but the period of 1967-72 saw a distinct surge in the bubblegum pop or bubblegum rock phenomenon.