Stan Freberg. Cue the Cherry.

Stan_Freberg_2009This morning I’m celebrating the life and mourning the passing of Stan Freberg, a closet Baptist and certifiable communications genius.

His LP album, “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America,” was widely regarded as the best comedic audio recording in the English language. I can still recite long passages from it, including Freberg’s send-up of patronizing liberals as the pilgrims sing, “Take an Indian to Lunch.”

Freberg would have left fictional Mad Man Don Draper in his dust. In the sixties and seventies he generated some of the most effective commercials on television, including the incomparable “Hi, Ho Pizza Roll,” which elevated a mundane snack to a sublime experience.

In the seventies, Freberg was a powerful influence on my colleagues and me in the American Baptist Division of Communication, and we listened with conviction to his minute-long demonstration showing radio stretched the imagination more effectively than television:

Great bit, Stan. Cue the Cherry.

About Philip E Jenks

Philip, a synodical deacon in the ELCA Metropolitan New York synod, is a retired communicator for American Baptist Churches USA, the U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches, the U.S. National Council of Churches, and two Philadelphia area daily newspapers. He and his spouse, the Rev. Dr. Martha M. Cruz, are the parents of six adults and are members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rye Brook, N.Y. They live in Port Chester, N.Y.
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