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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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Sputnik (Satellite Girl): Jerry Engler and the Four Ekkos [1957]

A rocking rockabilly number that imagines a guy and his girl circling the earth on the famous Russian satellite. No, the lyrics don't make a whole lot of sense, but the tune certainly moves. Engler recalled in an Internet interview conducted by Robert Meyerowitz that he wrote the lyrics to his most famous song while on a lunch break at his day job at the Eastman-Kodak company in Rochester, New York. He had, like everyone else, read about the Soviet space triumph in the newspaper. After writing out the lines to the tune, he recruited a band called The Four Ekkos and laid down the track at Fine Recording Studio. The production cost him $600. Engler's manager, a popular WBBF-AM DJ named Nick Nickson, contacted Len Levy at the Decca/Brunswick label and played his client's new number over the phone. Brunswick released the track changing Engler's given name from Englerth to his new stage name of Engler. The label also trumpeted their new performer in a press release as being "out of this world." The newly re-christened Engler took a leave of absence from Kodak to promote his popular release and he wound up appearing in rock shows with such stalwarts as Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Paul Anka.

Jerry Engler was born Jerry Englerth in Rochester, New York in 1936. His family moved out West to Arizona when he was ten and it was there that country music caught his ear; he was especially taken with Marty Robbins. When his parents divorced, he returned to Rochester with his mother and siblings. In high school Engler played the French horn and the mellophone in the school band, but these instruments didn't exactly fire his imagination. In 1951 he purchased a $200 Martin D-28 guitar and began playing talent shows with his drummer brother.

After Sputnik (the record, not to mention the satellite) had faded, Engler took Buddy Holly up on an earlier offer and drove to Clovis, New Mexico where he recorded a couple of tracks produced by the soon-to-be-deceased legend. The songs, which Engler had written himself, were What A You Gonna Do? and I Sent You Roses (Holly played guitar on this track). Engler returned to work at Kodak and then moved on to another job at Xerox. He was stricken by a string of heart attacks in the early '70s and retired in 1973. Engler released a country album in 1988 titled 'Win Some-Lose Some' and in the early '90s he released a re-recorded version of Sputnik with the Holly-produced What A You Gonna Do? on the B-side.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Sputnik (Satellite Girl): Jerry Engler and the Four Ekkos [1957]

Well, I Say The Fun Has Just Begun
We're On Sputnik Number One
A'flying Through Outer Space
At A Rockin' Rollin' Pace
Oh! We're Gonna Get Our Kicks
On A Little Ole Thing Called A Sputnik
I Said Spoo-Spoo-Spoot-A-Nick-A-Chick
I Said Spoo-Spoo-Spoot-A-Nick-A-Chick
I Said Spoo-Spoo-Spoot-A-Nick-A-Chick
I Said Spoo-Spoo-Spoot-A-Nick-A-Chick
Flyin' All Around The World
With My Crazy Satellite Girl

Well Ever Since The Satellite’s Birth
We've Been Circlin' 'Round The Earth
A-Just -A-My Baby And Me
And That Spoot-A-Nik Makes Three
Flyin' At A Fantastic Height
On A Little Ole Think Called A Satellite
I Said, Sa-Sa-Sat-A-Lat-A-Lite
I Said, Sa-Sa-Sat-A-Lat-A-Lite
I Said, Sa-Sa-Sat-A-Lat-A-Lite
I Said, Sa-Sa-Sat-A-Lat-A-Lite
Flyin' All Around The World With My Crazy Satellite Girl

Repeat Last Chorus

Jerry Engler and the Four Ekkos [1957]
Sputnik (Satellite Girl)
(Jerry Engler)
Brunswick 9-55037


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Satellite
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Satellite No. 2
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Sputniks and Mutniks




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