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elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth. Please keep in mind that the majority of the artists that appear on this blog, along with their respective record labels, are not wealthy and need your support. If you enjoy the material that you find here, please support the artists/labels by purchasing their material afterwards. If you are an artist/label that would prefer to have your material removed from this blog, simply leave me a comment, and I would be more than happy to promptly remove the offending post. In addition to running this blog, I also work on a few other projects during my spare time. You can find links to those, as well as a few other important links associated with Digital Meltd0wn in the menu bar above.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sci-Fi Novelty, Break-In Records, and Copyright




Greetings Digital Meltd0wn readers! I’m really honored and excited to contribute to this blog and I’d like to start my guest blogging here simply by thanking Zer0 for all the work he does for the music-blog community at large.

Today’s offering is a bit different from a lot of the posts on Digital Meltd0wn. The actual compilation being offered is entitled “Out of This World Flying Saucers “ and it promises to be “A compilation of 31 of the all-time best flying saucer novelty recordings.” As host of a sci-fi radio show I couldn’t pass this up. Upon its arrival I realized something about this compilation; yes, it is a compilation of flying saucer novelty songs, however, the majority of cuts featured on this compilation are from the “break-in” records that were so popular in the late fifties/early sixties. I offer the compilation in full, but I want to say a bit about the “break-in” recording and its place in musical history. Break-in recordings are, perhaps, the starting point for the “sampling debate” we find still continuing in the realm of contemporary music. As such, they are a rather fascinating bit of music history.

The first thing we should probably do is to offer an idea of just what a “break-in” recording is. Essentially, “break-in” recordings are a specific type of novelty song. The gag is this: usually there is a brief clip of a song playing that is interrupted for some important breaking news (the break in). From there, it cuts to a reporter who is interviewing eye witnesses of an event, various experts about the event, or sometimes even fictional characters about whatever the breaking news has been reported to be. The responses to the reporter come in the form of snippets from popular songs of the time; in other words, there isn’t an actor playing the eyewitness, instead, you hear samples from various songs played back that respond to the reporter. That, in a nutshell, is what a break-in recording is.

Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman are often credited as the originators of this type of recording. Their first “break-in” recording (and, really, THE first) was the 1956 hit “The Flying Saucer” (this usually appears on compilations, including this one, as The Flying Saucer (Part One) and The Flying Saucer (Part Two). This recording became wildly popular and spawned a league of others who were keen to get in on the “break-in” phenomenon.

Now here is the interesting bit. Think about what Buchanan and Goodman are doing. This is long before sample-based hip-hop or electronic music enters the scene. As familiar as we are nowadays with sampling in music and audio entertainment, Buchanan and Goodman were innovators at this time. Some claim The Flying Saucer to be one of the earliest if not the earliest example of sampling within a pop recording ever. If nothing else, it seems to be the first recording that relies upon sampling that reached such a level of popularity.

So did this go without controversy? Of course not. Copryright lawsuits were just around the corner for the originators of the break-in record. However, the results of the legal proceedings may surprise you. A judge ruled that the Goodman’s work could be properly classified as burlesque/parodies and should be considered as new works in-and-of-themselves. The various lawsuits facing Goodman were, apparently, settled out of court after this decision. However, it seems that this case is one of the first, at least to my (limited) knowledge, legal cases where the art of sampling was defended within a court of law.

The point of all this? Well, the point is more historic than anything else. I just found it interesting that we can easily trace the sampling debate all the way back to the fifties.
That said, here is the track listing for this compilation. Note: not all of these are break-in recordings. The Jesse Lee Turner track “The Little Space Girl” is simply a novelty recording and there may be one or two others that are not break-ins on this compilation.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Buchanan_(songwriter)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickie_Goodman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flying_Saucer_(song)

Track Listing:
Out of this World Flying Saucers (Pt. 1) - Dave Barry & Sara Berner
Out of this World Flying Sauvers (Pt. 2) - Dave Barry & Sara Berner
The Flying Saucers in Brooklyn (Pt. 1) - The Merry Martian w/ The Marching Band
The Flying Saucers in Brooklyn (Pt. 2) - THe Merry Martian w/The Marching Band
The Flying Saucer (Pt. 1) - Buchanan & Goodman
The Flying Saucer (Pt. 2) - Buchanan & Goodman
The Answer to the Flying Saucers - Sid Lawrence & Friends
The Little Space Girl - Jesse Lee Turner
The Flying Saucer the 2nd - Buchanan & Goodman
The Space Man - Geddins & Sons
The Flying Saucer the 3rd - Buchanan & Goodman
Man in Orbit - The Space Men
The lying Saucers Go West - Buchanan & Goodman
A Moonflight - Vik Venus
The SPace Ship - The Missiles
Santa & The Satellite (Pt. 1) - Buchanan & Goodman
Santa & The Satellite (Pt. 2) - Buchanan & Goodman
Luney Landing - Captain Zap & The Motortown Cut-ups
Henry Goes to the Moon (Pt. 1) - Ruff & Reddy
Henry Goes to the Moon (Pt. 2) - Ruff & Reddy
The Space Man - Alan Freed, Steve Allen & Al ‘Jazzbo’ Collins
Santa & The Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
Cape Canaveral (Pt. 1) - Manny Sootz & The Thieves
Cape Canaveral (Pt. 2) - Manny Sootz & The Thieves
I Saw Elvis in a U.F.O. - Ray Stevens
Luna Trip - Dickie Goodman
The Return of the Flying Saucer - Jon Goodman* [This is Dickie’s son and was a sort of tribute to the original if memory serves me]
Our Space Man Came Back - Jeff Hughes
Hey E.T. - Dickie Goodman
You-Eff-Oh (Pt. 1) - Those Five Guys
You-Eff-Oh (Pt. 2) - Those Five Guys

11 comments:

patientlywaiting said...

It is said that patience is its own reward. (Nearly)patiently waiting for this post has yielded this fine gem. I have always loved the idea of break-in records. They are intimately entwined with all thing tapebeatle & negativland. Thanks for this really fun release & the great information. Welcome to the Meltd0wn.

Nick Dymond said...

Great first post. Thanks for the info :)

AllyWonderland said...

Bah! Poseurs! Everybody knows you are supposed to sample really obscure music to be cool! :) I kid. Welcome to the club. I'm nabbing this right now.

J-Unit 1 said...

Hehehe. I hope you find some enjoyment from the share Ally. It isn't exactly a "sit and listen to the whole thing" recording, but it has some interesting cuts.

Thanks for the welcome :)

Zer0_II said...

Thank you for the kind words J, and of course for agreeing to guest blog here. I haven't had a chance to listen to this comp yet, as I'm not home, but I'll get it a listen as soon as I do. It looks to be very promising and entertaining though, definitely the kind of stuff that's right up my alley. Thank you once again. I look forward to your next post.

J-Unit 1 said...

Hehe glad you enjoyed this patientlywaiting. Thanks for the welcome :)

J-Unit 1 said...

Why the hell did I type that laugh before all my posts? I do not know. Thanks everyone for the kind welcome.

larrydonline said...

I found this collection while googling for "You Eff Oh". Thank you. I almost passed it over because I have a CD with the same cover shot and the same title, "Flying Saucer - Out Of This World". But I'm glad I looked closer because they have only about 75 percent of the same content. Mine is actually called *Flying Saucers (Out Of This World & Other Stuff Too)* and has "Russian Bandstand", "Return Of Jerry Lee" (a Jerry Lee Lewis break-in) and some other stuff not on this posted album. But my collection doesn't have "Our Space Man Came Back" and a few others such as the Those Five Guys record. Other fine collections of break-in records I've purchased include *Buchanan & Goodman "Politically Correct"* and *Flying Saucer (30 Rock 'N' Roll Comedies)*. Dickie Goodman was "the man" when it came to break-ins. His recordings made Billboard's pop charts 30 times between 1956 and 1979. Sad that he committed suicide in 1989 at age 55. This is a fun genre. Someone should write a book detailing all the social events that led to many of the break-ins (such as Goodman's "Energy Crisis '74") and the D.J.s that made these records, often in their own radio stations, and the copyright hassles some of them faced for "sampling" a hit record before we ever heard of "sampling".

Chardman said...

Thanks for that!
Amazing collection.
I understand Dicky Goodman's son wrote a book that was supposed to be about his father, but it's getting hilariously bad reviews on Amazon. Apparently he ends up shilling for himself throughout the pages and has little to say about his famous father.

whitepunksondope said...

As an affecionado of ufo's and the alien Other, this post has blown my mind, I had no idea that half these tracks existed and the versions I have of the ones I do know are scratched beyond all recognition...a splendid post!

rinso said...

This is a great post...I've been searching for "You Eff Oh" for 10 years! Break-in records were a huge part of my first 45 collection back in the 60s-early 70s,and this bring back all those great songs from then! A million thanks to you!