Jerry Engler was born in my hometown of Rochester, New York in 1936. He was always interested in music but it did not take hold of him until he was about 10 years old. His family moved out west around that time and that’s when he heard Country and Western music. His parents split and he returned to Rochester with his mother, and his brothers and sisters.
Jerry was playing his country music, that was until he heard Elvis Presley singing on the radio. That was a turning point in his musical direction. He went out to find a guitar player that could play like Scotty Moore…that proved hard to do in Rochester at the time. After graduating high school he found local guitar ace…Neil Marvel, who already had a band. Together they were soon Rochester’s first rock and roll band.
One of Rochester’s top disc jockeys…Nick Nickson (“The ‘Ole’ Professor), of WBBF-AM…became Jerry Engler’s manager. Jerry was very popular locally. In 1957 the Soviet Union put the first man-made object into orbit…a satellite named…Sputnik. The newspaper coverage of the satellite caught Jerry’s attention. He was working at Eastman Kodak at the time and wrote the song on a coffee-break. Jerry wanted a vocal group to record on the record…He enlisted the Four Ekkos (Hand In Hand). The record was cut in Rochester at Fine Recording on St. Paul Street. The cost of the recording was $600, kind of expensive for the day. Jerry took the song to Nick Nickson who called Len Levy at Decca/Brunswick Records in New York. Len loved the song…he had the group come to New York. The record was released on Brunswick Records. The flip-side of the single was…UNFAITHFUL ONE. The label had changed his last name from Englerth his birth name to Engler and retitled the record to… SATELLITE GIRL. Jerry was performing in Buffalo, Syracuse, Detroit and Canada.
SPUTNIK did not chart nationally but did make a buzz across the country. Jerry would not have another hit record but would play on shows with artists like, Buddy Holly And The Crickets, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Paul Anka. He then went to Clovis, New Mexico and recorded with Buddy Holly in 1958.
Jerry would never chart a national hit but his recording of…SPUTNIK (Satellite Girl) on Brunswick Records (9-55037) remains a very sought after single of record collectors. We are proud to present…JERRY ENGLER…singing his classic 1957 hit…SPUTNIK…another great hit from the, “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.
Till the next time—Joe