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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.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dawning of the Space Age

Today in Music History: December 22, 1962

Have you ever had a song get stuck in your head to the point you could not think without the melody going round 'n' round 'n' round? You wake up with the melody spinning incessantly 'til you retire for the night. Often, there are no words since the specific tune was recorded solely as an instrumental. Many such songs topped the charts, or nearly, through the decades remaining choice selections right on into the 21st century. Songs from the 50s like 'Melody of Love' (1954), 'Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White', 'Unchained Melody' & 'Autumn Leaves' (1955), 'Tequila' (1958), 'The Happy Organ' (1959); from the 60s you might remember 'Wonderland by Night' and 'Calcutta' (1960), 'Apache' (1961), 'Stranger on the Shore', 'The Stripper' & 'Green Onions' (1962) just to begin the list. In today's spotlight is a one-hit wonder that topped the charts at No.1 in 1962 within the dawning of the space age.

Welcome into the Spotlight:


The Tornado(e)s: trademark sounds of galloping rhythm, biting guitar break, a surreal keyboard lead played by a clavioline

The Tornados were an English instrumental group of the 60s. They performed many songs as a backing group for record producer Joe Meek's productions and also for singer Billy Fury. The Tornados enjoyed several chart hits in their own right but their biggie No.1 was 'Telstar', charting in both the UK and US.

1962 The Tornados, spelled Tornadoes in America, started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Telstar'. Composed and produced by Joe Meek, it was the first major hit from a UK act on the American chart. The record was named after the Telstar communications satellite, which was launched into orbit on July 10, 1962. It was written and produced by Joe Meek, and featured a clavioline, a keyboard instrument with a distinctive electronic sound. "Telstar" won an Ivor Novello Award and is estimated to have sold at least five million copies worldwide.
More No.1s on this day, December 21st...

  • 1963 The Dave Clark Five scored their only US No.1 single with 'Over And Over', a No.5 in the UK.
  • 1972 Little Jimmy Osmond was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool'. At nine years eight months of age it made him the youngest person to have a No.1 record, also the biggest seller of 1972.
  • 1979 Rupert Holmes started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Escape, (The Pina Colada Song)'. His only US No.1 solo hit, a No.23 hit in the UK.
  • 1984 Madonna started a six-week run at No.1 in the US charts with 'Like A Virgin', her first US No.1. Produced by Nile Rodgers, family groups sought to ban the song as they believed that the song promoted sex without marriage.
  • 2002 Pop Stars: The Rivals winners Girls Aloud started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their debut release 'Sound Of The Underground'. The song was originally recorded in 2001 by London girl group Orchid, who disbanded before gaining a record deal.
  • 2013 X Factor winner Sam Bailey claimed this year's UK Christmas No.1, with her debut single 'Skyscraper'. The former prison officer outsold her nearest rival, Pharrell's 'Happy', by two to one to become one of the fastest-selling singles of the year.
No.1 Album on this Day...

1973 Elton John started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', it also had a eight week run at No.1 on the US chart. The album contains the Marilyn Monroe tribute, 'Candle in the Wind', as well as three successful singles: 'Bennie and the Jets', 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', and 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting'.

1962 Acker Bilk's 'Stranger On The Shore' finally dropped off the UK charts after 55 weeks. That record would stand until 1968 when Engelbert Humperdinck's 'Release Me' stayed for 56. The current record is held by Frank Sinatra's 'My Way', which charted for 75 non-consecutive weeks.
1980 Stiff Records released an album in the UK called ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan.’ The entire disc contained 40 minutes of silence.

2003 The annual list of all-time music greats by the Guinness book of hit singles was again topped by Elvis Presley. The list based on the number of weeks spent on the UK singles chart looked like this; 1. Elvis Presley (1193), 2. Cliff Richard (1152), 3. The Shadows (771), 4. Elton John (623), 5. Madonna (606), 6. Diana Ross (560), 7. Michael Jackson (509), 8. Rod Stewart (477), 9. Beatles (456) and 10. David Bowie (452).

And...Yes, it really happened!
2005 Janet Jackson was the most-searched name during 2005 according to Google, the singer topped a list of searches with people looking for pictures from her infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Super Bowl when she exposed her right breast.

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