Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Perrey & Kingsley’s Secret Ondioline

Jean Jacques Perrey & Gershon Kingsley – originators of funny & futuristic-sounding 60s instrumental music with massive kid appeal – found common cause intermittently as a recording act that produced a total of three full-length albums and two single releases.  Perrey & Kingsley’s appearance on an episode of I’ve Got a Secret (this video claims) is the duo’s sole live performance.  Perrey, was originally hired by the ondioline’s inventor, Georges Jenny, to demonstrate the electronic instrument’s unusual expressiveness and ability to emulate other musical instruments as shown here in charming fashion:

Jean Jacques Perrey & Gershon Kingsley     “Spooks in Space”     1966

LP Releases by Jean-Jacques Perrey and/or Gershon Kingsley

Perrey & Kingsley LP-1Perrey & Kingsley LP-2Perrey LP-aaKingsley LP-aaPerrey LP-bbKingsley LP-bb

The ondioline would give birth to the clavioline (the instrument behind that peppy 1960 UK instrumental “M1” profiled earlier), which would then give birth to the (heavily-modifed) “Musitron” – the distinctive keyboard sound behind Del Shannon’s “Runaway” from 1961.

OndiolineSy Mann (the creative force behind the Switched On Santa Moog album, as well as 1971’s Shaft as arranged by “Soul” Mann & the Bros.) would get in on the ondioline game with a 1966 7-inch single released in Germany “Der Fröhliche Radfahrer” b/w “Fahrt In’s Glück”:

“Der Fröhliche Radfahrer”     Sy & Bob Mann and the ondioline band     1966

45Cat reveals that The Ondioline Band would release a 7-inch “Last Bicycle to Brussels” b/w “The Lovers of Cologne” in the UK in 1966.

More individual LP Releases by Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley

Perrey LP-ccKingsley LP-ccPerrey LP-ddKingsley LP-dPerrey & Kingsley 8-track tapeOndioline Trivia:

  • Al Kooper played ondioline on Blood, Sweat & Tears’ 1968 debut LP, as well as 1968’s Super Session with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills.
  • Sy Mann’s Switched On Santa album was engineered and mixed by Jean-Jacques Perrey.
  • Richie Havens plays an ondioline on his 1969 album, Richard P. Havens 1983.
  • Gershon Kingsley is the mastermind behind 1972 instrumental “Popcorn” – the smash hit attributed to ‘Hot Butter.’

Kingsley sheet musicThis is the fifteenth Zero to 180 piece to be tagged electronic musical instruments.

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