Stan Freberg was a child of radio and a huge fan of folks like Fred Allen, Jack Benny and Henry Morgan. Born in Los Angeles and
reared in Pasadena, he put on his own equivalent of live radio shows in high school, then headed over the hills to Hollywood via bus to get on the
real thing. His first jobs (at age eighteen) involved supplying voices for Warner Brothers cartoons, usually in support of Mel Blanc and always
without credit. Soon though, Freberg was being heard on radio shows and on early television. He and a brilliant actor named Daws Butler
worked puppets and supplied the vocals on Bob Clampett's Time for Beany, the first kids' show to attract an adult audience.
In 1950, he launched a long association with Capitol Records, recording silly and satirical material. The sales and critical
reaction stunned the Capitol execs so they let him keep on doing pretty much anything he wanted, even when it meant attacking their own
industry. His recordings all had two outstanding qualities. One is that they were funny. The other is that they were produced with
high production values...first-rate music (usually supplied by arranger-conductor Billy May) and a fine supporting cast that included Butler, June
Foray and Peter Leeds, along with the hundreds of voices that came out of Freberg himself. Even if you didn't get the satire — and some
folks didn't, especially when Freberg records were released overseas — the material was always fun to listen to.
Freberg starred in two network radio shows, both of which also featured his frequent partner, Butler. The 1954 That's Rich
was a fairly standard situation comedy but the 1957 Stan Freberg Show was a glorious (if short-lived) festival of satire and comedy. It
made him, by his definition, "the last network radio comedian in America." A nice way to end an era.
When The Stan Freberg Show ended after 15 weeks, Freberg found a new outlet for his humor in advertising, with award-winning
campaigns for Sunsweet Prunes, Jeno's Pizza Rolls, Chun King Chow Mein, Pittsburgh Paints and many other clients. He didn't exactly invent the
funny commercial but he quickly became its master, and rival ad agencies scrambled to emulate his lead. And of course, he continued to release
records, including the album many believe to be the greatest comedy record of all time...Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, The
In the nineties, Freberg produced a daily series of commentaries, Stan Freberg Here, and continued to release both old and new
records. He's done a lot of other things as well, including on-camera acting, writing an autobiography (It Only Hurts When I Laugh) and
continuing to do voiceovers and advertising. But the following list is concerned only with his awesome powers as a recording artist. The
list is not complete, especially in the areas of promotional records and reissues but it'll give Freberg Collectors, of which there are many, a good
Head's Up on stuff to look for. At least, it's a start.
Go to the DISCOGRAPHY