The Flying Saucer (song)
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"The Flying Saucer" (also known as "The Flying Saucer Parts 1 & 2") is a novelty record released by Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman (credited simply as "Buchanan & Goodman") which hit #3 in 1956. The song is considered to be an early (perhaps the earliest) example of a mashup, featuring segments of popular songs intertwined with spoken "news" commentary to tell the story of a visit from a flying saucer.
Bill Buchanan plays the radio announcer, stating that the Martians are attacking Earth. Dickie Goodman plays reporter John Cameron-Cameron (a play on the broadcaster John Cameron Swayze). Goodman would re-visit this character in several other 'Flying Saucer' records.
The song uses clips from 18 different songs, each of which was a top 20 hit in 1955 or 1956. In order of occurrence:
- Open Up That Door by Nappy Brown (saxophone intro only)
- The Great Pretender by The Platters (referenced as "Too Real" by The Clatters)
- I Want You To Be My Girl by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
- Long Tall Sally by Little Richard
- Poor Me by Fats Domino
- Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley
- Earth Angel by The Penguins (referenced as "Earth" by The Pelicans)
- I Hear You Knocking by Smiley Lewis (referenced as "Knocking" by Laughing Lewis)
- Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
- The Magic Touch by The Platters (referenced as "Uh-Oh" by The Clatters)
- The Great Pretender by The Platters
- Band of Gold by Don Cherry
- Ain't That A Shame by Fats Domino (referenced as "That's A Shame" by Skinny Dynamo)
- Don't Be Angry by Nappy Brown
- Blue Suede Shoes by Carl Perkins (referenced as "Shoes" by Pa Gherkins)
- Maybellene by Chuck Berry (referenced as "The Motor Cooled Down" by Huckle Berry)
- See You Later Alligator by Bill Haley & His Comets
- My Prayer by The Platters
Release and reception
"The Flying Saucer" reached position 30 in the Billboard rankings for 1956.
Original copies have a handwritten "L" at the beginning of the original label name "Universe" (pronounced Looney-verse) as the result of a Universe label already in existence at the time. Later copies show the entire word "Luniverse" typeset.
An edited version of "The Flying Saucer" for the 1983 "Greatest Hits" and 1997 "Greatest Fables" compilations feature fake re-recorded clips of "Tutti Frutti" and "Band Of Gold". The segments for "Long Tall Sally" and "The Magic Touch" were completely removed.
The entire record was immediately covered by Sid Noel and his Outer Spacemen (Aladdin 3331—7/56) and again in a shorter form, by Alan Freed, Al "Jazzbo" Collins and Steve Allen ("The Space Man" -- Coral 9-61693—1956), and again in 1960 by Geddins & Sons ("Space Man" -- Jumpin' 50001—1960), and again in the late `50's, but with lots of variants from the original, by Dewey, George & Jack And The Belltones ("Flying Saucers Have Landed" -- Raven 700).
There was even an answer record made about it, another break-in called, "The Answer To The Flying Saucer U. F. O. (Men From Mars)" by Syd Lawrence and Friends—Cosmic 1001/1002—1956, which blew raspberries at Buchanan & Goodman by daring them, ON the record, to sue the artist for copying their style.
The comedian/actor/director Albert Brooks parodied flying saucer records in his vinyl album, A Star is Bought (1975). The producer of the record is first warned by industry insiders that he won't be able to afford the rights fees for the song clips, so he decides to fabricate rock and roll songs and use clips from his creations.