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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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Satellite No. 2: Carl Mann [Recorded 1958]

Not much political commentary can be gleaned from this opportunistic rockabilly rave-up that uses the name recognition of Sputnik as an excuse for a song. As they used to say on 'American Bandstand,' however, it does have a good beat and you can dance to it.

Rockabilly favorite Carl Mann was born in 1942 in Carroll County, Tennessee, the son of a timber company owner. Growing up, Mann was addicted to the radio and loved listening to Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, Hank Snow and Carl Smith. By the age of nine, Mann had learned how to play guitar and was appearing as a regular on WDXI in Jackson, Tennessee. Mann formed his first band in 1954 and played at church and school functions as well as on WSM's Junior Opry in Nashville. It was D.J. Bill Haney who introduced Mann to Jimmy Martin who had a fledgling studio called Jaxon. It was at Jaxon that Mann would record the demo version of the cover song that would put him on the map, Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa.

It was the Sun-connected W. S. Holland who, while he was Mann's drummer, helped get the young singer a coveted audition at the Sam Phillips' famous label. Originally, Phillips was somewhat less than overwhelmed by Mann, but once Conway Twitty's take on Mann's rockabilly retooling of Mona Lisa started getting airplay, the producer reluctantly signed the teenager. By the summer of 1959 Mann's version of Mona Lisa had broken into the Top 30 and he was still only 16 years old. Shortly thereafter Mann joined the 'Summer Dance Party' tour and then followed up his Mona Lisa hit with Pretend with Rockin' Love on the flipside. In 1960 Sun released Mann's first LP, 'Like, Mann'.

In the early '60s Mann worked and drank with fellow rockabilly artist Carl Perkins until he was drafted and sent overseas to Germany in 1964. Upon his return to the U.S., Mann turned to recording country music. In the late '60s, Mann married, started a family and decided to quit show business to work in the saw mill. In 1974 Mann signed with ABC and released some singles in the United Kingdom such as his version of The Platters' Twilight Time. In the late '70s, he jumped on the European rockabilly revival bandwagon and toured for much of the next decade at which point he started going to church again and settled back into the family timber business.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Satellite No. 2: Carl Mann [Recorded 1958]

Well, my friends and neighbors know about a little beat
I walk, I walk, I walk down the street
I came to the corner, I hear a little sound
And cats was a-jumpin' around and around
Get a load of that satellite no. 2

Yeah, let's dance, dance, dance, everybody
Let's dance, dance, dance at the satellite
Dance, dance, dance
Sputnik, dance, dance, dance
Well, let's dance, that's satellite no. 2
Yeah!

Well, I looked at the juke box, saw a little scene
I looked, I looked, I looked again
I don't think I looked, looked too soon
And the cat's started hollerin', get a load of that moon
Get a load of that satellite no. 2

Yeah, let's dance, dance, dance, everybody
Let's dance, dance, dance at the satellite
Dance, dance, dance
Yeah, let's dance, dance, dance
Well, let's dance, to that satellite no. 2
Yeah!

I heard a beepin' sound, I moved my feet
People was a-drivin' all over the street
I don't think I'd call it a rock and roll bop
Something like a Sputnik hop!
Get a load of that satellite no. 2
Yeah!

Let's dance, dance, dance, everybody,
Let's dance, dance, dance at the satellite
Dance, dance, dance
Whoa, Sputnik, dance, dance, dance
Well, let's dance, that's satellite no. 2

Carl Mann [Recorded 1958]
Satellite No. 2
(Carl Mann)
Jaxon unissued

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Satellite
Satellite Baby
Sputnik (Satellite Girl)
Sputnik Baby
Sputnik II
Sputniks and Mutniks




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