Stan Free

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Stanley "Stan" Free (born Friedland) (April 12, 1922 – August 17, 1995) was a New York City-based jazz musician, composer, conductor and arranger.

Free was born in Brooklyn in 1922, and received a classical musical education, studying with Alexander Siloti and also at the Juilliard School. While still in his teens, he organized a combo (Stanley Friedland's Royal New Yorkers) that played in the Catskills. He also served as a staff sergeant in the Seventh Cavalry in World War II, seeing combat in the Pacific.

Upon his return, he became active in many musical endeavors, including serving as musical director for one of the first live television variety/talk shows -- "Cafe De Paris" with Sylvie St. Clair, on WABD, the old DuMont channel in New York. The Stan Free Trio played in many New York jazz clubs of the day, including The Composer, The Embers, The Living Room and Hickory House to name a few. He was the featured performer for several summers at Herb McCarthy's Bowden Square in Southampton, Long Island. He recorded several albums (now out of print) under his own name: "Free For All: The Stan Free Trio," "Piano A La Percussion" and "Stan Free Five: Would You Believe? Jazz Alive."

Free's best-known recording was the Moog hit, "Popcorn", with the album named Hot Butter. In addition to Free, five studio musicians contributed to the album. Free also toured and recorded with the First Moog Quartet, organized by Gershon Kingsley. Additionally he arranged music and conducted for many performers, notably the jazz vocalist Chris Connor (Chris Craft), and the comedian Jack Carter. He was also a studio musician for many of the rock and pop groups of the 1960s, including The Four Seasons, The Monkees and The Association. In 1979, Free played percussion on the Broadway Show The Most Happy Fella. He was married with children and grandchildren, and died in New York.