Gershon Kingsley, the German-American composer who pioneered the Moog synthesizer, has passed away at the age of 97.
“We are saddened to share that pioneering synthesist and legendary composer Gershon Kingsley has passed away,” the Moog Foundation tweeted. “Our love, respect and condolences go out to his family and loved ones. He will be deeply missed.”
Kingsley, who was a founder of the First Moog Quartet, is arguably most recognised for his 1969 influential electronic instrumental composition ‘Popcorn’ which is an early synth-pop instrumental.
The electronic music pioneer also acted as one half of Perrey and Kingsley alongside Jean-Jacques Perrey, a creative duo who became one of the first groups to purely create electronic music to appeal to the general public.
Kingsley, who was born in 1922 and raised in Berlin, fled Nazi Germany after becoming a Zionist a the age of 15, leaving behind his parents and making a new life in what became Israel in 1938. His parents and brother, eventually seeking their own way out of Germany, settled in Cuba and gained visas for the United States. Eight years later, Kingsley arrived in America to live with his family.
His remarkable career includes everything from the First Moog Quartet to Perrey and Kingsley to a solo career which added covers of The Beatles, film and theatre scores, commercials and television shows.
Kingsley died at the age of 97 while at his home in Manhattan on December 10th.