Retro Nostalgia Radio Show

11.4.09

Rocking Cosmonauts, Vol. 2

Hello everybody, hi all, this is Karel and Radio Manzerock is on the air.

12th of April is coming, and so it's time for Rocking Cosmonauts. On this day, Bill Haley recorded “Rock Around the Clock” and Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth!

I just noticed that shortly after the first “Rocking Cosmonauts”, The European Space Agency (ESA) started an interesting competition. They asked young people from all over Europe to suggest the most suitable playlist for the astronauts living on the International Space Station.

After two months, the winner was chosen. It was Therese Miljeteig, 14 yo girl from Norway. Here’s Teresa’s playlist: Here Comes The Sun – Beatles, Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra, Rocket Man – Elton John , Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, Imagine – John Lennon, Flashdance – What A Feeling – Irene Cara, Walk of Life – Dire Straits, Fly – Celine Dion, Rockin' All Over The World – Status Quo, I Believe I Can Fly - R Kelly.

Other national winners mentioned on the web-site are: Aricia Planchenault from Belgium, Luisa di Valvasone from Italy, Sebastiaan Van Doornik from Netherlands, Lucìa Aparicio from Spain, Frederik Heimark from Denmark, Adam Viaud from France, Erik Guenther from Germany, Jean-Philippe Green from Sweden and Andrew Hale from Switzerland.

I dedicate this sampler to all the ESA winners, maybe some day they will be cosmonauts! Wish I was one of the competitors :-)

First track is simply called “Spoutnik”. This little gem was written by Belgian accordeon player Hector Delfosse, and recorded by Hector himself with two unknown (to me yet) musicians on lead and rhythm guitar in the late 1957.

Hector Delfosse was a successfull composer, he played with his ensemble, accompaniate to Belgian and French singers, received several golden discs, toured all over Europe, especially in France.

The second track is called “Teach You to Rock”. It was written by Freddie Bello, an Italian-American singer. Freddie recorded it in 1958 with his band The Bellboys.


The same year the song was recorded on the other side of Pacific by Peppino Di Capri and his band Rockers. Note space guitar solo by Mario Cenci in the middle of the song!

“Red Sputnik Rock (Red Planet Rock)” arrived from Great Britain. It was written and recorded by Don Lang in late 1957.

Don’s real name is Gordon Langhorn. When Rock’n’Roll movement has started, he was already a professional jazz musician.

After touring over Europe he decided to form his own combo. In 1956, Don Lang and His Frantic Five were chosen to be one of the cornerstones of the BBC teenage show “The Six Five Special”. And for two years they appeared as resident accompanist and in their own right.

Instrumental number called “Orbit” was recorded in 1963 by The Hurricane Strings – four-piece big-beat band from Rotterdam. Very nice melody with spacewomen backing vocal.


Russian “Rocket” was recorded by Aleksandr Vladimirtsov orchestra from Leningrad and written by K. Martiyanov, as it states on the EP sleeve from 1961.

Vladimirtsov formed his first orchestra in the early 1940s, and in the 1960s became official band leader of the Leningrad Radio orchestra. “Rocket” is an instrumental orchestra number, with cute swingin’ flavour.

The song “Satelliitti Kahdelle” (“A Satellite for Two”) has Finnish roots. It was recorded by established singer Kai Lind for Finnish National Final in the early 1964. As you know, the winner of the National Final would proceed for Eurovision contest.

However this song received only the 2nd place in National Final. But, if it was a Spacevision contest, I guess it will proceed ;-)

Serbian big-beat band Detlići (translated as “Woodpeckers”) play driving “Moonshot”. Originally , it’s a “Gunshot” written by The Fireballs. Thanks to The Spotnicks, this track became known as “Moonshot”. Detlići’s version was recorded for Novi Sad radio in 1965.

Next moon track comes from Spain. Gelu sings the song called“La Luna, el Cielo y Tú” (“Moon, Heaven & You”). Being written by Italian-Spanish composer Torrebruno in 1961, it first appeared in a movie “Horizontes de Luz” (“Horisonts of Light”).

Looks like the song became popular in Latin world soon, as I have more versions, like Brazilian. But I like Gelu’s version most of all – outstanding vocal, arrangement, lyrics. Everything is here in one bottle, err… rocket.

When it comes to romantic songs, one of my favorites is a Czech song “Orion” (you can see these stars if you’re in equator). It is about girl who’s talking to the stars. Female singer Judita Čeřovská recorded it in 1962.

Another romantic song is “Kosmos–Maa” (“Cosmos–Earth”) comes from Estonia. It was written by composer Alex Rasmussen and Estonian songwriter Heldur Karmo, who’s been writing both for jazz and light music. Vocals are by experienced musician and singer Kalju Terasmaa, and female singer Anu Anton-Õunapuu. The song was recorded for radio in 1966. Accomponiation by Emil Laansoo ensemble.

“Echo Boogie” was written and recorded by Danish guitarist Joergen Ingmann in 1961. It’s interesting, that the A-side of this 7” inch is “Apache” – a version that appeared to be a competitor to the Shadows "Apache" back in those days.

Joergen was one of the first and famous Danish electric-guitar players. He was also popular on the pop-scene, but I like his instrumental solo-works most of all.

And last, but not least, French girl Dani (or Danièle Graule, as her real name) sings a song called “Partir Pour la Lune”.

Have a space week!

Space Intro (Manzerock)
Hector Delfosse Spoutnik (Belgium, 1957)
Rockin' Intro (Manzerock)
Peppino Di Capri Teach You to Rock (Italy, 1958)
Don Lang and His Frantic Flive Red Sputnik Rock (Red Planet Rock) (UK, 1957)
The Hurricane Strings Orbit (Netherlands, 1963)
Aleksandr Vladimirtsov et son Orchestre Raketa (Russia, 1961)
Kai Lind Satellitti Kahdelle (Finland, 1964)
Detlići Moonshot (Yugoslavia, 1965)
Gelu La Luna, el Cielo y Tú (Spain, 1961)
Judita Čeřovská Orion (Czechoslovakia, 1962)
Anu Anton-Õunapuu ja Kalju Terasmaa Kosmos-Maa (Estonia, 1966)
Jørgen Ingmann Echo Boogie (Denmark, 1961)
Dani Partir Pour la Lune (France, 1965)

Beep-Beep!

P.S. Big thanks to Dima, Andrej, Max, Misha and Si for the big help with this one.

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