Passport To The Future

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About the author:

Dana Countryman is the former founding editor and publisher of the eclectic "Cool and Strange Music Magazine." He's also been a professional musician, having appeared on national television several times. Both of these backgrounds came into play, when he decided to write the biography of legendary French electronic pop music pioneer, Jean-Jacques Perrey.

The book was written with full permission of Perrey, giving Countryman full access to a lifetime of photographs, recordings and contracts, gathered over Perrey's lifetime.

Countryman lives in the North Seattle area, in Washington State, with his wife Tricia, son Matt, and two high-maintenance cats.

Passport To The Future

The Amazing Life and Music of Electronic Pop Music Pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey

Authored by Dana Countryman
Introduction by Brian Kehew, Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
Cover design or artwork by Mal Meehan
Edited by Frank M. Young

You might not know the name "Jean-Jacques Perrey", but chances are that you're heard his music. It's been everywhere: on commercials, in cartoons, and Top 40 hits. It's been sampled by over 70 hip-hop artists including Ice T, Dr. Dre and A Tribe Called Quest. Even the Beatles sampled his music.

Just this year, his music was recently used in an episode of "South Park", and in a television commercial for NFL Fantasy Football. For nearly 40 years his "Baroque Hoedown" tune (with Gershon Kingsley) has been featured in Disneyland's much-loved "Main Street Electrical Parade."

This book chronicles Perrey's musical transformation from being just another young accordion player in France, to eventually becoming a pioneer of electronic pop music. By chance, as a young man, Perrey came upon a new French-invented electronic keyboard instrument called the "Ondioline," and soon he became its chief salesperson. While demonstrating the instrument all over Europe, in the late 1950s, he was discovered by legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf. She became Perrey's mentor, and arranged for Perrey to travel to America, where he quickly became a musical innovator at the forefront of the synthesizer revolution. (Perrey was the second musician to own and record with a Moog synthesizer.)

In the '60s, Perrey also recorded four albums for Vanguard Records, which are now considered electronic pop masterpieces. With their whimsical electronic sounds and catchy melodies, Perrey's albums still stand the test of time, unlike other "Moog" albums of the same period. His musical playfulness and most of all, his sense of humor make Perrey's music both clever and memorable.

Long before computers and digital technology, Perrey devised an ingenious method of "sampling," using recording tape. When Perrey recorded "Flight of the Bumblebee," he didn't just do it the usual way. His version was created by recording the sounds of REAL bumblebees in a hive to create the frenetic classical theme! Using nothing but a simple razor blade, Scotch tape, and unbelievable patience, Perrey cut the recorded bee sounds into hundreds of tiny pieces. He then hand-spliced each bit of tape into a carefully-planned sequence, with the classic melody being "sung" by hundreds of buzzing bees! This feat took over 72 hours for Perrey to assemble just the melody line. The effect was (and still is) astonishing.

"Passport to the Future" documents Perrey's life, and tells about his musical adventures, including rubbing shoulders with famous artists, such as Salvador Dali, Les Paul, Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock and many more.

Young people of today revere Perrey as a true musical pioneer and innovator. "Passport to the Future" preserves Perrey's life as a true visionary, who at age 82, is still creating and performing his unique blend of electronic and happy, quirky melodies.

"Passport to the Future" documents Perrey's life, and explains how he created his unique recordings. Scores of musicians who worked with Perrey are interviewed, including Angelo Badalamenti, Robert Moog, Gershon Kingsley, Dick Hyman, Vinnie Bell, Walter Sear, and many more.


Publication Date:
145386587X / 9781453865873
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts / General

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