×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Musician Chris Dedrick dies at 62

Led Free Design, composer for TV and film

Chris Dedrick, who led the cult pop vocal unit the Free Design before moving on to a successful career composing for film and TV in Canada, died Aug. 6 in Toronto, according to his Web site. He was 62. No cause of death was given.

Born in Delevan, N.Y., Dedrick grew up in a musical family; his father Art was a trombonist and arranger for Vaughn Monroe’s big band, and his mother was a music teacher. He sang with his brother Bruce and sister Sandy from childhood. The siblings formed the Free Design in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1966.

The group – later expanded with the addition of sister Ellen — was signed by producer-bandleader-engineer Enoch Light’s audiophile label Project 3, and released six soft-pop albums distinguished by intricate vocal and orchestral arrangements between 1967 and 1971. An album for the Ambrotype label followed in 1972.

The Free Design never attained success in their day, but they were later embraced as an influence by avant-rock acts like Beck, Stereolab and the High Llamas, while Cornelius and the Pizzicato Five popularized the group’s music in Japan during the ’90s. A reunion album, “Cosmic Peekaboo,” was issued in Germany in 2001. The act’s catalog was reissued in 2003 by U.S. indie Light in the Attic Records.

After moving to Toronto in 1972, Dedrick became a busy writer for pics and TV. His score for Guy Maddin’s “The Saddest Music in the World” received a Genie Award in 2004, and he won four Gemini Awards and captured 16 nominations for his TV work.

He also performed with his sisters in the classically oriented Star-Scape Singers in the ’70s and ’80s, and released the solo album “Wishes” in 2005.

More Scene

  • Armie Hammer and Felicity Jones'On the

    Why Armie Hammer Cooked for the Cast of 'On the Basis of Sex'

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to her hometown on Sunday for the New York premiere of “On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic starring Felicity Jones tells the Supreme Court justice’s origin story. The 85-year-old Brooklynite received a standing ovation when she entered the Walter Reade Theater — a testament to the Notorious RBG’s rock-star status. Ginsburg [...]

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, Magic [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content