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  1. #1

    Buttered Popcorn (All Versions!)

    All the known versions of "Buttered Popcorn" are presented here in one video. Here are the Original Supremes, Florence, Mary, Diane and Barbara......


  2. #2
    I'm surprised this has not been used in some sort of advertisement or has it?

  3. #3
    I like the fifth version best.

  4. #4
    i'm not the least surprised it's never been used

    1. the song really sort of sucks. yes we all love it cuz flo at least got a lead. but it's really not all that great. frankly it's not even her strongest lead from this period
    2. no one other than die-hard fans are aware of it. it had 0 national chart presence and 0 national impact
    3. when an advertiser is looking for a jingle or to tie in with a popular song, they're looking for just that - popular. since no one knows this, why would someone decide to use it?
    4. and for what possible promotional activity would it be used - popcorn? movies? Theaters typically do not advertise, the studios and the individual movies do that. From a snack food perspective, popcorn isn't all that big. just walk down the grocery aisle and you'll see endless potato chip, cheese puffs, etc. popcorn is not a large % of the overall snack market.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i'm not the least surprised it's never been used

    1. the song really sort of sucks. yes we all love it cuz flo at least got a lead. but it's really not all that great. frankly it's not even her strongest lead from this period
    2. no one other than die-hard fans are aware of it. it had 0 national chart presence and 0 national impact
    3. when an advertiser is looking for a jingle or to tie in with a popular song, they're looking for just that - popular. since no one knows this, why would someone decide to use it?
    4. and for what possible promotional activity would it be used - popcorn? movies? Theaters typically do not advertise, the studios and the individual movies do that. From a snack food perspective, popcorn isn't all that big. just walk down the grocery aisle and you'll see endless potato chip, cheese puffs, etc. popcorn is not a large % of the overall snack market.
    It received quite a bit of radio play in Detroit and was popular at the time.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i'm not the least surprised it's never been used

    1. the song really sort of sucks. yes we all love it cuz flo at least got a lead. but it's really not all that great. frankly it's not even her strongest lead from this period
    2. no one other than die-hard fans are aware of it. it had 0 national chart presence and 0 national impact
    3. when an advertiser is looking for a jingle or to tie in with a popular song, they're looking for just that - popular. since no one knows this, why would someone decide to use it?
    4. and for what possible promotional activity would it be used - popcorn? movies? Theaters typically do not advertise, the studios and the individual movies do that. From a snack food perspective, popcorn isn't all that big. just walk down the grocery aisle and you'll see endless potato chip, cheese puffs, etc. popcorn is not a large % of the overall snack market.
    The reasons it did not get national exposure is because Berry Gordy Jr made the decision to kill it which caused some tension between he and Barney Ales who was not only Motown's Marketing director, but he also co-wrote it. It was heard regionally (Detroit, Toledo, Canada etc) and was popular.

    I was not talking about it being used in commercials now. Heck it is an over 50 year old song and sounds like it. I meant back in the 60s.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    The reasons it did not get national exposure is because Berry Gordy Jr made the decision to kill it which caused some tension between he and Barney Ales who was not only Motown's Marketing director, but he also co-wrote it. It was heard regionally (Detroit, Toledo, Canada etc) and was popular.

    I was not talking about it being used in commercials now. Heck it is an over 50 year old song and sounds like it. I meant back in the 60s.
    It would have made a great jingle for "Jiffy Pop", "TV Time" popcorn I think.

  8. #8
    there's pretty much 1 big reason why it would never be used in 60s advertising (aside from what i already mentioned)

    race

    the major ad firms in the 60s were all white run, predominately male run, all of the major manufacturers and clients were also white, the tv stations were managed by whites, the publications like Life, Time, etc were run by whites, etc, etc, etc

    while Mad Men fictionalized and made a soap opera-ish experience of 60s advertising, it really wasn't that far off base. african-american publications were only just beginning to find a proper outlet and there was no hope of having a black song or black family enjoying buttery, salty, goey sticky popcorn. no way

    fortunately the rise of motown, the sups, the tempts, etc etc helped to break this down. But oddly enough one of the reasons TCB wasn't shown on network tv in England was the program directors felt no one would be interested in watching Negros perform for an hour.

    smh

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    there's pretty much 1 big reason why it would never be used in 60s advertising (aside from what i already mentioned)

    race

    the major ad firms in the 60s were all white run, predominately male run, all of the major manufacturers and clients were also white, the tv stations were managed by whites, the publications like Life, Time, etc were run by whites, etc, etc, etc

    while Mad Men fictionalized and made a soap opera-ish experience of 60s advertising, it really wasn't that far off base. african-american publications were only just beginning to find a proper outlet and there was no hope of having a black song or black family enjoying buttery, salty, goey sticky popcorn. no way

    fortunately the rise of motown, the sups, the tempts, etc etc helped to break this down. But oddly enough one of the reasons TCB wasn't shown on network tv in England was the program directors felt no one would be interested in watching Negros perform for an hour.

    smh
    That's odd because I was not thinking of just marketing popcorn to black families. Ebony since you mention it began publishing in the 1940s. Never thought of race being a factor since I know white people in Detroit also heard the song and it was co written by a white guy. Anyway, it was just a thought I had.

  10. #10
    I thought I mentioned this at the time but maybe I didn't. If anyone knows the show "Call The Midwife," they use songs from the period during the show. On one episode from I believe last season they were in 1962 and I was surprised that Buttered Popcorn was playing in the background. Their music director must be a big Motown or Flo fan because I think most of the other music is easily recognized by the general public. It's funny because my brother called me and said, "did you just hear that?"

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    That's odd because I was not thinking of just marketing popcorn to black families. Ebony since you mention it began publishing in the 1940s. Never thought of race being a factor since I know white people in Detroit also heard the song and it was co written by a white guy. Anyway, it was just a thought I had.
    oh i'm most certainly not saying it's right. But its the unfortunate truth. The Supremes on Ed Sullivan, as we know, were quite a big deal. And when they did the Coke commercials too. and the copa. all of the stories we've heard and part of the history of the group that i'm sure all of us fans treasure.

    yes ebony was a publication for sale. But there were no blacks on mainstream tv commercials in the 40, 50 or 60s. except Aunt Jemima. It's idiotic i know but advertisers just weren't looking to target the "colored" market. and most product manufacturers wouldn't have allowed it either. Some would allow "colored" version of their print ads to run in magazines like Ebony.

    I remember in my marketing classes in college as we'd learn about this. and to the students at the time it was just mind boggling. how they wouldn't use black images, black music, etc.

    I just read an fun and interesting memoir from a Pan Am stewardess in the 60s. She mentioned when Pan Am finally hired black women as stewardess and on one of the earliest flights there was a big scuffle as a First Class passenger had a fit and made a seen about being served his meal by the black woman.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    I thought I mentioned this at the time but maybe I didn't. If anyone knows the show "Call The Midwife," they use songs from the period during the show. On one episode from I believe last season they were in 1962 and I was surprised that Buttered Popcorn was playing in the background. Their music director must be a big Motown or Flo fan because I think most of the other music is easily recognized by the general public. It's funny because my brother called me and said, "did you just hear that?"
    That is interesting George. Thank you for sharing that.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    oh i'm most certainly not saying it's right. But its the unfortunate truth. The Supremes on Ed Sullivan, as we know, were quite a big deal. And when they did the Coke commercials too. and the copa. all of the stories we've heard and part of the history of the group that i'm sure all of us fans treasure.

    yes ebony was a publication for sale. But there were no blacks on mainstream tv commercials in the 40, 50 or 60s. except Aunt Jemima. It's idiotic i know but advertisers just weren't looking to target the "colored" market. and most product manufacturers wouldn't have allowed it either. Some would allow "colored" version of their print ads to run in magazines like Ebony.

    I remember in my marketing classes in college as we'd learn about this. and to the students at the time it was just mind boggling. how they wouldn't use black images, black music, etc.

    I just read an fun and interesting memoir from a Pan Am stewardess in the 60s. She mentioned when Pan Am finally hired black women as stewardess and on one of the earliest flights there was a big scuffle as a First Class passenger had a fit and made a seen about being served his meal by the black woman.
    That is not completely true. Although I was just a young kid in the 60s, that is not how I remember things:

    THE SECRET OF SELLING THE NEGRO (1954)


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    oh i'm most certainly not saying it's right. But its the unfortunate truth. The Supremes on Ed Sullivan, as we know, were quite a big deal. And when they did the Coke commercials too. and the copa. all of the stories we've heard and part of the history of the group that i'm sure all of us fans treasure.

    yes ebony was a publication for sale. But there were no blacks on mainstream tv commercials in the 40, 50 or 60s. except Aunt Jemima. It's idiotic i know but advertisers just weren't looking to target the "colored" market. and most product manufacturers wouldn't have allowed it either. Some would allow "colored" version of their print ads to run in magazines like Ebony.

    I remember in my marketing classes in college as we'd learn about this. and to the students at the time it was just mind boggling. how they wouldn't use black images, black music, etc.

    I just read an fun and interesting memoir from a Pan Am stewardess in the 60s. She mentioned when Pan Am finally hired black women as stewardess and on one of the earliest flights there was a big scuffle as a First Class passenger had a fit and made a seen about being served his meal by the black woman.
    I was also a Marketing major in college. I was not even thinking of using the Supremes themselves in television commercials in 1962. They were still unknown outside of the Detroit area and region. I just mentioned the song "Buttered Popcorn" sounds like it would have made a snappy jingle for popcorn.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    I thought I mentioned this at the time but maybe I didn't. If anyone knows the show "Call The Midwife," they use songs from the period during the show. On one episode from I believe last season they were in 1962 and I was surprised that Buttered Popcorn was playing in the background. Their music director must be a big Motown or Flo fan because I think most of the other music is easily recognized by the general public. It's funny because my brother called me and said, "did you just hear that?"
    Wow! I never knew that George. I don't watch the programme but a friend of mine was in the first few seasons of this show, and i know my mother is a big fan of the show. I shall have to do some investigating. Thank you.

  16. #16
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    Flo’s voice lacked distinction.

  17. #17
    Novelty ( doo wop)Record....song fits Flo nicely, and it is one of the better Meet The Supremes tracks....behind Your Heart Belongs to Me, Let Me Go The Right Way and Time Changes Things...but better than most of the very early stuff.

  18. #18
    Did anyone think the song was too "racy" in another sense (other than racial)?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by lucky2012 View Post
    Did anyone think the song was too "racy" in another sense (other than racial)?
    I never heard or thought about it in those terms until some one mentioned that here several years ago.

  20. #20
    ^ I didn't either. I was probably 12 when i first heard it. When the racy interpretation was brought up, many years later, I had to laugh and think how clever and sly Berry Gordy was.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I never heard or thought about it in those terms until some one mentioned that here several years ago.
    The first time i ever heard the song i thought about it in those terms lol. Not quite sure what that says about me??.

  22. #22
    "Buttered Popcorn" did not exist in some kind of void. Is it really that different in conception from The Marathons' "Peanut Butter" which had come out in the same year?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh0W-lKlSP8

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    That is not completely true. Although I was just a young kid in the 60s, that is not how I remember things:

    THE SECRET OF SELLING THE NEGRO (1954)

    It's hard to imagine that as recently as the 1950's, Afro-Americans were denied even basic civil and human rights. Even by the late 50's early 60's there still existed segregation on buses and trains.
    It would be both entertaining and educating if a major motion picture about Motown were ever made, highlighting not just the wonderful music, but more importantly how Motown played such a major part in helping to breakdown such racist barriers and preconceived ideas at such a torrid time in American history.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    The reasons it did not get national exposure is because Berry Gordy Jr made the decision to kill it which caused some tension between he and Barney Ales who was not only Motown's Marketing director, but he also co-wrote it. It was heard regionally (Detroit, Toledo, Canada etc) and was popular.

    I was not talking about it being used in commercials now. Heck it is an over 50 year old song and sounds like it. I meant back in the 60s.
    Name:  av-5.jpg
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    I bought it in Chicago, when it was out. The flip side got a little airplay there.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    "Buttered Popcorn" did not exist in some kind of void. Is it really that different in conception from The Marathons' "Peanut Butter" which had come out in the same year?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh0W-lKlSP8



    wow. that certainly explains how Berry became inspired to write this ditty.

    And even though he produced it for them , thank god Berry spotted right away this was not the direction he wanted to take The Supremes.!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 08-11-2019 at 03:56 PM.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    The first time i ever heard the song i thought about it in those terms lol. Not quite sure what that says about me??.
    'Cause you're badddddd..............hehehehehehehehehe!

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    "Buttered Popcorn" did not exist in some kind of void. Is it really that different in conception from The Marathons' "Peanut Butter" which had come out in the same year?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh0W-lKlSP8
    Oh excellent 144man! I remember that song too! Good point you're making.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
    Name:  av-5.jpg
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    I bought it in Chicago, when it was out. The flip side got a little airplay there.
    So Robb does that mean you heard it first before buying it?

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post


    wow. that certainly explains how Berry became inspired to write this ditty.

    And even though he produced it for them , thank god Berry spotted right away this was not the direction he wanted to take The Supremes.!
    Would the song had been a fit for the Marvelettes? They were at Motown by the time "Buttered Popcorn" was recorded.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I'm surprised this has not been used in some sort of advertisement or has it?
    I'm not surprised but I think it would make a great addition to a popcorn commercial.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I like the fifth version best.
    My favorite is the second one. Good idea pulling the first single and releasing it. It's the obvious more radio friendly version IMO.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    It received quite a bit of radio play in Detroit and was popular at the time.
    The song was also played in the Chicago area and in Philadelphia. I think if Motown had continued to push it, it would've gone somewhere. I don't know if it would've been a big hit, but definitely made some noise.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Would the song had been a fit for the Marvelettes? They were at Motown by the time "Buttered Popcorn" was recorded.
    If you take into consideration the point the poster you quoted was making regarding direction, then my answer would be yes, "Popcorn" was better suited to the Marvelettes. Even taking into account the Supremes' origins, they started out a true blue vocal group. Many of those early Motown sessions show signs of very good harmony (Barbara just doesn't cut the mustard in many instances IMO). Besides the fact that "Popcorn" is being led by someone other than Diana, "Buttered Popcorn" is a departure of sound for the Supremes. There's no real usage of harmony (anybody could've shouted the background; Berry and Raynoma did about as much on the background of "Money"), the lyrics are most definitely silly and nonsensical, and the track is rough. All of this, plus Flo's great voice, make for a good record on it's own, but in the totality of the girls' career it's clear that had more "Popcorn" songs been released and the Supremes marketed with this sound, they would not have lasted because it just wasn't the most natural fit. While it's a bit on the boring side, "Your Heart Belongs to Me" definitely captures the Supremes' proper direction.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    If you take into consideration the point the poster you quoted was making regarding direction, then my answer would be yes........
    The "poster you quoted " that made the point you have chosen to respond to, has a name. It's Boogiedown.
    Perhaps you're due a remedial course from Maxine Powell about social graces and manners.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 08-12-2019 at 02:52 PM.

  35. #35
    Your Heart Belongs To Me is one of Motown's best (pre '65) early cha cha /light shuffle classics...along with Marvin & Mary's Once Upon A Time, Supremes I'm Giving You Your Freedom, Miracles I'll Try Something New, Marvelettes Strange I Know and Martha's There He Is At My Door.

  36. #36
    Some people believe the song is quite salacious! Flo sounds great-soulful and raucous!

  37. #37
    Did "Buttered Popcorn" come out before or after Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time"?

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Your Heart Belongs To Me is one of Motown's best (pre '65) early cha cha /light shuffle classics...along with Marvin & Mary's Once Upon A Time, Supremes I'm Giving You Your Freedom, Miracles I'll Try Something New, Marvelettes Strange I Know and Martha's There He Is At My Door.
    All of those are great songs. Favs of mine. I love "Your Heart Belongs to Me", but it wasn't getting the party started. "Buttered Popcorn" was a dance number. Almost everything about it kicked butt.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Did "Buttered Popcorn" come out before or after Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time"?
    "Potato" came out in 1962, "Popcorn" in 1961. That was a great time for novelty songs. The fact that "Buttered Popcorn" makes no real sense would not have kept it from hit status. Flo and the band tore that up.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    "Potato" came out in 1962, "Popcorn" in 1961. That was a great time for novelty songs. The fact that "Buttered Popcorn" makes no real sense would not have kept it from hit status. Flo and the band tore that up.
    Yes, I thought they did a great job with it. I would have also loved to hear Flo do some Etta James type material.

  41. #41
    Did anyone listening to this song actually think she was singing about Buttered Popcorn?

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Yes, I thought they did a great job with it. I would have also loved to hear Flo do some Etta James type material.
    One of the big mistakes IMO of Gordy's push for the Supremes to do MOR was not having Florence do some tunes in a similar vein as Etta James, like "A Sunday Kind of Love" or "One For My Baby". She needed something she could really sink her teeth into. "People" wasn't it, although it was Florence's choice for whatever reason. "Good News" was where it was at. I think Flo would've really turned in some great performances on some of that stuff.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by thommg View Post
    Did anyone listening to this song actually think she was singing about Buttered Popcorn?
    While I think it's easy for our guttered minds to find sex in lyrics, sometimes a lyric is exactly what it says it is. The dude was addicted to popcorn. The key for me is in one of the versions, on the fade Flo sings "he prefers it to me". If he's eating her...um..."popcorn", the lyric doesn't make sense. Not to mention if he is eating her...um..."popcorn" so much, what woman would ever complain about that? Face it, this dude she loves has it bad for actual buttered popcorn. And no doubt if he's eating it that much, he smells like it and probably isn't brushing his teeth very often either. This song is all kinds of wrong without adding double entendres into the mix.

  44. #44
    Has anyone heard Claudine Clark's cover of "Buttered Popcorn"? I've been looking for it on Youtube for a few years hoping that someone would upload it but it hasn't happened yet. Curious about it.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    One of the big mistakes IMO of Gordy's push for the Supremes to do MOR was not having Florence do some tunes in a similar vein as Etta James, like "A Sunday Kind of Love" or "One For My Baby". She needed something she could really sink her teeth into. "People" wasn't it, although it was Florence's choice for whatever reason. "Good News" was where it was at. I think Flo would've really turned in some great performances on some of that stuff.
    I agree. Good News would have been an excellent ending tune for their Sam Cooke medley. But so was Shake, which of course was a Diana lead.

    As for a more Etta James song in the act, i think flo would have done a marvelous job with it. But i think the motown brass was so overly concerned with catering to the white tastes in Copa-like places that they wanted to do nothing to make people think "oh these are just more negro artists"

    might seem a bit silly today and maybe even in hindsight Motown over compensated

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by thommg View Post
    Did anyone listening to this song actually think she was singing about Buttered Popcorn?
    I always did think she was singing about popcorn all through these years until I came to this forum. For real, 'doe.'

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    While I think it's easy for our guttered minds to find sex in lyrics, sometimes a lyric is exactly what it says it is. The dude was addicted to popcorn. The key for me is in one of the versions, on the fade Flo sings "he prefers it to me". If he's eating her...um..."popcorn", the lyric doesn't make sense. Not to mention if he is eating her...um..."popcorn" so much, what woman would ever complain about that? Face it, this dude she loves has it bad for actual buttered popcorn. And no doubt if he's eating it that much, he smells like it and probably isn't brushing his teeth very often either. This song is all kinds of wrong without adding double entendres into the mix.
    during this time there were all sorts of silly dance tunes, fads and crazes. Mashed Potato time was a huge one and there were zillions more. All being shown on American Bandstand and the others.

    It might be that they were just trying to capitalize on that and create the "popcorn" dance

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    during this time there were all sorts of silly dance tunes, fads and crazes. Mashed Potato time was a huge one and there were zillions more. All being shown on American Bandstand and the others.

    It might be that they were just trying to capitalize on that and create the "popcorn" dance
    "The Popcorn" was a hugely popular dance in the later 60s.
    You remember when James Brown came out with a series of "Popcorn" records. "Mother Popcorn", "Let A Man Come in and Do the Popcorn", etc.

    Last edited by marv2; 08-22-2019 at 01:38 PM.

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