Disc Jockey Chewing Gum was made in the late fifties. There were two sets of bubble gum cards under this name, both issued in 1958, and made by the English sweet company Madison Confectionary, in London West11.
Last year I did a print based on an old gum wrapper from the sets, but recently have been able to find out a bit more on the subject as well as this great vintage advert (which I spotted while going through some old music papers).
The first set had black and white cards while the second were in colour, albeit fairly garishly hand tinted colour. I’m also struggling to work out what the little Disc Jockey character on the back is holding – it’s a whip in one hand but… Both sets featured popular music stars of the time including Gary Miller, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Marion Ryan, Georgia Gibbs, Laurie London, Jim Dale, Frankie Laine, Joan Regan and Eartha Kitt. There were 48 cards in the sets and a packet cost just 1d (I’m not sure how many cards were in each wax paper packet, 3 or 4 usually.
Such pop music card sets were very popular with kids and young teenagers, with titles such as “Who Z A Star”, “Disc Stars” and “Golden Boys” – the latter also from 1958, and clearly aimed at young girls. The sets followed a tradition begun long before the war of cigarette card sets but by the sixties the makers centred more on specific artists so you got sets featuring The Monkees, The Beatles, The Stones, etc.
Madison also did albums to keep the cards in, which you could send off for using details on the wrappers. In line with other firms, Madison sold the sets to sweet shops in attractive boxes which opened up to present the product on a counter, as featured in this advert.
Limited signed prints are available via the Easy On The Eye online store.
More prints can be found on the site.