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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Today in Music History: October 29

Who put the 'ram' in rama, lama ding dong? Who put the 'bop' in the bop shoo bop shoo bop? Who put the 'bomp' in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Who is that masked man anyway? Such is the question for the group in today's spotlight. Who is '?' in ? and the Mysterians?

? and the Mysterians - one of the first Latino rock groups to have a major hit

During 40+ years in the public eye, Question Mark, aka '?', has maintained an aura of mystery. Why the mystic? "Q", known to many of his friends, claimed to be an alien and actually changed his name legally to a punctuation mark.  
The Mysterians took shape in 1962 when four Mexican-American teenagers from Saginaw, Michigan, began playing instrumental music inspired by the surf bands like the Ventures and by the loud, raw sound of the legendary guitarist Link Wray. Taking their name from a Japanese science fiction movie involving invaders from another planet, the Mysterians soon made the acquaintance of their own alleged alien—a young man in sunglasses who approached them after a gig at Michigan's Mt. Holly Ski Lodge offering to manage the group. Identifying himself to the Mysterians only as "?," this young man would soon become the group's lead singer and primary songwriter. It was a poem of his called "Too Many Teardrops" that became "96 Tears." Source: History.com

  • Songfacts: "?" was Rudy Martinez, the composer of the song and the band's frontman who wanted to be anonymous. At one point he referred to the individual band members only by three-letter names. The mystery helped market the group, who wore dark glasses to add to the intrigue. 
  • The band used to be called XYZ with ?, and played their first gig in Adrian, Michigan in 1964.


      Click a music note for 2011 version!
      1966 '96 Tears', a garage-rock masterpiece, becomes a #1 hit on the US singles charts for the enigmatic and influential ? and the Mysterians. The song was later a UK hit in the UK for The Stranglers in 1990.

      Should ? and the Mysterians be inducted
      into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

      Share your thoughts!

      And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...