Hi. Just when I thought Rhino had given us everything and the kitchen sink, I found this awesome boot a couple of years ago. "Raritees" gives you demo tapes that Michael Nesmith would submit for use in the TV series and records, 45-RPM singles that he released as Michael Blessing, a rare Micky Dolenz solo single, the original pilot versions of the theme song and "I Wanna Be Free" performed by Boyce & Hart, Monkees musical bumpers from the show, and "The In Sound," a recorded interview with the Monkees from 1966! There are also alternate versions of songs that have yet to be officially released. It’s an amazing find for the Monkees completist, and even good listening for the casual fan. I’m sharing mp3’s of these "raritees" at my blog,

Check it out! daddykin

Jeff Barry’s Bubblegum Blues

Jeff Barry’s Bubblegum Blues
interview by Don Charles

“Some songs, like ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone?’ people hear and they get sad. I think I’d rather have them get happy! That’s really where I was coming from.” That’s how songwriter/producer extraordinaire Jeff Barry sums up his musical philosophy, a philosophy that moved millions of dollars’ worth of vinyl around the world during the 1960s. Jeff Barry was the crown king of bubble gum rock producers (only Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz’ A & R staff came close to challenging his dominance of the genre).

Jeff Barry: I was born in Brooklyn. When I was about seven, my parents got divorced, and I moved in with my mom and sister in Plainfield, New Jersey. I lived there until I was eleven, and then we moved back to Brooklyn. For some reason, I was hearing a lot of country music. As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved horses, and probably without realizing it, I liked listening to country and western music because that went along with horses!

Don Charles: My research indicates that your family name was Adelberg . . .

Jeff Barry: Yes, that

The Melodic Milestones of Jeff Barry

The Melodic Milestones of Jeff Barry
by Chris Davidson

The bubblegum firmament boasts many a bigwig but none bigger and firmer than Jeff Barry, a man blessed with ears you should smooch the next time you see him. For without those nutty lobes, which uncannily heard glistening super-pop pumping up from the subway grilles on his stroll to the office down Broadway every morning, we

Discography of known cereal box records

Here’s a useful appendix from the bubblegum book… but do please note: I’m not a dealer in cereal box records, and I can’t tell you the value of yours. I recommend you go to, get an account, and “search completed auctions” for “cereal box” and the name of the artist to see what they’re selling for, or click on the link below to see live auctions. Have you got questions not answered on this page? So sorry, I don’t know the answer either!

Discography of known cereal box records compiled by Kim Cooper with help from Don Charles, Michael Cumella, James Porter, David Smay, Vern Stoltz and especially Lisa Sutton

One of the most delightful of bubblegum artifacts is the cardboard cereal box record, cut raggedly from the back of the box by an impatient child, or carefully by a helpful adult. At the peak of the bubblegum era, it was possible to compile an excellent library of lo-fi gems by most of the major kinderpop artists, provided a kid could talk his family into eating the right cereals.

These records have interesting precedents in the annals of American marketing. Among the earliest records offered as cereal premiums was a series of six fairy tales with follow-along books put out by Post Raisin Bran in 1949. These mail-away offers included “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Golden Goose.” In 1954, General Mills released a series of at least eight different 78-rpm children’s songs that were actually imprinted on Wheaties cereal boxes. These included such proto-gum faves as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game, ” “Three Little Fishes,” and “On Top of Old Smokey.” On the same boxes kids were also invited to send in a quarter to receive Wheaties-produced red-orange vinyl 78-rpm albums.

Vintage Scooby Doo Mystery Machine T-shirt

Vintage Scooby Doo Basketball T-shirt

Vintage Shaun Cassidy T

And more vintage T-shirts and iron-ons from

Around the same time there were at least two Walt Disney’s Mousketeer Records, cardboard cereal box 78s that featured Mickey, Donald and Goofy singing “I’d Rather Be I” and the title character performing “Donald Duck’s Song.” In 1964, buyers of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes could mail in a quarter and a back-of-the-box coupon to receive a 7″ long-playing record with the story and theme song from Hanna-Barbera’s animated movie Hey There, Yogi Bear.

In perhaps the strangest twist of all, around 1967 the pre-bubblegum Shadows of Knight released their great “Potato Chip” single-which was only available inside packages of Fairmont Potato Chips!

Bubblegum-era cereal box records typically recycled the same design for between three and five possible songs in each series. The song titles appeared on the label, and a kid could pick which box they wanted by the identifying numeral stamped onto the cardboard.

The following bubblegum cereal box record discography is as complete as we could make it in a full year of research. Once a kid cut the disk off the identifying box, these babies became an archivist’s nightmare.


Archies design #1 (Big Ethel, Dilton, Moose, Midge, Reggie, Sabrina, Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead dancing against a yellow background) (Honey Comb/ Kirshner) 1. You Make Me Wanna Dance 2. Catchin’ Up On Fun 3. Jingle Jangle 4. Love Light

Archies design #2/version A (Archie, Betty, Jughead, Hot Dog, Reggie and Veronica holding the black ring in the center of the record) (cereal unknown/ Kirshner) 1. Archie’s Party 2. You Know I Love You 3. Nursery Rhyme[s] 4. Jingle Jangle.”

Archies design #2/version B (Archie, Betty, Jughead, Hot Dog, Reggie and Veronica holding the black ring in the center of the record) (cereal unknown/ Kirshner) 1. You Make Me Wanna Dance 2. Catching Up On Fun 3. Jingle Jangle 4. Love Light

Archies design #3 (The Archies playing their instruments with Hot Dog panting, no track list or numbering) (Post
Super Sugar Crisp/ Kirshner) [Michael Cumella reports that the concept for this disk was developed by Harry
Gorman of Allied Creative Services in Port Jervis, NY]

Tracks include (but may not be limited to) the following: #. Sugar, Sugar #. Hide ‘N’ Seek #. Boys And Girls #.
Feelin’ So Good (SKOOBY-DOO) #. Bang-Shang-A-Lang #. (Archie’s Theme) Everything’s Archie.


There were two mail-order vinyl 7″ EPs offered by Kellogg’s cereal; only the first track on each is taken from
the band’s LP.

Kellogg’s 34578: “The Tra-La-La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” “That’s The Pretty Part Of You” b/w “It’s A
Good Day For A Parade” “The Very First Kid On My Block.”

Kellogg’s 34579: “Doin’ The Banana Split” “I Enjoy Being A Boy (In Love With You)” b/w “The Beautiful Calliope” “Let
Me Remember You Smiling”


Jackson 5 design #1; (Rice Krinkles/ Motown) (Photo of band standing off to the left, stacked vertically-yellow
label, blue tint to grooves) 1. ABC 2. I want you back 3. I’ll bet you 4. Darling dear 5. Maybe tomorrow

Jackson 5 design #2/ version A (Alpha Bits/ Motown) (song titles on a cartoonish flower shaped background-no
mention of the J5, blue tint to grooves) 1. Sugar Daddy 2. Goin’ Back To Indiana 3. Who’s Loving You

Jackson 5 design #2/ version B (Alpha Bits/ Motown) (song titles on a cartoonish flower shaped background-no
mention of the J5, blue tint to grooves) 1. I’ll Be There 2. Never Can Say Goodbye 3. Mama’s Pearl


(1970) These were mail away 45s. Up to four were offered for 35

The Monkees: Bubblegum Or Not?

Good Clean Fun
Carl Cafarelli and Gary Pig Gold wonder out loud, The Monkees: Bubblegum Or Not?

Vilified since their very inception (circa 1965 within the television division of Columbia Pictures), yet forever being rediscovered and embraced by new generations of pop fans and/or cable addicts the world over, the Great Debate persists: Were the Monkees nothing but a crude, calculatingly crass hoax foisted upon those least-musically-discriminating within the eight-to-fourteen-year age bracket? Or were the Monkees actually a pretty cool buncha guys whose origins may have been suspect, but whose contributions to popular culture are formidable and wide-ranging indeed not to mention no less worthy than, say, Wham!

Boyce & Hart

Boyce & Hart
by Kim Cooper

Rock star? Feh! What a fifth rate ambition. Okay, say you got yourself an electric guitar, took some time and learned how to play, and now it’s happened. You’re signed to a big label that baby-sits your body in exchange for skimming just 90% off the top

An Informal History of Bubblegum Music

An Informal History of Bubblegum Music
by Carl Cafarelli

“When Buddah Records was formed two years ago, most songs were about crime and war and depression. At the time we felt there was a place for a new kind of music that would make people feel happy. So we got together with two talented young producers named Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz who had an idea for music that would make you smile. It was called ‘bubblegum music.'”
The above quote, taken from the liner notes to a circa-l969 sampler LP called Buddah’s 360 Degree Dial-A-Hit, gives us both a succinct statement of intent for the critically reviled ’60s pop music phenomenon called bubblegum and an equally-succinct recap of the genre’s origin.

Although bubblegum has gained a certain cachet of cool in some circles over the past few decades (while remaining a pop pariah in other circles), during its original heyday it was viewed strictly as fodder for juvenile tastes, pure pabulum for pre-teen people. Furthermore, the music was blatantly commercial at a time when such materialistic goals were deemed unacceptable by an emerging counterculture. Bubblegum music held no delusions of grandeur, nor any intent to expand your mind or alter your perceptions. Bubblegum producers only wanted you to fork over the dough and go home to play your new acquisition over and over to your heart’s content (and, no doubt, to your older brother’s consternation).

Bubblegum is absolved of any perceived counter-revolutionary sentiments because it was so damn catchy. Once