In the late '90s, some short time after my history of bubblegum music was published in Goldmine magazine (cover dated April 25, 1997), I was contacted by a gentleman working with BMG Europe. That label had recently acquired the rights to the Buddah Records catalog, and was looking for cool 'n' attractive ways to market those tunes. Buddah had first made its name as a bubblegum label in the late '60s, so a Buddah bubblegum compilation CD seemed in order. And that's where I was supposed to come in.
By this time, I had already written the liner notes for a Rhino Records pop compilation called Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '90s (and yes, I drew the short straw, so Jordan Oakes got to write the liners for the '70s disc, while John M. Borack covered the '80s). That was great, great fun, but I was just a hired hand on that disc; I was a writer only, with no say on what tracks would be included. But with this Buddah bubblegum disc, I'd be assembling the package from the ground up. There ain't a pop fan around who wouldn't jump at that deal!
Ah, but one should always look before one leaps. I had no experience in assembling a commercial CD, and no idea how to go about determining what tracks were available for consideration. I turned to a couple of experts for some advice--bubblegum aficionado Bill Pitzonka, whom I'd interviewed for the Goldmine piece, and International Pop Overthrow impresario David Bash, plus the above-mentioned Popdude, John Borack--and put together a first-draft proposal: