Song of the Day, October 4: Telstar by the Tornados

Telstar-TornadoesWorldSpaceWeekCelebrating World Space Week, October 4 – 10!

Today’s song is Telstar by the Tornados. The surf-rock quintet from England worked extensively as session musicians, frequently supporting producer and songwriter Joe Meek. Meek wrote this instrumental to commemorate the launch of the Telstar communications satellite in 1962. It features a clavioline, a keyboard instrument that provides the track’s distinctive sound.

As space fever took over the world, Telstar rocketed to #1 in the UK and the US, becoming only the second instrumental to top either chart. It was also the second song by a British act to top the Billboard charts. (The first, oddly, was also the first instrumental, Mr. Acker Bilk’s Stranger On the Shore.)

The music is stirring, eerie, and joyous, a fitting mix for the popular feelings as we began exploring the final frontier. Enjoy this classic track today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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