Just a few steps over from last week’s topic of Sunshine Pop lies Bubblegum Pop. Jim has a good explanation of just exactly what this genre entails so check it out here.
“Jam Up and Jelly Tight” was written by Tommy Roe and Freddy Weller. They both co-wrote another of Tommy Roe’s hits “Dizzy”.
“Jam Up and Jelly Tight” was released in November 1969 and by 1970 it had reached its peak position of #8 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. It would be Tommy Roe’s fourth record to reach gold status.
Tommy Roe was one of the classic bubblegum artists of the era. He had 10 top-10 singles with “Jam Up and Jelly Tight” being the last top-10 hit for Roe.
While this song is not as well known as some of Roe’s other recordings it does have a catchy beat and definitely appealed to young listeners at the time.
Quite a few bubblegum songs contained sexual innuendos in their lyrics and this song is no different. For some reason, parents did not rise up against this otherwise sugary sweet music.
So what the heck does Roe mean by the phrase “Jam Up and Jelly Tight”? Here’s the response taken from an interview on his website TommyRoe.com:
“With “Jam Up and Jelly Tight,” I got the idea from an expression my father used to say when I was growing up. It was a popular phrase, like “Groovy” or “Outasite.” He’d see a pretty girl walking down the street, and he’d say, “Son, that gal’s Jam Up and Jelly Tight” (laughs).
You know, Southerners are famous for their anecdotes and expressions, and “Jam Up and Jelly Tight” was one of those Southern expressions (laughs). It comes from the old days, when they would can jams and jellies in the South. When they finished, they would say, “Everything’s jam up and jelly tight.” They’d put it in the pantry, and that’s where that saying is from.”
Video with lyrics included: