Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bubblegum Thursday - Ice Cream Milan The Chewin Gum Kid

A little Thursday night bubblegum to get you in the mood for Friday. If this does not make you tap your toes something is seriously wrong with you. This is one of those catchy bubblegum tunes that you know they had a blast recording. Every label jumped on the bubblegum bandwagon and some groups were unfairly given that label.  It reminds me of the Ohio Express and I bet Capitol records was hoping for the same success. But alas, it was not to be. This is pretty obscure 1968 promotional 45 and I could find no reference or history of them on the net. My guess was that this was just a studio concoction that Capitol dreamed up with studio musicians until I saw on the label that it was written, produced and arranged by Milan! Milan was a legendary mysterious singer, songwriter and producer of the 60's that recorded under many an alias, most notably "The Leather Boy". Wikipedia has an interesting write up. He died in 1971 at age of 27 (no cause listed but another site I found promoting a compilation album listed he had a brain tumor). Was this him as well under an alias? Of course, it can be found on the fantastic Lost Jukebox series CD #49. I picked this up in the last couple of months with a whole group of promotional Capitol 45's in purrfect shape.

Ice Cream - The Chewin Gum Kid


Dave said...

The Ice Cream was a rock-n-roll group from East of Cleveland, Ohio area. They generally played in Streetsboro, Aurora, Kent, Ohio areas. The Five members were: Don Lyttle, lead guitar and lead vocals, Steve Lyttle, keyboards and vocals, Ken Cermack, bass and vocals, Neil May, rhythm guitar, and Dave Gilchrist, Drums. Before having their name changed to Ice Cream by producer Milan, they were known as The Apple Korps. In the summer of 1969, The Apple Korps booked a day at the Cleveland Recording studio in downtown Cleveland. The engineer was Kenneth Hamman, who was also the engineer for Grand Funk Railroad. They recorded three songs, Ten Miles, Look Over Your Shoulder, and I'll Be There. The recordings were very good and Don Lyttle and a another member of the group, which I can't remember who, took the recordings and headed out to New York to sell the group. They landed a contract in which Capital records would be the label and Kama Sutra would be the production company. A individual named Milan was to be the producer. In September of '69 the Apple Korps headed to New York for a week of recording. After arriving in New York producer Milan came to the hotel room (Henry Hudson Hotel) and introduce himself to the group. He also played a couple of songs that he wrote, to the band, "Chewin Gum Kid" and "Epitaph for Marie". There were songs the group was to record that were very good: 'Shapes of Things To Come" and "Cherry Pie". The version of Shapes of things to come would have been an instant hit with the tight harmonies, twelve string guitar and solid rock-n-roll beat was excellent but the song was released from the soundtrack movie "Easy Rider" just prior to the New York recording sessions. "Cherry Pie" was recorded and also turned out excellent. "Chewin' Gum Kid" and "Epitaph to Marie" were recorded also. Capital released Chewin Gum Kid/Epitaph to instant flop. Cherry pie was a hit song but Capital never released it. The groups name was changed to Ice Cream at the time of releasing Chewin' Gum Kid. The Ice Cream toured New York, Michigan and Vermont promoting their songs. Making a few TV shows, notably on the UPBEAT show in Cleveland which was national at that time. It is a real shame that Capital didn't record and release Shapes of Things To Come and Cherry Pie, these were hit singles for sure. Producer Milan died a few years later of a brain tumor. The Apple Korps or The ice Cream eventually disbanded.

Poppacool said...

Wow, thanks Dave for the extensive info. I would love to hear those other songs.