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Passings: David Mullaney, Member of Hot Butter, Arranger (1931 - 2018)

by VVN Music

David Mullaney, who produced for numerous artists and was a member of the group Hot Butter who scored with the instrumental "Popcorn", has died at the age of 86.

Mulaney was born in New York City and was abandoned in a basket in a church pew. He lived at the New York Foundling Home until he was five when he was adopted by Patrick and Catherine Mullaney from Staten Island.

After graduating from St. Peter's High School, he attended Cooper Union, studying mechanical engineering, before deciding to pursue music.

David played jazz accordion in a number of bands but was not drawn to popular music until he heard the Beatles, according to the Cadillac (MI) News. His son, Jan Fairchild, told the paper "I think he recognized the musicality of the group."

By the late-60's, he was vice president of Laurie Records where he arranged for such artists as Dion, the Royal Guardsmen and Melanie. In 1969, he adopted the name Christopher Scott to record the album Switched-On Bacharach and eventually became a member of the instrumental cover band Hot Butter.

The group released their first album, Hot Butter, in 1972 on which appeared the song "Popcorn". The song was first recorded by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 and was covered by Stan Free and Hot Butter, becoming the second pure moog song to chart in the U.S., after Dick Hyman's "The Minotaur" (1969), and the biggest, going to number 9 on the Hot 100 and number 4 on Adult Contemporary.  The record also topped the charts in Australia.

Hot Butter recorded one more album, More Hot Butter, before the members moved on. Mullaney became very successful as an arranger for film, TV and commercials where he won a number of Cleo Awards.

In 1988, he moved back to Cadillac where he became the station manager at WKJF.

Mullaney is survived by one daughter and three sons.