The Wenatchee World



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Lo53° Partly Cloudy


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Wednesday Night

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A quick historical note....

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Amazing. In this day of instant communication, where someone can see and make a video of something happening in Moscow and make it visable to the world in a matter of seconds, it's difficult to imagine a time when this wasn't possible.

Trust me, little ones, it wasn't. And it took a long time for it to become reality, but the first step was made 50 years ago today, when the first live telecast to and from Europe was bounced off a satellite, Telstar I to be precise. I can't find a copy of the original broadcast, but Walter Cronkite described the first broadcast to and from Europe for "All Things Considered" in 2002......

To show you the power of instant communication, Cronkite talks about JFK's news conference, which was being beamed across the ocean, and the immediate result. It's amazing stuff.

Of course, someone had to make some money off it. In this case, rock and roll. British writer/producer Joe Meek....whose story is strange and unique in its own right.....put The Tornados in the studio, and by mid August, released this....


.....which not only went to the top of the charts, but was the first British single to top the Billboard Hot 100.

The sorta sad part is Telstar I only worked for about 8 months. It seemed its transistors were fried by radiation caused by atmospheric nuclear testing which was "popular" at the time. But irregardless, the next time you post a cell phone video on You Tube, just remember that if it wasn't for events 50 years ago today (July 23, 1962), you might still be locked to a landline.