Birthday of blind street musician, instrument-maker, Viking poet Louis Hardin, better known as Moondog.
He’s ‘a living landmark in New York, the object of pilgrimage for hippies, composers, entertainers and writers’.He once took Alan Freed to court!
▷Guardian story ▹
MP3: Hour of Moondog, Snore&Guzzle MP3: KGNU podcast (7 minutes in)
It’s so rare that it remains the biggest-selling instrumental single of all time. On the UK charts for 55 weeks, it also becomes the second British record to top the US Billboard charts, the first (post-war anyways) being Vera Lynn‘s 1952 version of Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart.
Other US top instrumentals of those halcyon days: Baxter’s Poor People of Paris ; Stoloff’s Moonglow ; Prado’s Patricia ; Cortez’ The Happy Organ ; Santo & Johnny’s Sleep Walk ; The Shadows (1960!) Apache ; Faith’s Theme from A Summer Place ; The Ventures’ Walk, Don’t Run ; Welk’s Calcutta ; The Tornados’ Telstar ; Mancini’s Moon River ; and The Chantays’ Pipeline .