Newswire: R.I.P. Jean-Jacques Perrey, pioneer of electronic pop music

Jean-Jacques Perrey, the French musician, producer, and icon of space age pop, died of lung cancer at his home in Switzerland on Friday. A pioneer of combining electronic instrumentation with the sensibilities of popular music, Perrey formed a successful duo with Gershon Kingsley, composer of the deathless synth earworm “Popcorn,” before releasing a string of cult albums of futuristic lounge music and pop. He was 87.

Perrey’s first instrument was the accordion, but after briefly trying to pursue a formal musical education, he enrolled in medical school. However, he dropped out within a year, after meeting Georges Jenny, the inventor of a vacuum-tube-based synthesizer called the Ondioline. A more versatile and user-friendly update of an earlier electronic instrument called the Ondes Martenot, the Ondioline was one of the first electronic keyboards to be adopted in pop music. It scored its first hit single with “L’âme Des Poètes,” a …

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