The 1910 Fruitgum Company (often shortened to 1910 Fruitgum Co.) is an American bubblegum pop band of the 1960s. The group's biggest hits included "Simon Says," "1, 2, 3, Red Light," "May I Take A Giant Step," "Special Delivery," "Goody Goody Gumdrops," and "Indian Giver." Guitarist Frank Jeckell claimed to have adopted the name from a candy wrapper that he found in his attic.
The band began as Jeckell and The Hydes in New Jersey in 1965.
During 1967, the band was signed to record label Buddah Records, where they released five LPs under their own name and a variety of singles, as well as appearing on the LP The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus, which sounded like the usual Buddah studio band in spite of its promotion as a "bubblegum superjam". Some, but not all, of the band's tracks were performed by studio session musicians.
Their first successful single, "Simon Says", was written by Elliot Chiprut, but Jeckell persuaded the band to record it. During the process they changed the beat and patterned the song after "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. "Simon Says" soon became a success, scoring a maximum of #4 in the U.S. charts. It is memorably heard in the 1968 Frederick Wiseman documentary High School.
The original five members of the 1910 Fruitgum Company circa 1966; photo taken at the home of Floyd Marcus.
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 1910 Fruitgum Company performing live on November 17, 2007.
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 covered frequently by the Rhode Island School of Design band, The Artistics, that would later mutate into the new wave band, Talking Heads.
Early during the 21st century, original group members Frank Jeckell and Floyd Marcus recruited five new members and 1910 Fruitgum Company was in business again. They performed a concert on November 17, 2007 at the Caravan of Stars XIV, in Henderson, Tennessee. Also appearing at the show were Dickey 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).
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