January 13, 2019


Before the Internet there was Calypso! Serving traditionally as a musical tradition to convey news, reviews, and culture, you can really learn what people were thinking about during various eras by hearing their songs. To continue my recent post about the tune "Spy Dust," I want to spotlight another song by Mighty Sparrow, this time from 1958. Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) is a Trinidadian who started his career out as a kid (then called "Little Sparrow") and found success by the mid-1950s. And as far as I can tell he's still going at 83! Where some calypsonians celebrated pop culture events (check out my past posts about Goldfinger songs), Sparrow has tended to focus on commentary about current events and concerns. After the Soviets launched Sputnik 2 -right on the heels of the first Sputnik satellite in space- international outrage was pouring in as backlash to the news that a dog named Laika had been launched into space as part of the Soviet project to send a living creature into orbit. Sparrow added his voice to the protest with his song "Russian Satellite." The tune (video and sample lyrics below) came out on Sparrow's 1958 7" record Calypso Carnival, as well as an album released under the same name that year. Fans of Bob Dylan's Theme-Time Radio may have heard it featured in the episode about Dogs. Animal cruelty wasn't the only aspect of Laika's project that was making waves during the Cold War; Sputnik 2 also raised concerns about the military implications of the Space Race and placing technology into orbit. More about Laika at The New Yorker and Smithsonian Magazine. A brief history of animals in space here. "Poor little puppy" indeed! 

With the Russian satellite
They should be all sent to prison
For the dog that they poison
In the Russian satellite
Two Sputniks in the sky
Had everybody hypnotize
Now I am very sorry
For the poor little puppy
In the Russian satellite

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Lost in Space JapanSpy Dust CalypsoAtomic CafeJohn Barry MonoInterview: John Barry BookLand of the Giants ScoreSkyfall ConcertDearest EmmaSpy Vibe Radio: UppersevenOgilvy at ElstreeMabuse PropagandaBond Beatles DaySpy Vibe Radio: LiquidatorDiabolik LPFab DressesEurospy Music Collection
Beetle Bailey in West BerlinWhy Mort Walker?Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!, Avengers Critical GuideThe SpotnicksBenny SpiesJames Pond 0017'Satire StonesAnnette Andre BookCat DaySpy Vibe Radio: Get SmartCaine: My GenerationInterview: Ian OgilvyHorror of Party BeachSylvie Vartan RenownRingo At 78Dark Shadows StripsSpy Vibe Radio: FlintArchie Batman 66Paul at 76Beatles Pac-ManSpy Vibe Radio: Jerry CottonThe Invaders007 Horowitz Book TourMcGoohan/Prisoner Event at ElstreeThe Prisoner Interviews Vol 1British Underground PressInterview: Fab4 ManiaBond Cocktail BookBond at BletchleySpy SmasherSpy Vibe Radio: Peter GunnAgent Zero MNew Prisoner ComicDr. No Villains Edition,  Spy Vibe Radio: Danger DiabolikDr. No 60thOy-Oy-SevenSpy Vibe Radio (UFO)Cold War Comic StripsThunderball EventMission to IndiaMort Walker Celebration,  Peter Wyngarde CelebrationBatman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfMata Hair ExhibitJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

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