POPCORN

MUSIC TO MOOG BY MUSIC TO MOOG BY
While it took virtually no time at all for musicians and labels to flood the market with countless sequels to "Switched-On Bach", thus creating whole genre where none had existed before, they needed a few more years to popularise the genuine "moog" theme, an anthem for a faceless and impersonal genre.

That tune was 'Popcorn'. It was the brain-child of a German-born composer, previously associated with commercial and Broadway work: one Gersbon Kingsley. With its relentless rhythm and driving, insistent melody, the song epitomized the cold, icy sound often associated with moog records. Records which depicted a bright future, an optimistic outlook on the world of tomorrow, shaped with, and defined by, the touch of our mechanical friends. Moog record producers made contradictory statements by using the cheesy and light pop tunes of the sixties as the basis for their futuristic repertoires.

Later, as moog records faded into oblivion, "Popcorn" still survived in pop culture via countless renditions and adaptations, many of which fall well outside the electronic medium. It must surely stand as one of the most covered songs of all time. Virtually every country in the world must have its own handful of groups who have recorded their own version of the song at one time or another. Today, workirig effectively as a catalyst for our collective memory, "Popcorn" takes us right back to the long gone days of the 1970's.

The theme originally appeared on Kingsley's first solo effort, "Music To Moog By" (Audio Fidelity, AF-6226). However, it wasn't until the middle of 1972, when the track was given a new lease of life with the rendition made by a band called Hot Butter, that the song its climb to popularity. Hot Butter was perhaps one of the most popular moog outfits, a phantom band led by session pianist Stan Free, a musician who had worked with artists like Paul Simon and Peggy Lee and was credited on many film and TV productions. A versatile keyboardist, Free's association with the moog came from his appeareance in Kingsley's First Moog Quartet.

In spite of what might be read in some other places, there was in fact no dance associated with the song, neither had it any lyrics. This popular belief in a dance and lyrics for the song might have its origins in a confusion with a 1955 country number by a certain Cliffie Stone called "The Popcorn Song". This song and Kingsley's "Popcorn" aren't related at all.


2002. Past&Future