Write Now: Bubblegum Music Always Has A Special Place

Simple lyrics.

Syncopated rhythms.

Hidden innocence.

Silly, unsophisticated, just-for-fun songs.

One hit wonders.

You have probably heard the phrase “bubblegum music.”

Musicologists have given bubblegum music many definitions.

According to allmusic.com/subgenre/bubblegum-ma0000002487/songs, “Bubblegum is a lightweight, catchy pop music that was a significant commercial force in the late 60s and early 70s. Bubblegum was targeted at a preteen audience whose older siblings had been raised on rock ‘n’ roll. It was simple, melodic, and light as feather — neither the lyrics or the music had much substance. Bubblegum was a manufactured music, created by record producers that often hired session musicians to play and sing the songs. Frequently, the session musicians were given a fake band name to give the illusion that they were a real group.”

I don’t totally agree with this definition. Rather, I argue that Bubblegum introduced people to more mainstream songs. If you liked Bubblegum, then maybe you looked for something with a little more edge and by contrast, maybe you looked for a little softer-sounding music.

The the late 60s and early 70s gave us just that.

If you wanted a more of an edge to your music, you ventured to hard rock, or heavy metal. If you wanted something softer, you ventured to many singer-songwriters that filled the airwaves during that melodious decade.

Yes, Bubblegum Music was manufactured, but the musicians that made Bubblegum music were, in my opinion, great. Research The Wrecking Crew, and see how many hits on which those studio musicians played. You will be surprised. And yet the public kept buying the singles.

I loved Bubblegum Music in the 70s and I still love it as much today. A song that makes you remember it, is, I think, a good song. I listened to Bubblegum Music way before I listened to other genres.

Bubblegum Music is another reason I love music, and love writing about music. To me, Bubblegum music always has been uplifting. I remember hearing many of the songs on AM radio.

Critics say the genre began in the mid 60s and aged out in the mid 70s. Other genres just took its place, and it was nudged down the line. I don’t think Bubblegum Music ever left.

Here are some groups and songs associated with Bubblegum music: The Partridge Family, “I think I love You”; Jackson Five, “ABC”; The Osmonds, “One Bad Apple”; Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, “I wonder What She’s Doing Tonight”; The Monkees, “I’m A Believer” which was written by Neil Diamond; The Banana Splits, “The Banana Splits Theme (Tra La La)”; The Archies, “Sugar, Sugar”; and Tommy Roe, “Dizzy”.

Since the mid 70s, Bubblegum Music has resurfaced, but under different names. To me pop, Top 40, Adult Contemporary, and even some country music crossover songs can fall under Bubblegum Music because of how they are constructed. I don’t think Bubblegum Music ever left the airwaves. I think Bubblegum music was rebranded to fit the decade in which it resided.

What ever the situation, Bubblegum Music left an indelible mark on me.


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