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An email from Steve Dworkin, staff writer/producer for Super K

Hi, Just a little info. I worked as a staff writer/producer for Super K Productions during the 1910 Fruitgum Co. era. The group played and sang on all the songs on their first album, including Simon Says & May I Take A Giant Step.
     1 2 3 Red Light, and a few other cuts, 9-10 Let's Do It Again, the tracks were played by studio musicians. The studio musicians also sang the background vocals. These were the same guys who recorded the tracks for The Ohio Express, The Crazy Elephant, Tommy James & The Shondells, Kasanetz Katz Super Circus among others. Yummy Yummy Yummy, was Mark Gutowski singing to the same track that was used for the Ohio Express record. The Song Song, which I wrote & produced, was the actual group with my partner Gary & I singing background with Mark Gutowski.
    Their 3rd album, and follow up single to 123 Red Light, Goody Goody Gumdrops was written & produced by Reid Whitelaw & Billy Carl. Billy Carl (formerly of doo wop group Billy & The Essentials) sang lead on all the songs, including Goody Goody Gumdrops. The tracks were played by the same studio musicians mentioned before. They were Jimmy Calvert-Lead Guitar, Norman Marzano-Bass, Joe D'Andrea-Drums, Paul Nauman-Guitar, & Kenny Laguna & Steve Feldman-Keyboards. There is a release on United Artists called "Marshmellow Way", from the same era, produced by Billy & Reid, and using the same musicians with Billy on lead. Eventually, most of the writers/Producers left Super K productions, and for Indian Giver and the later releases the group recorded the records themselves. By the way, the B side of Indian Giver (Pow Wow) is actually a song I wrote called "Bring Back Howdy Doody" played backwards. This is one of the reasons that most of the writers & producers left the company.


And a follow up email...


Unfortunately, I never had a hit with Super K. My partner Gary Willet & I wrote "The Song Song", which the 1910 Fruitgum Co. recorded on their "1-2-3 Red Light" album. It was scheduled to be the follow up to "1-2-3 Red Light", there were even test pressing made, but then Billy & Reid approached them with "Goody Goody Gumdrops" and they went with that as the follow up. They put a backwards track on the b side of "Gumdrops" & gave us writing credit, to make it up to us. I would have rather seen a song we wrote on the B side.  Gary & I produced two albums for Super K's deal with ABC Records, The Queens Necterine Machine, ABC 666, a sort of Psychadelic Bubblegum band, and Willet & Dworkin's Boarding House, ABC 680, a group formed by myself & Gary, with a eclectic mix of sounds, 4 Seasons, R & B, Bubblegum etc.  We also wrote & produced a song "Mother Goose Is On The Loose" which wound up on a Buddah E.P., along with Simon Says, & I forgot what other two cuts. It was credited to The Kasanetz Katz Singing Orchestral Circus.  I think the best thing that we did for Super K was "Lovin' Cup" which was credited to "The Charles E. Funk Rebellion", and was released on White Whale.  It was sort of a Motown/Bubblegum.  A lot of people say it reminds them of Build Me Up Buttercup, but we wrote & produced this before ":Buttercup" was released.  I believe that we were both influenced by the same songs though- "Pucker Up Buttercup" by Jr. Walker & The All-Stars, & "Build Up" sounds a lot like "I'll Turn To Stone" by The 4 Tops.  "Lovin' Cup" was the pick of the week on WDRC in Hartford, CT & was taking off when the record company ran in to problems.  We were even told to record a follow up, because everyone thought it would be a hit, so we went in to the studio & recorded "Candy Cane".  It wound up being released many years later as an "unreleased" track by The Ohio Express on a CD on Collectables Records.  I'll follow up with more soon...


Thanks very much to Steve Dworkin, I appreciate people helping contribute information to this site, and sharing interesting information with me.