Kasenetz-Katz Super Circus – `69 , buddah records

ok kids ; this one is by request ; a bit of bubblegum for ya , from the leaders of the pack — Kasenetz-Katz ! – enjoy ~

Future bubblegum producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz met at the University of Arizona, where Katz was attending on a football scholarship and Kasenetz was one of the managers on the football team. Upon leaving the University, Katz returned to New York and received a call from Kasenetz who was living on the West Coast. Kasenetz asked Katz to come out west and join him in starting a new business, something in the music business. Katz didn’t know a thing about the business and had no intention on moving to California. So Kasenetz moved to New York and the two started to manage acts in Greenwich Village. One of the groups, the Palace Guards, were signed to Mercury and a single was produced. Kasenetz and Katz didn’t like the results and figured they could do a better job of producing. And that’s how they started producing!

They met up with Neil Bogart at Cameo and followed him to Buddah, his new label. Once set, K&K were responsible for Little Bit O’ Soul by The Music Explosion (for Laurie Records) and — with their first project for Buddah — the 1910 Fruitgum Company. The group was one of a billion garage bands back then, but K&K gave them a new name and a song: Simon Says, a #4 hit in early 1968. They continued their initial success by having studio musicians play instead of the group only keeping singer Mark Gutkowski for the hits 1-2-3 Red Light and Indian Giver. Working with the Ohio Express and Joey Levine in the same manner, at the same time, they produced the massive hits Yummy, Yummy, Yummy and Chewy, Chewy.

The Buddah label took off and this inexperienced production team was now dominating the charts. The Express followed with Down At LuLu’s and Mercy and Levine handled vocals for Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run) for the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus and Bubble Gum Music for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Dubble Bubble Trading Card Company of Philadelphia 1914 (whew!). Probably the most respected song of Bubblegum was Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ by Crazy Elephant and the list goes on. Admittedly, Bubblegum music is a small niche of pop but imagine if one production team produced The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who . . . well, that’s the impact Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz had on the charts and on your big sister and brother’s transistor radio.

Probably the most endearing quality of the duo was their willingness to get product out on the streets as soon as they could. Only an A-side recorded? No problem! They’d quickly write Sticky, Sticky, the simplest song of all time or Pow Wow a pre-recorded song played backwards! Call it psychedelic experimental if you want, but don’t think for a minute that Bubblegum didn’t try to push pop farther than it had ever gone. They even orchestrated a Bubblegum concert at Carnegie Hall and recreated the event in the studio in order to release a good sounding “live” album.

“Those two were difficult to work with,” said Ohio Express guitarist Doug Grassel. “It was strictly a money game with them. They’d tell us, ‘Keep it simple. Hurry up. You’re costing us money. They’d tell us what songs to play. And if we didn’t like a particular song, they’d say something like, ‘Who do you think you are? Jimi Hendrix?'”

By 1972, Bubblegum lost its flavor with the public and Kasenetz and Katz tried to move on. They produced a slew of mid-western rock groups and found little success until Ram Jam had a hit with Black Betty in 1977. Like most, if not all of the Bubblegum participants, K&K haven’t resurfaced since. Maybe they’ll be surfing the net one night and find a site dedicated to Bubblegum and . . .

check out what they are up to now ! kasenetz and katz all-stars

Kasenetz-Katz Super Circus – `69 , buddah records
all trax from wax , by akashaman – 2010
MP3 @ 320kbps – includes high rez front cover scan

Quick Joey Small
Let Me Introduce You
Easy to Love
Log in Fire
I’m in Love with You
New York Woman
Up in the Air
I Got It Bad for You
Down at Lulu’s
The Super Circus



~ by akashaman on February 23, 2010.

3 Responses to “Kasenetz-Katz Super Circus – `69 , buddah records”

  1. Thanks! Your copy is way better than mine. πŸ™‚

  2. i aint playin around !….:)
    enjoy my friend~

  3. yeah -they were the tail end of an era – of studio bands backing vocalists doing shlock material – mostly it stunk – but at times it was beautiful & motown and Spector made it into a high art. I recall the single by ohio express – a little bit of soul had a flip side inst that was quite rememberable called “maybe” – the a side of course was summertime blues w/ little changes – that era is now back in style with mtv stars and other crap like that – but it will die – with a deserved knife to the throat -hopefully πŸ™‚

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