Jean-Jacques Perrey

Jean-Jacques Perrey (French: [pɛʁɛ]; 20 January 1929 – 4 November 2016) was a French electronic music producer and was an early pioneer in the genre. He was a member of the electronic music duo Perrey and Kingsley.[1]

Jean-Jacques Perrey
Perrey at a concert in 2006
Background information
Birth nameJean Leroy
Born(1929-01-20)20 January 1929
Paris, France
OriginParis, France
Died4 November 2016(2016-11-04) (aged 87)
Morges, Switzerland
  • Composer
  • record producer
Years active
  • 1953–83
  • 1996–2010
Associated acts


Perrey was born Jean Leroy in France on 20 January 1929.[2] He was studying medicine in Paris when he met Georges Jenny, the inventor of the Ondioline, a type of electronic keyboard. Quitting medical school, Perrey travelled through Europe demonstrating this precursor of the modern synthesizer. At the age of 30, Perrey relocated to New York, sponsored by Caroll Bratman, who built him an experimental laboratory and recording studio. Here he invented "a new process for generating rhythms with sequences and loops", utilising the environmental sounds of "musique concrète." With scissors, splicing tape, and tape recorders, he spent weeks piecing together a uniquely comic take on the future. Befriending Robert Moog, he became one of the first Moog synthesiser musicians, creating "far out electronic entertainment". In 1965 Perrey met Gershon Kingsley, a former colleague of John Cage. Together, using Ondioline and Perrey's loops, they created two albums for Vanguard  The In Sound from Way Out (1966) and Kaleidoscopic Vibrations (1967). Perrey and Kingsley collaborated on sound design for radio and television advertising. Perrey returned to France, composing for television, scoring for ballet, and continuing medical research into therapeutic sounds for insomniacs.

Perrey's return from obscurity began in 1997, when he started recording in Bordeaux, France, with David Chazam. Their album Eclektronics was first released on vinyl in France only, in 1998. A CD version of the album was released in the Netherlands on the BASTA label, with several additional tracks added. In 2000 his collaborative CD with Gilbert Sigrist was released. "Circus of Life" was first released as a "library" recording, for TV and radio (France only), then released on Perrey's own PHMP label. 2006 saw the release of the album The Happy Electropop Music Machine on Oglio Records, of Los Angeles, California. The album was a collaboration with musician/arranger Dana Countryman. The two toured the West Coast of America to promote the album. Also in 2006, Perrey began collaborating with producer Luke Vibert for a CD on England's Lo Records: Moog Acid. The result is a blend of retro and modern analogue house synth-pop, encapsulating many genres and the two respective styles of the artists. The CD was released in 2007.[3] Perrey's release Destination Space is also a collaboration with Dana Countryman. The duo performed concerts in New York City and Montreal in October 2008 to promote its release. The album is notable for Perrey's being almost 80 years old when it was released.

In 2015–2016, Perrey became friends with Belgian-born Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Wouter de Backer (known professionally as Gotye). De Backer worked with Perrey to preserve his recorded legacy. After purchasing two vintage Ondiolines (an electronic keyboard closely associated with Perrey), de Backer formed the Ondioline Orchestra in New York. The sextet made their debut performing two shows in tribute to Perrey at National Sawdust, in Brooklyn, on 22 November 2016. Perrey, who lived in Switzerland, had planned to attend the tribute, but died before it took place. In May 2017, de Backer launched a new record label, Forgotten Futures, of which the first release was Jean-Jacques Perrey et son Ondioline, a compilation of rare and previously unreleased Perrey recordings.

On 13 February 2018, de Backer and his Ondioline Orchestra performed Circuit Breakers: Gotye Presents a Tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey at Roulette's Mixology Festival 2018, in New York. That same year Gotye's Ondioline Orchestra performed Gotye Presents a Tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey in Australia. The concert won a Helpmann Award in the Contemporary Music category.[4]

Perrey died at the age of 87 on 4 November 2016 from complications of lung cancer.[5][6]


In the 1970s, Walt Disney Productions chose this tune to be the theme for the Electrical Parade. It was extraordinary, I didn't know about it because the publishers said nothing to me. It was by chance, in 1980, that I went there and was so surprised to hear Baroque Hoedown arranged for a full orchestra.

Jean-Jacques Perrey, text from English subtitle[9]
  • A theme from Perrey, "Gossipo Perpetuo", has been used in Sweden by the comedians Anders och Måns in their self-titled comedy show on Swedish television.
  • His 1970 song "E.V.A." was sampled by several rap artists, most notably Gang Starr on "Just to Get a Rep" (1991) and House of Pain on "Fed Up (Remix)" (1996).
  • Perrey's 1968 song "Brazilian Flower" went viral and became popularly known as the "Rainbow Bunchie Song",[10] along with a looping animated gif.
  • A cover of Perrey's 1968 song "Mary France" was featured as the closing theme in the Japanese 1987 Famicom video game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic; later to be adapted and released globally in 1988 as Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Perrey's 1974 moog track "Boys And Girls", on which he collaborated with Gilbert Sigrist, were used for the opening theme of the 1974 anime, Hoshi no Ko Poron and the closing credits music in the Nickelodeon cartoon series, The Mighty B!.
  • Perrey co-wrote "The Savers", which was used as the intro theme music to the popular 70s/80s game show The Joker's Wild from 1972 until 1978, when producers replaced it with a cover version by Hal Hidey for the duration of the show's original run.
  • Perrey's song "Chicken on the Rocks" was used in the TV Series South Park. It played as Randy Marsh and friends bounced on their oversized testicles while consuming medicinal marijuana. The tune of the song, which derives from the folk song "Chicken Reel", has also appeared as the theme song for Astro Chicken and Ms. Astro Chicken in the Space Quest games by Sierra.
  • His 1968 track "The Little Ships" was featured in the viral YouTube video "going to the store"[11] and "The Mexican Cactus" in the sequel "late for meeting".[12]
  • In 2016 Perrey and Kingsley's song "Computers in Love" (from their 1966 album) was used on The Simpsons' couch gag (episode "Orange Is the New Yellow").
  • Tracks composed by Perrey have been used in some episodes of season 11 of SpongeBob SquarePants, such as "Borborygmus", used as the primary music throughout the episode "Cuddle E. Hugs," playing at the beginning and end, and each time the character Cuddle E. Hugs (voiced by Jeff Garlin) appears. Perrey's other music track "Bal Campagnard" is also heard when SpongeBob introduces Gary to Cuddle E. Hugs. Perrey's music is also used in the episodes "Karen's Virus", "The Night Patty", and "SpongeBob in Randomland".
  • Musique de l'infini is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 52 "Steal the Ultra Life!"
  • Moogy-Boogy is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 48 "Monster Girl's Festival".
  • Music A 7 is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 48 "Monster Girl's Festival".
  • A L'Aube De L'An 2000 is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 47 "The Monster Master"
  • La Panthere Cosmique is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 43 "Pickle The Monster With Salt!"
  • One two two is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 43 "Pickle The Monster With Salt!"
  • Le Défilé Des Moustiques is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 43 "Pickle The Monster With Salt!"
  • Music A 7 is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 43 "Pickle The Monster With Salt!"
  • Musique de l'infini is used as the primary music throughout the Ultraman Taro episode 36 "Coward! The Breed Cried"
  • Les Mysteres du Cosmos is used as the primary music throughout the Thunder Mask episode 13 "At the end of the far away galaxy"
  • Les Canaux de Mars is used as the primary music throughout the Thunder Mask episode 12 "Cruel! Thunder mask capital punishment"


As Perrey and Kingsley

As Jean-Jacques Perrey

  • Prelude au Sommeil (1957; France only)
  • Cadmus, Le Robot de l'Espace (1959; France only)
  • Mr. Ondioline (1960; EP)
  • Musique Electronique Du Cosmos (1962)
  • The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound of Jean Jacques Perrey (1968)
  • The Happy Moog (with Harry Breuer; 1969)
  • Moog Indigo (1970)
  • Moog Sensations (1971)
  • Moog Expressions (1972)
  • Quadraphonic Demonstration Album - Program 2 (1972; two themes)
  • Moog Generation (1972)
  • Moog Mig Mag Moog (1974)
  • Moog Is Moog (1977)
  • Dynamoog (with Gilbert Sigrist; 1978)
  • Kartoonery (1980)
  • Good Moog - Astral Animations & Komputer Kartoons (1998; compilation)
  • Circus of Life (with Gilbert Sigrist; 1999)
  • Eclektronics (with David Chazam; 2000)
  • The Happy Electropop Music Machine (with Dana Countryman; 2006)
  • Moog Acid (with Luke Vibert; 2007)
  • Destination Space (with Dana Countryman; 2008)
  • Froots (with Cosmic Pocket; 2010)
  • ELA (with David Chazam; 2015)
  • Jean-Jacques Perrey et Son Ondioline (2017)


  1. Perrey & Kingsley at Discogs. Retrieved on November 5, 2016.
  2. Bromwich, Jonah Engel (November 6, 2016). "Jean-Jacques Perrey, Electronic Music Pioneer, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  3. John Bush. "Moog Acid review". Rovi Corporation.
  4. Jefferson, Dee, "Helpmann Awards: Sydney Theatre Company the biggest winner across split ceremony at Capitol Theatre", ABC arts, July 16 2018
  5. Co-composer of Disney's Electrical Parade music dies. Retrieved on November 5, 2016.
  6. Brown, Tracy (November 7, 2016). "Electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey, of Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade fame, dies at 87". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  7. "New Complaints". Courthouse News Service. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  8. "Jean-Jacques Perrey et al v. Televisa S.A. de C.V. et al, No. 2:2009cv06508 - Document 43 (C.D. Cal. 2009)". Justia Law. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  9. Perrey (2005). Explore the Magic (From One Lightbulb To Another bonus documentary)|format= requires |url= (help) (DVD). Disneyland Resort Paris. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  10. Rainbow Bunchie fan website
  11. David Lewandowski. "going to the store".
  12. David Lewandowski. "late for meeting".
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