A subset of manufactured pop music that is aimed at a younger audience (and their parents' wallets). A phenomenon that is as old as the Rock and Roll Age, but the term itself comes from the late 60s, the heyday of Kasanetz and Katz - when rock was the soundtrack of revolution, K&K made rockish pop for the pre-teen siblings of the revolutionaries.


Numerous 50s teen idols were made and sold. Elvis Presley was one, via the post-Sun emphasis on ballads like "Love Me Tender". When American Bandstand became the late-50s US epicenter of pop, many less-talented idols were manufactured near AB's Philadelphia base (the show later moved to Hollywood): e.g. Fabian, Frankie Avalon (of Beach Party fame), etc. Later, Phil Spector's girl groups were a NYC/L.A. variant.

Kasanetz and Katz

Jerry Kasanetz and Jeff Katz. Mainly with Buddah Records, they came up with an assembly line way to create hits for the young. The 1910 Fruitgum Company ("1, 2, 3 Red Light" was on early Talking Heads set-lists), The Archies, a host of "others" - one pool of musicians; at the craze's height, they went on tour. Don Kirshner tried this approach - earlier and better - with The Monkees and related items.


The Kasanetz/Katz "era" lasted from 1968 to 1969; many have since used their approach. The producers behind The Partridge Family, for instance - the Partridges were a flesh-and-blood Archies, a sitcom tie-in. The Scotti Brothers have worked this for decades, from Leif Garrett to one-hit wonder pin-ups (and Weird Al). Boston's Maurice Starr begat New Edition and New Kids on the Block from one blueprint. Then there were the mallrat queens Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, plus lesser princesses like Martika. Stock Aitken Waterman gave us Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley, et al. Now we have the Backstreet Boys and similar irritants. It ain't going away.