1963 Ran-Dells – The Martian Hop
First cousins Steven Rappaport, Robert Rappaport, and John Spirt came up with the idea of Martians throwing a dance party for Earthlings. They strummed on their guitars, trying to turn that idea into something resembling a song.
Moog hadn’t invented his synthesizers yet, but Steven was a student at Brandeis University and had access to primitive sine wave generators. He created some sounds and also sampled 12 seconds of sounds from Moon Maid by Tom Dissevelt and Dick Raaymakers on their Dutch album The Electrosoniks – Electronic Music.
They put together the strange sounds at the beginning of the record, hoping to attract attention, but the group neglected to credit the sample. $25 was all it took to cut an acetate demo record in Atlantic City.
The trio later went to Bell Sound Studios in New York City and used their state-of-the-art recording equipment to produce the actual record. Gerry Goffin heard the strange sounds from the start of the record and took their recording to Don Kirshner (this was all years before the Monkees). Don signed the group up to his personal record company.
Steven had worked as a disk jockey using the name Steve Randall, and the cousins decided to call their group the Ran-Dells. The novelty single reached #16 on the Hot 100 during the Summer of 1963. The group lip-synced the song on American Bandstand and did their best to come up with a dance.
The record sold over a million copies worldwide and the group received its very own gold record to commemorate the achievement. And they never charted a record again.
Not surprisingly, Doctor Demento played the record on his show.
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