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Stan Freberg

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Album Review

Social satirist and comedian Stan Freberg created one of the most entertaining radio programs during the waning days of the medium. However, what separated Freberg from 'golden age' classics such as Amos 'n' Andy or The Jack Benny Show was his relentless pursuit of innovation and his boundless ingenuity. These likewise became factors in his unequaled success as a media advisor/advertising consultant throughout the ensuing decades. Although Freberg's weekly half-hour, prime-time CBS Radio slot only lasted 15 weeks, it set the standard for the type of 'visual' comedy that would soon take America by storm on television. His 'theater of the mind' concept was so novel and ultimately convincing, that along with actors Daws Butler, June Foray and Peter Leeds, Freberg was able to go head-to-head with his audio/visual broadcast counterparts [read: competition]. The four discs in the Stan Freberg Show (1995) present the final eight installments that initially ran during September and October of 1957, in surprisingly crisp fidelity. These are complete and unedited, exactly the way that they originally aired. While several compilations were made available over the years from these recordings, up until now they have never been offered in their entirety. Thanks to the resourcefulness and unique energy of the cast, each could be considered comparable to an animated cartoon for the ears. The is especially true as Daws Butler, June Foray and Peter Leeds would later provide the voices from scores of well-known characters. Here, their multi-faceted skills can be heard on "Audience Gripes About Freeway" and the painfully accurate "Freberg in Adverstisingland." They are also front and center for the live remakes of "St. George and the Dragonet" and the "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" parody, both of which Freberg released as singles during his concurrent tenure with Capitol Records.


Born: 07 August 1926 in Pasadena, CA

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

Hip and irreverent, Stan Freberg was the last network radio comic, a trailblazing satirist whose work greatly expanded the vocabulary of the comedy form. While most postwar comedians used radio and records merely as a springboard for more lucrative film and television gigs, Freberg pushed the envelope in both mediums, creating high-concept musical comedies and sound collages that revolutionized the audio format while setting the stage for the hallucinatory sonic visions of the Firesign Theatre and...
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Stan Freberg, Stan Freberg
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