The German-American composer, who helped popularize the Moog synthesizer, passed away on December 10th.
The German-American composer was best known for his influential synth pop instrumental "Pop Corn," written for his 1969 album Music To Moog By. A 1972 version by American band Hot Butter made the song famous, becoming an international hit and one of the first pieces of electronic music to enter the charts. Hundreds more versions followed, including covers by Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Gi Gi D'Agostino, Muse and the Muppets.
Kingsley, born in 1922, grew up in Berlin but fled Nazi Germany to what became Israel in 1938, a few days before Kristallnacht. In 1946, he arrived in Los Angeles and studied at the Los Angeles Conservatory Of Music. He worked as a musical director for synagogues, conducted for Broadway and composed for film and television.
In the 1960s, Kingsley took a growing interest in electronic music, helping to popularize synthesizers like the Moog. Alongside French composer Jean-Jacques Perrey, he formed the duo Perrey-Kingsley, one of the first purely electronic acts to appeal to wider music audiences. Later, he released his solo record, Music To Moog By, as well as founded the First Moog Quartet, a synthesizer ensemble focused on bringing electronic sounds into classical music venues.
Kingsley died at his home in Manhattan on December 10th. He was 97.