The 1910 Fruitgum Company
(often shortened to 1910 Fruitgum Co.
) is a bubblegum pop band
of the 1960s
, the name of which was inspired from a candy wrapper that Frank Jeckell found in his attic. The lead singer of the group was Mark Gutkowski; he sang the lead on the biggest hits by the group including "Simon Says," "1, 2, 3, Red Light," and "Indian Giver."
The band came together as Jeckell and The Hydes in New Jersey
In 1967, the band was signed to bubblegum record label Buddah Records, where they released five LPs under their own name and a variety of singles, as well as "appearing" on the bubblegum concept LP The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus, which sounded suspiciously like the usual Buddah studio band, in spite of its promotion as a "bubblegum superjam".
Their first hit, "Simon Says", was penned by the band members, but Jeckell persuaded the band to record it. In the process they changed the beat and patterned the song after "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. "Simon Says" soon became a hit, peaking at #4 in the U.S. charts. It is memorably heard in the 1968 Frederick Wiseman documentary High School.
Some, but not all, of the band's tracks were performed by studio session musicians. The band started touring, opening for major acts such as The Beach Boys. They followed on to release the hits "1-2-3 Red Light" (U.S. #5), "Indian Giver" (U.S. #5), "Goody, Goody Gumdrops" and "May I Take a Giant Step".
Eventually the group members were replaced by the producers of Super K, and the musicians that appear on the 1910 Fruitgum Company's final two albums, Indian Giver and Hard Ride, are completely different bands. Hard Ride is in fact a complete departure from the bubblegum sound, and represented an attempt to conquer the FM radio market, with hippie, blues and psychedelic elements over lengthy tracks.
The band's most recent appearance was on the Bubble Gum Rock Special. The Ramones cited 1910 Fruitgum Company as a fundamental influence on their music; they covered their song "Indian Giver".
1910 Fruitgum Company's song "1-2-3 Red Light" was frequently covered by the Rhode Island School of Design band, The Artistics, that would later mutate into the seminal new wave band, Talking Heads.
Early in the twenty-first century, original group members Frank Jeckell and Floyd Marcus recruited five new members and 1910 Fruitgum Company was back in business. They performed a concert on November 17th, 2007 at the Caravan of Stars XIV, in Henderson, Tennessee. Also appearing at the show was Dickie Lee, Jimmy Gilmer, Carol Conners (of the Teddy Bears), Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Jim Yester (of the Association), Jerry Yester (of the Lovin' Spoonful), Eddie Brigati (of the Young Rascals), and Dennis Tufano (of the Buckinghams).
- Frank Jeckell
- Mark Gutkowski
- Steve Mortkowitz
- Floyd Marcus
- Pat Karwan
- Bruce Shay
- Rusty Oppenheimer
- Larry Ripley
- Chuck Travis
- Mick Mansuelo
- Dennis Kubala
- Dan Mileaf
This is a partial list, with Billboard Hot 100
and Billboard Hot 200 chart
- "Simon Says" (#4) / "Reflections From The Looking Glass" - Buddah 24 - 1/68
- "May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart)" (#63) / "(Poor Old) Mr. Jensen" - Buddah 39 - 4/68
- "1, 2, 3, Red Light" (#5) / "Sticky Sticky" - Buddah 54 - 7/68
- "Goody Goody Gumdrops" (#37) / "Candy Kisses" - Buddah 71 - 10/68
- B-side is an instrumental jam, recorded backwards
- "Indian Giver" (#5) / "Pow Wow" - Buddah 91 - 1/69
- B-side is an ode to "Howdy Doody" recorded backwards, originally recorded by The Flying Giraffe (another Kasenetz-Katz produced group) on Bell Records
- "Special Delivery" (#38) / "No Good Annie" - Buddah 114 - 5/69
- "The Train" (#57) / "Eternal Light" - Buddah 130 - 8/69
- "When We Get Married" (#118) / "Baby Bret" - Buddah 146 - 11/69
- "Lawdy, Lawdy" / "The Clock" - Attack 10293 - 1970
- "Go Away" / "The Track" - Super K 115 - 1970
- Simon Says (#162) - Buddah BDM-1010 (Mono - promotional release only) / BDS-5010 (Stereo) - 4/68
- Pop Goes The Weasel" / "Keep Your Thoughts On The Bright Side" / Magic Windmill / The Year 2001 / Soul Struttin' / Simon Says / May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart) / Bubble Gum World / Happy Little Teardrops / The Story Of Flipper / (Poor Old) Mr. Jensen
- 1, 2, 3, Red Light (#163) - Buddah BDS-5022 - 10/68
- 1, 2, 3, Red Light / The Song Song / Shirley Applegate / The Mighty Quinn / Yummy, Yummy, Yummy / 9, 10, Let's Do It Again / The Book / Sister John / Take Away / Lookin' Back / Blue Eyes and Orange Skies
- Goody Goody Gumdrops - Buddah BDS-5027 - 1968
- Goody Goody Gumdrops / Liza / Mr. Cupid / Hot Diggity Dog / Hook Line & Sinker / Dee-Licious / Please Me, Tease Me / (Play Our Song) Mr. Music Man / A, B, C, I Love You / Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum / Polly-Wally-Doo-Da-Day
- Indian Giver (#147) - Buddah BDS-5036 - 4/69
- Indian Giver / No Good Annie / I've Got To Have Your Love / Good Good Lovin' / Candy / Special Delivery / Game Of Love / Let's Make Love / Groovy, Groovy / Sweet Lovin' / 1910 Cotton Candy Castle
- Hard Ride - Buddah BDS-5043 - 1969
- Don't Have To Run And Hide / All These Things / (a) Eulogy, (b) Selub / The Train / Creations Of Simon / Collections Of Thoughts / (a) In The Beginning, (b) The Thing / Togetherly Alone (5 Movements)
- Juiciest Fruitgum - Buddah BDS-5057 - 1970
- When We Get Married / Indian Giver / Special Delivery / The Train / The Mighty Quinn / Simon Says / 1, 2, 3, Red Light / May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart) / Goody Goody Gumdrops / 1910 Cotton Candy Castle
- The Best Of The 1910 Fruitgum Company - Buddha 99799 - 2001
- Simon Says / May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart) / Please Me, Tease Me / Sweet Lovin' / (Play Our Song) Mr. Music Man / 1, 2, 3, Red Light / Candy / Liza / Indian Giver / Dee-Licious / 1910 Cotton Candy Castle / Bubble Gum World / Special Delivery / Goody Goody Gumdrops / The Train / Reflections From The Looking Glass