Perrey and Kingsley

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Perrey and Kingsley
Years active1965-1967
LabelsVanguard (1966-2007)
Welk Music Group (2012)

Perrey and Kingsley (known also as "Perrey & Kingsley") was an electronic music duo made up of French composer Jean-Jacques Perrey and German-American composer Gershon Kingsley.[1][2] The duo lasted from 1965 to 1967.[3]


Early years[edit]

Kingsley was born in Germany. He fled Nazi Germany in 1938 to settle in Palestine-Land of Israel where the 15-year-old, due because his father was of Jewish descent. Self-taught musician began his career in music.[4] Perrey born in France, was a French accordion player and medical student who abandoned his studies after meeting Georges Jenny, the inventor of the Ondioline. Jenny hired Perrey as a salesman of the instrument,[5]

Perrey and Kingsley met in 1965 at Caroll Bratman's residence.[6] In that same year they began their first project entitled The in Sound From Way Out!.[7] During the 1960s, Perrey experimented with tape loops,[5] a technique known as Musique concrete, which is generally attributed to the French Pierre Schaeffer.[8] Since this was decades before the advent of digital technology, each tune took weeks of painstaking editing and splicing to produce.[5]

In 1966, the first Perrey and Kingsley album titled The In Sound From Way Out![9] was released. Its cover was made by Jules Halfant,[10] an art director and production manager of Vanguard Records from 1954 to 1984.[11] The album contains the song "Barnyard in Orbit" which is a rearrangement composed by Perrey and Harry Breuer,[12] of the homonymous track from Perrey's 1962 album "Musique Electronique Du Cosmos (Electronic Music From Outer Space)". The original version had some similarities to the Mexican popular song Jarabe Tapatío.

"Swan's Splashdown", is a version from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake",[13] "Countdown at 6", is a version of the 1963 song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" by Allan Sherman, a theme that he uses as an instrumental the Dance of the Hours by Ponchielli,[14] "Spooks in Space", is a version of Saint-Saens's Danse Macabre. The final track on the album, "Visa to the Stars", was composed solely by Jean-Jacques Perrey.[12] Unlike the rest of the album, this track is has a more serious tone and lacks the unusual sound effects of the other eleven cuts. It is highly reminiscent of the style of Joe Meek and his hit "Telstar" by The Tornados.[15]

Separation and final album[edit]

For the second studio album "Kaleidoscopic Vibrations", Perrey and Kingsley they incorporated the Moog synthesizer, a huge and complicated electronic instrument that resembles an old style telephone switchboard. The Perrey's tape loops, and the effects were aggregates in post-production after Kingsley's performances.[16] In 1967 was released the second and ultimate album of the group Perrey and Kingsley titled "Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music From Way Out".[17] This album includes some of the early tracks that used the Moog synthesizer, being "The Savers", "Pioneers Of The Stars", these first tracks were released in December 1967 in a Double single.[18]

Unlike his previous album, most of the songs were covers of popular songs from the time like;[5] "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra, "One Note Samba-Spanish Flea" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66,[19] "A Lover's Concerto" by The Toys (a song based on the Minuet in G Major[20]). "Winchester Cathedral" by The New Vaudeville Band, "Toy Ballons" by Billy Mure, "Moon River" by Henry Mancini, and "Mas Que Nada" by Jorge Ben. There are also versions of the main themes of the films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Third Man.

On the album there are also original songs such as "The Savers", "Fallout", "Baroque Hoedown", "Carousel of the Planets", and "Pioneers of the Stars". Another version of this last track exists, which may pre-date Kaleidoscopic Variations, "though a few clues point towards it being from an earlier phase of the 1960s where Perrey was experimenting with a bigger orchestral sound for his compositions".[21]

After the release of "Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music From Way Out", the group disbanded, Jean-Jacques Perrey recorded his two final albums with the Vanguard Records label: "The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound of Jean Jacques Perrey" and "Moog Indigo".[22] On the other hand Gershon Kingsley released in 1969 the album "Music to Moog By", which included the original version of Popcorn, that would later reach a great popularity with the version of Hot Butter.[23]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 1966: The In Sound from Way Out! (Vanguard)
  • 1967: Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music From Way Out (reissued in 1971 with a new artwork and new title: "Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Spotlight on the Moog") (Vanguard)

Compilations albums[edit]

  • 1973: The Best Of The Moog (Vanguard)
  • 1975: Incredible Synthesizer (Vanguard)
  • 1988: The Essential: Perrey & Kingsley (reissued on 1996 and 2006) (Vanguard)
  • 2001: The Out Sound from Way In!: The Complete Vanguard Recordings (Vanguard)
  • 2007: Vanguard Visionaries: Perrey & Kingsley (Vanguard)
  • 2012: The Electronic Pop Songs (Welk Music Group)
  • 2012: Space Age Computer Music (Welk Music Group)

In popular culture[edit]

Over the years, several of the songs from Perrey and Kingsley were and they continue to be used in several media:

  • Some of the tracks from the album The In Sound From Way Out! were used in segments of Sesame Street and also in other television programs of the time, such as The Red Skelton Show.[5]
  • Unidentified Flying Object and Electronic Can-Can were used as main themes for Wonderama.[24][7][15]
  • "The Savers" was used as the opening from the American television game show The Joker's Wild of 1972 to 1978.[24][25]
  • In 1996 the Beastie Boys released an compilation album with a title and cover based on their 1966 album.[26][27]
  • In 2020, Barnyard in Orbit was used in a TurboTax commercial titled "Help".[28][29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Synthesizer pioneer Gershon Kingsley has died aged 97 · News ⟋ RA". Resident Advisor: 16 December 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Gershon Kingsley – Pop Corn". Un día, un disco. (in Spanish). 2014-01-28. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Perrey-Kingsley | Biography & History". AllMusic: Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  4. ^ Tobias Feld (3 January 2014). "Ein Revolutionär der Musikgeschichte ... Gustav Ksinski komponierte den ersten Welthit des Elektro-Pop". Deutschlandradio Köln (Deutschlandfunk Kultur). Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Jean-Jacques Perrey's Press Kit". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Jean Jacques Perrey's Autobiography, Part Two". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  7. ^ a b Arce, Rodrigo. "'The Sound From Way Out!' el nacimiento de la electrónica con Perrey and Kingsley #Vintage909". Ibero 90.9 (in Spanish): Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  8. ^ "The History of Musique Concrète". Sound Matters. 2011-10-30. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  9. ^ P, A (November 6, 2016). "Fallece Jean-Jacques Perrey, precursor de música electrónica". (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  10. ^ "The In Sound from Way Out! - Perrey-Kingsley | Credits | AllMusic". Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Jules Halfant - Biography". Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  12. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "The In Sound from Way Out! - Perrey-Kingsley | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic: Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Smash Mouth: Walkin' on the Sun. Perrey and Kingsley: Swan's Splashdown" (in Spanish). 8 November 2016: Similarrock. Retrieved 18 January 2021. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "Dance of the Hours | work by Ponchielli". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b Radio, N. T. S. "Perrey & Kingsley | Discover music on NTS". NTS Radio. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  16. ^ "JEAN JACQUES PERREY E.V.A." Seven45rpm. 2014-01-15. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Kaleidoscopic Vibrations | Just for the Record". Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  18. ^ "Holmes, Thom. "Moog: A History in Recordings—The First Moog Synthesizer Recordings"". 17 June 2013: Retrieved 28 January 2021. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. ^ "Original versions of One Note Samba - Spanish Flea by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 | SecondHandSongs". Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  20. ^ "How a Bach Minuet got a Motown Makeover". WFMT. 2018-09-04. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Pioneers of the Stars (orchestral arrangement), by Jean-Jacques Perrey". Jean-Jacques Perrey. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Jean Jacques Perrey". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  23. ^ "Muere Gershon Kingsley, pionero de la electrónica y autor de "Popcorn"". MondoSonoro (in Spanish). 16 December 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Moog synthesizer pioneer Gershon Kingsley dead at 97". DangerousMinds. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  25. ^ Fourier, Laurent; Roads, Curtis; Perrey, Jean-Jacques (1994). "Jean-Jacques Perrey and the Ondioline". Computer Music Journal. 18 (4): 19–25. doi:10.2307/3681354. JSTOR 3681354. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  26. ^ Groove, The Prudent (31 January 2013). "Album Review: The In Sound from Way Out! – Perrey-Kingsley". The Prudent Groove. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  27. ^ "Jean-Jacques Perrey, electronic music innovator, dies at 87". Fact Magazine. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  28. ^ "TurboTax TV Commercial, 'Help' Song by Perrey and Kingsley". | Realtime TV Advertising Performance Measurement. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Intuit TurboTax Commercial - Help - Pop Culture Cross-References and Connections on @POPisms". Popsims. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  30. ^ "TurboTax Help Song by Perrey and Kingsley Ad Commercial on TV 2020". AbanCommercials. Retrieved 16 February 2021.

External links[edit]