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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Stan Freberg born 7 August 1926

Stanley Victor Freberg (born August 7, 1926 in Los Angeles) is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, puppeteer and advertising creative director.

Stan was born in Pasadena, California in 1926. When he was 11 he worked on stage in his uncle's magic show. Beginning in 1943 he did voice impersonations on Cliffie Stone's radio show. Following World War II Stan did cartoon voices for some of the major
animated film studios such as Paramount, Warner Brothers, Disney, and Lantz. He landed a spot on the kids' TV show Time For Beany with Daws Butler.

In 1950, Stan put his first satire piece on a record for Capitol with John and Marsha, which was a take-off on radio soap operas. In 1953 he turned his attention to the radio/television show Dragnet. Using the famous dumm-de-dum-dum line, some of Jack Webb's sayings such as "Just the facts, m'am," great comedic timing, some outrageous puns, and help from Daws Butler, June Foray and musical director Billy May, Freberg came up with his biggest hit in St. George and the Dragonet. Sales of the record skyrocketed.

Stan Freberg then turned his attention to send-ups of well-known pop songs of the day. In 1955 he took on Mitch Miller's The Yellow Rose Of Texas. The following year the Platters had a number one song with The Great Pretender; in Freberg's version, the pianist refused to play "that kling-kling-kling jazz." Harry Belafonte's top ten song, Banana Boat [Day-O] became a target. The conflict in Freberg's version took place between the calypso singer and the hipster bongo player who said everything was "too loud, man". On another occasion, in a parody of a folk singer trying to sing and do a folksy monologue on Lonnie Donegan's Rock Island Line, Peter Leeds took the role of straight man; he played an A&R man who was constantly interrupting to try to eliminate the singer's dialect. Another ripe performer of the day that Freberg took on was Lawrence Welk. Still with Capitol, he released Wun'erful, Wun'erful! [Sides uh-one & uh-two]. The payola scandals became topical in the music business leading Freberg to produce The Old Payola Roll Blues.

In 1957 Stan Freberg’s Radio Show for CBS  made him “the last network radio comedian in America.” Here he demonstrated his satirical nature by poking fun at everything from censorship to advertising to the excesses of Las Vegas.

In 1960, Freberg perceived the music business as one which persistently hyped performers who were short on talent, leading him to create his character Clyde Ankle. In the era just before the Beatles emerged, he began to feel that there was little left to satirize and looked to turn his attentions elsewhere.

He found a new challenge in the advertising world. Freberg would produce such things as commercials for instant coffee that were very funny. In the early 60's he became very much in demand from advertisers and did very well at it. Stan Freberg won more than twenty Clio awards, which are given for outstanding achievement
in the radio/television advertising industry.

Following his success in comedy records and television, Freberg was often invited to appear as a featured guest at various events. Each time has been memorable, such as his skit at the 1979 Science Fiction Awards, again playing straight man to Orville in his UFO. He innocently asks why there is a hole in the end of the spacecraft, only to be told, "That's where the swamp gas comes out."

In the 1990s, Freberg produced a daily series of commentaries, Stan Freberg Here. Freberg was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. From 1995 until October 6, 2006, Freberg hosted When Radio Was, a syndicated anthology of vintage radio shows. Freberg was the announcer for the boat race in the movie version of Stuart Little. 

 Stan Freberg and his wife Hunter were married in Orange County in 2001, with author Ray Bradbury serving as the best man.

In 2007 Freberg won the New York Festivals (NYF) Radio Broadcasting Lifetime Achievement. In 2008, he guest starred as Sherlock Holmes in two episodes of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. Since 2008, Freberg has been doing the voices of numerous characters, including Doctor Whipple and Fluffykins on The Garfield Show. (Info edited from various sources mainly Wikipedia)

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