1910 Fruitgum Company

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1910 Fruitgum Company
The 1910 Fruitgum Company performing live on November 17, 2007
Background information
Origin Linden, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Bubblegum pop
Years active 1965–1969, 2007–present
Labels Buddah
Members Frank Jeckell
Floyd Marcus
Past members Mark Gutkowski
Steve Mortkowitz
Isaac Hirsch
Pat Karwan
Ross Oppenheimer

The 1910 Fruitgum Company is an American bubblegum pop band of the 1960s. The group's Hot 100 hits were "Simon Says", "May I Take A Giant Step", "1, 2, 3, Red Light", "Goody Goody Gumdrops", "Indian Giver", "Special Delivery", and "The Train". Guitarist Frank Jeckell claimed to have adopted the name from a gum wrapper that he found in a jacket pocket while trying on a retro suit.[1]


The band began as Jeckell and The Hydes in New Jersey in 1965. The original founding member was Frank Jeckell, with additional members Floyd Marcus, Pat Karwan, Steve Mortkowitz, and Mark Gutkowski---all from Linden, New Jersey.[citation needed]

During 1967, they were signed to 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 Buddha studio band in spite of its promotion as a "bubblegum superjam". Their first hit 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, hitting #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart[2] and was heard in the 1968 Frederick Wiseman documentary High School.[citation needed]

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.[3] They went on to release the hits "May I Take a Giant Step", "1, 2, 3, Red Light" (U.S. #5), "Goody, Goody Gumdrops", and "Indian Giver" (U.S. #5).[citation needed]

Early during the 21st century, originator Frank Jeckell and Mick Mansuetto put the act back together which included Floyd Marcus, original drummer, along with a few musicians, and started touring 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).[4]

Million sellers[edit]

"Simon Says" sold three and a half million. "1, 2, 3, Red Light" and "Indian Giver" each sold over one million copies. All three were awarded gold discs.[5]

Members, past and present[edit]

Current lineup[edit]

  • Frank Jeckell
  • Mick Mansueto
  • Glenn Lewis
  • Bob Brescia
  • John Korba
  • Keith Crane

Original group[edit]

  • Frank Jeckell
  • Pat Karwan
  • Mark Gutkowski
  • Steve Mortkowitz
  • Floyd Marcus

Former members[edit]

  • Ralph Cohen (Douglas)
  • Pat Soriano
  • Jerry Roth
  • Bruce Shay
  • Mike Ilnicki
  • Michael Stoppiello
  • Curtis Gashlin
  • Rusty Oppenheimer
  • Larry Ripley
  • Chuck Travis
  • Randy Monaco
  • Dennis Kubala
  • Rich Gomez
  • Stephen Young
  • David Turinsky
  • James Camando
  • Mike LaVolpe
  • Mike Edell
  • Phil Thorstenson
  • Charles Tedesco
  • Oscar Dominguez
  • Mitch Harb (Organ)
  • Gary Poskay
  • Eric-Claus
  • Mike James



Year Title Peak chart positions Record Label B-side
From same album as A-side except where indicated
1967 "Simon Says" 4 2 2 Buddah Records "Reflections from the Looking Glass" (Non-LP track) Simon Says
1968 "May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart)" 63 42 "(Poor Old) Mr. Jensen"
"1, 2, 3, Red Light" 5 8 "Sticky, Sticky" (Non-LP track) 1, 2, 3, Red Light
"Goody Goody Gumdrops" 37 29 "Candy Kisses" (Non-LP track) Goody Goody Gumdrops
1969 "Indian Giver" 5 5 "Pow Wow" (Non-LP track) Indian Giver
"Special Delivery" 38 47 "No Good Annie"
"The Train" 57 68 "Eternal Light" (Non-LP track) Hard Ride
"When We Get Married" 118 76 "Baby Bret" (Non-LP track) Juiciest Fruitgum
1970 "Go Away" 77 Super K Records "The Track" Non-LP tracks


Year Album Billboard 200 Record Label
1968 Simon Says 162 Buddah Records
1, 2, 3, Red Light 163
Goody Goody Gumdrops
1969 Indian Giver 147
Hard Ride
1970 Juiciest Fruitgum
2001 The Best of the 1910 Fruitgum Company: Simon Says


  1. ^ [1] - ClassicBands.com Interview
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 395. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Floyd Marcus - Songfacts Interviews
  4. ^ [2] - Photo Journey Blog
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 244 & 264. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 

External links[edit]