1962 Mar-kets – Surfer Stomp
Michael Z. Gordon taught himself to play the guitar, and then proceeded to collect a few musicians to create the band The Mar-Kets. Using a few studio musicians (including drummer Hal Blaine), the group signed with Liberty Records and created their first single, Surfer Stomp. The song was co-written and produced by Joe Saraceno, who could neither arrange music nor play instruments but had also found success producing The Ventures.
The instrumental fed into the growing surfing craze in the Western US. The single peaked at #31 on the Hot 100, but did much better in much of the US.
After a few failed singles from their first album, the band signed with Warner Brothers Records in 1963. They released another instrumental written by Michael, Outer Limits. The opening guitar riff was a very recognizable four notes from the theme song of The Twilight Zone, and a lawsuit from Rod Serling forced the group to change the name of the song to Out Of Limits. The single sold over a million copies and reached #3 on the Hot 100 in 1963.
It would take the group three years to reach the top forty again in 1966. Meanwhile, Michael also created another successful group, The Routers.
Michael eventually abandoned his music career and began writing and producing films and television shows.
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