Thursday, February 23, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stan Freberg

Artist:Stan Freberg
Song:St. George and the Dragonet
Album:The Best Of Stan Freberg

I guess Stan Freberg was the last radio comedian. Because when TV was taking over for radio in the 50s, Freberg's comedy records were still popular. St. George and the Dragonet topped the pop charts in 1953. Of course he did a lot on radio, TV and especially in advertising. They don't make them like Stan Freberg anymore. He was born Stanley Friberg Aug. 7, 1926 in Pasadena, CA. His father was a Baptist minister. As a teen, he started out doing children's puppet shows. After graduating high school, he hopped a bus to Los Angeles and successfully auditioned for a job at Warner Bros. animation. Freberg worked alongside the legendary Mel Blanc. He was Bertie in the Hubie and Bertie cartoons, Pete Puma in the 1952 cartoon Rabbit's Kin and probably most famously as Junyer Bear in Chuck Jones' Three Bears cartoons. He signed with Capitol Records in 1951. His first single was the soap opera parody John and Marsha. Once that charted, he was off to the races. The Dragnet spoof St. George and the Dragonet was Freberg's only number one hit. It topped the charts for four weeks in 1953. Capitol told Freberg that he needed Dragnet creator and star Jack Webb's permission to parody him and use Walter Schumann's theme music. Webb loved the idea. Freberg wrote the sketch with the legendary Daws Butler and Freberg, Butler, June Foray and Hy Averback did the voices. The animated film seen below was produced for one of Freberg's 50s TV specials. Freberg continued to have great success in the 50s with albums, radio and TV. This budget comp was first released in 1963 and it was released on CD by the British label Hallmark. In the 60s, Freberg turned his attention to advertising. One of his more memorable commercials was for Sunsweet Prunes featuring sci-fi author Ray Bradbury. And Heinz Great American Soups with dancer Ann Miller. Freberg was less active later on. But occasionally he would show up on TV like as the supermarket manager in the sitcom Roseanne. He continued to do voice work until his death on Apr. 7, 2015 at age 88. Here's an animated film of St. George and the Dragonet by Stan Freberg.

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