Halloween Music History #6 (2015)


The first bonafide major novelty record dealing with flying saucers and martians came in 1956. Bill Buchanan and 
Dickie Goodman–“Buchanan and Goodman” on the label–took “The Flying Saucer” to #3 on one pop chart and #7 on another. 
It was considered rock and roll music’s first bootleg single. 
Why? Because the record consisted of questions being answered via segments of hit records…and without permission from the performers.
 For instance, Goodman posed as a man-on-the-street reporter, asking, “Pardon me, sir, would you tell us what would you do 
if the saucer were to land.” The answer was “Jump Back In The Alley,” part of the Little Richard hit “Long Tall 
Sally.” You get the picture.
Fast forward seven years and you have the #6 Halloween hit of all time, “The Martian Hop” by the Ran-Dells.
It reached #13 and #16 on the two charts I study. This was fast-tempoed dance song 
that included a falsetto voice, a few sound effects and an unforgettable doo-wop-sounding line that went 
something like this: “Ba-da-nn-na-na…” Listen for yourself
According to writer Wayne Jancik, the Ran-Dells were brothers Steve and Robert Lawrence Rappaport plus cousin, John Spirit.
 They were based in Villas, New Jersey. They released at least two other singles that flopped…”Sound Of The Sun” and 
“Beyond The Stars.”
Sadly, Wikipedia reports that Robert is the lone surviving member of the Ran-Dells. John died in 2003 while Steve passed away
in 2007.

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