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Astronauts, The

The Astronauts formed in 1961 in Boulder, Colorado, taking their name as a tribute to local hero, astronaut Scott Carpenter.

After gaining a strong local reputation, the band released their first single, Come Along Baby in 1962 on the small Palladium label before signing to RCA.

Their first RCA single was surf instrumental Baja, written by Lee Hazelwood, which made #94 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was to remain the pinnacle of their chart career in the US.

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They then released a succession of singles on RCA in an attempt by the record company to emulate the success of The Beach Boys and other surf music groups topping the charts at the time.

The Astronauts appeared several times on the Hullabaloo TV show and appeared in more beach party movies than any other surf band: Surf Party (1964), Wild on the Beach (1965), Wild Wild Winter (1966) and Out of Sight (1966).

The group attracted a huge following in Japan, where five albums and three singles made the top 10, with Movin’ – retitled as Over The Sun – reaching #1 in that country.

Gallagher and Lindsey were drafted for Vietnam before the last album, Travelin’ Men in 1967, and were replaced by Mark Bretz and Rod Jenkins respectively. Demmon also left, being replaced by Robert Carl McLerran, before Fifield and Patterson finally decided to wrap the band up after a tour of Asia in 1968.

The Astronauts reunited to perform in Boulder, Colorado, in 1974, 1988 and 1989.

Richard Otis “Rich” Fifield
Vocals, guitar
Dick Sellars
Guitar
Robert Graham “Bob” Demmon
Guitar
Jon “Storm” Patterson
Bass, vocals
Brad Leach
Drums
Jim Gallagher
Drums
Dennis Lindsey
Guitar
Mark Bretz
Drums
Rod Jenkins
Guitar
Robert Carl McLerran
Guitar