november 1957

November 3rd, 1957 
On this day exactly 60 years ago, the Soviet Space Program sent the Sputnik II into orbit.
Inside was the first astronaut in history, an 11lb street dog named Laika.
She fit all their requirements: docile, quiet, intelligent, and photogenic. She became the first cosmonaut to orbit the earth, but died in within hours of launch from overheating and stress.
Her sacrifice proved that living things could survive the launch and orbit around the earth, and led to the beginning of the human-test missions into space.

The scientists kissed her nose when they bade her farewell, asking for forgiveness, as they knew she would never return.


Jayne Mansfield’s Pink Palace

In November 1957, shortly before her marriage to Mickey Hargitay, Mansfield bought a 40-room Mediterranean-style mansion formerly owned by Rudy Vallée at 10100 Sunset Boulevard in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles Much of the investment to buy the house came from the $81,340 ($685,318 in 2016 dollars) she inherited from her maternal grandfather Elmer Palmer. Mansfield had the house painted pink, with cupids surrounded by pink fluorescent lights, pink furs in the bathrooms, a pink heart-shaped bathtub, and a fountain spurting pink champagne, and then dubbed it the “Pink Palace”. Hargitay, a plumber and carpenter before getting into bodybuilding, built a pink heart-shaped swimming pool. Mansfield decorated the Pink Palace by writing to furniture and building suppliers requesting free samples. She received over $150,000 ($1,263,803 in 2016 dollars) in free merchandise, paying only $76,000 ($640,327 in 2016 dollars) for the mansion itself. It was still a large sum, when the average cost of a house at the time was under $7,500 ($63,190 in 2016 dollars). The Pink Palace was sold and its subsequent owners have included Ringo Starr, Cass Elliot and Engelbert Humperdinck. In 2002, Humperdinck sold it to developers, and the house was demolished in November of that year. (x)


All 9 soviet space dogs, top to bottom:

Laika - Sputnik 2, November 3 1957: First living being to reach space, DIED IN ORBIT.

Belka and Strelka -  Sputnik 5, August 19 1960: First living beings to reach space and return ALIVE.

Pchyolka and Mushka - Sputnik 6, December 1 1960: Reached orbit, DIED ON REENTRY after a malfunction activated the capsule’s self-destruct system.

Chernushka - Sputnik 9, 9 March 1961: First dog to return alive without a fellow companion.

Zvyozdochka - Sputnik 10, 25 March 1961: Last dog to go into orbit before the first human, Yuri Gagarin, did, she was also named by him.

Veterok and Ugolyok - Cosmos 110, 22 February 1966: Lasting 22 days in orbit, it became the longest space flight by dogs, they were also the last soviet space dogs.


Happy McLennon day! 60 years since John met Paul at the Woolton Church Fete on the 6th July 1957 and started this whole thing off… 

“I just thought, ‘Well, he looks good, he’s singing well and he seems like a great lead singer to me. Of course, he had his glasses off, so he really looked suave. I remember John was good. He was really the only outstanding member; all the rest kind of slipped away.”

[Paul, talking about his first impressions of John, Record Collector Magazine, 1995]

“I was on a battered old guitar, which hadn’t cost much. A bloke named Rodney was on banjo, Pete Shotton was on washboard, I think Eric Griffiths was on another guitar and Len Gary [sic] was on box bass. 

“There was a friend of mine called Ivan who lived at the back of my house and he went to the same school as Paul McCartney - The Liverpool Institute High School. It was through Ivan that I first met Paul. Seems that he knew Paul was always dickering around in music and thought that he would be a good lad to have in the group.

“So one day when we were playing at Woolton he brought him along. We can both remember it quite well. We’ve even got the date down. It was June 15th 1955 [sic]. The Quarrymen were playing on a raised platform and there was a good crowd because it was a warm sunny day.”

[John, talking about how he and Paul met, quoted in Beatles Monthly No 2, September 1963 - and obviously getting the date really wrong - on purpose or not?!]

Pics - top - the first (?) photo of John and Paul together. The Quarrymen, including Paul, playing at New Clubmoor Hall, Broadway, Liverpool on 23rd November 1957. Photo by Leslie Kearney.

Photos on truck taken by James Davis - Rod Davis’ dad, who is the Rodney on banjo that John’s talking about. Photos taken on 6th July, 1957. (John with his eyes closed in the centre of the first photo, he’s obscured by Pete Shotton in the second).

Bottom 2 photos - The Quarrymen playing on 6th July, 1957, the day John met Paul. (Last photo - Geoff Rhind, other photo - Unknown but maybe Geoff Rhind?).

Happy McLennon Day Beatle fans everywhere!

One day we walked into a sweet shop, and John bought some chocolate. He said, ‘would you like half?’ I said, ‘Wow, you’re willing to share your chocolate with me?’ What a dude! [laughs] The things that stay most in my memory are the smallest things, the ordinary things.
—  Paul McCartney, Readers Digest, November 2005

60 years ago.. the Mexican IDOL, Pedro Infante die in a  plane crash.

Pedro Infante Cruz  (18 November 1917 – 15 April 1957), better known as Pedro Infante, was a Mexican actor and singer. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, he is considered an idol of the Latin American people, together with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís, who were styled as the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (the Three Mexican Roosters).

  • Ofra Haza (Hebrew: עפרה חזה; November 19, 1957 – February 23, 2000) was an Israeli singer, born to a Yemenite Jewish family in Tel Aviv, Israel. Inspired by the love of her Yemenite and Hebrew culture and heritage, her music quickly spread to a wider Middle Eastern audience, somehow bridging the divide between Israel and Arab countries.
  • “Im Nin'Alu” is a hebrew poem by the 17th century’s Yemenite Rabbi Shalom Shabazi, which has later been put to music and was sung by Ofra Haza in 1984. In 1988, a remix of this song became an international hit for Ofra, topping the charts in various countries including the UK, Germany and the US.

On this day in music history: October 8, 1957 - “Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis is recorded. Written by Otis Blackwell (“Don’t Be Cruel”, “All Shook Up”, “Return To Sender”, “Handy Man”) under the pseudonym “Jack Hammer”, it is the biggest hit for the Louisiana born rock & roll musician nicknamed “The Killer”. The single is recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, TN and is featured in the film “Jamboree”. Released on November 11, 1957 as the follow up to “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”, the single is an across the board smash, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Best Sellers, #1 on the Country and #3 on the Rhythm & Blues charts. The song is regarded as one of the most important and influential songs of the early rock era, also being covered by numerous artists over the years. The song also features prominently in the blockbuster “Top Gun” in 1986, as it is sung and used as a catch phrase by actor Anthony Edwards throughout the film. The original recording is also featured on an expanded remastered edition of the soundtrack album in 1998. The song is also used as the title for the 1989 biopic on the rock & roll icon starring Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder and Alec Baldwin. Jerry Lee Lewis’ original recording of “Great Balls Of Fire” is also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1998.