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Jean-Jacques Perrey (1920-2016), Legendary Pioneer of Electronic Pop Music

Jean-Jacques Perrey

photo by Scott Beale

Jean-Jacques Perrey, legendary sound designer, musician and pioneer of electronic pop music, passed away on November 4, 2016 due complications from lung cancer. He was 87 years old. Throughout his long career, Perrey partnered with a number of incredibly talented people including Gershon Kingsley, Robert Moog and Dana Countryman, with whom Perrey performed in 2006 (Here are Scott Beale’s photos of the San Francisco show). Countryman wrote a lovely tribute to his dear friend.

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my dear friend, legendary electronic musician, Jean-Jacques Perrey, who died today, November 4th, 2016 at the age of 87. He peacefully left our planet, near his home in Lausanne, Switzerland with his beloved daughter Patricia by his side. For those who don’t realize it, Jean-Jacques first started recording electronic music in 1952, long before the Moog synthesizer was first made for sale in 1967. Relocating from Paris to New York City, JJ actually owned and recorded with the second Moog ever produced, and with his musical partner Gershon Kingsley, they released their first Moog album — almost two years before Wendy Carlos released her first Moog album. Jean-Jacques was truly the pioneer of popular electronic music. ….If he were here today, there is nothing that Jean-Jacques would like more than to think that his fans were playing his crazy, funny, catchy Moog music right now — and smiling, instead of being sad. His motto and creed in almost every interview that he gave, was “Keep smiling, and be happy!” He was the master of happiness. Thank you, Jean-Jacques for all the happiness you created in your lifetime — music that will live on for generations to come.

Jean-Jacques Perrey

photo by Scott Beale

Jean-Jacques Perrey

photo by Scott Beale

Jean-Jacques Perrey

photo by Scott Beale

Jean-Jacques Perrey

photo by Scott Beale

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