Formed from the ashes of Rare Breed, Mansfield Ohio's the Ohio Express
came together in 1967 and enjoyed some of the largest successes of the bubblegum rock craze of the late '60s. The initial line-up included Joey Levine
on vocals, Dale Powers on guitar, Doug Grassel on second guitar, Jim Pflayer on keyboards, Dean Krastan on bass and Tim Corwin on drums. Under the aegis of producers Jerry Kasenetz
and Jeff Katz
, Ohio Express
surfaced repeatedly on the late-'60s pop charts.
Their first single, a reworked Rare Breed tune called "Beg, Borrow and Steal" cracked the charts, but it was the sugary-sweet one-two punch of "Yummy Yummy Yummy" and "Chewy Chewy" that produced their biggest hits. These tunes were pair of million-sellers for the band and their label, bubblegum powerhouse Buddah Records. Future 10cc
leader Graham Gouldman
sang lead on their final chart bow in 1969, "Sausalito (Is the Place to Go)." The band had a somewhat nebulous existence for the next two decades. For a brief time in the mid-'70s, Kasenetz
assembled a version of Ohio Express
made up of completely new musicians to play the band's hits in Long Island clubs and dive bars. This in-name-only version of the band was short-lived. In the 1980s, original drummer Tim Corwin assembled a new lineup of the group and they began touring the oldies circuit playing the band's late-'60s hits. In 2012 this version of the band offered up Bubblegum Days, an album of newly recorded versions of both their most famous hits as well as other covers from the bubblegum era.