The Flying Saucer (song)

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"The Flying Saucer"
Single by Buchanan and Goodman
ReleasedJuly 1956
  • Luniverse
Buchanan and Goodman singles chronology
"The Flying Saucer"
"Buchanan and Goodman on Trial"

"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"). 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 spacemen 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 17 different songs, each of which was a top 20 hit in 1955 or 1956. In order of occurrence:

  1. Side One
  2. Side Two

Release and reception[edit]

Its wide use of "sampling" prompted music publishers to file suit against Buchanan and Goodman in July (1956). The two men were verbally attacked by record companies, too, with an anonymous source telling Billboard, "If we can't stop this nothing is safe in our business."[1] While "The Flying Saucer" was not the first record to quote from famous songs (see "Cool Whalin'" by Babs Gonzales), it was the first popular record to sample directly from the records themselves. The comedians made fun of their own predicament by issuing a follow-up song, "Buchanan and Goodman on Trial" (Luniverse 102). By November, 1956, the novelty song had stood up in court, being labeled as artful and clever. A judge refused to issue an injunction prohibiting the sales of the record.[2] Essentially, the record was considered a new work. This made it legal for artists to sample existing records—a practice that became very popular in subsequent years.


Chart (1956) Peak
US Best Sellers in Stores (Billboard)[3] 3


  1. ^ "Flying Saucer Takes Off; Pubbers, Diskers Do a Flip" Billboard, July 28, 1956, p. 17
  2. ^ "Modern Joins in Luniverse Suit" Billboard, November 17, 1956, pp. 16,30
  3. ^ "Best Sellers in Stores". Billboard: 34. August 25, 1956. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved November 3, 2015.

External links[edit]