Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Satellite Baby


Exact facts regarding Skip Stanley, his biography, and the recording of "Satellite Baby" are not easy to come by.  According to one source "He was working nightclubs in Toledo, Ohio as a stand-up comedian when he wrote and recorded the song in 1956 at the age of 28. A couple years later, he returned to California and eventually Los Angeles to work in real estate."

From another source : "While on the road, he wrote a song about the space race between the U.S. and Russia.  When Stanley had a tour stop in New York in 1956, he recorded his song and called it "Satellite Baby."

In fact, Skip Stanley recorded the song twice.  The first (1956) version [perhaps recorded in New York] was issued on Spotlight Records, a corporation which had probable links with the Detroit's Flame Show Bar owned by Morris Wasserman.   Al Green, talent agent who booked the artists performing at the Flame, and his protégé, a young Nat Tarnopol, who once worked at the Union Tire company and used to hang out at the Flame Show Bar had certainly an interest in Spotlight Records.

The release of the 2nd version were annonced in Billboard Magazine in 1957 (in the November 27 issue) :
Satellite Record Co., a new label , headed by Skip Stanley with offices at 44 West 88th Street"  has released its first pressing "Satellite Baby" and "Planets"   Skip Stanley, A night club and TV comic, has worked the Casa Seville at Hempstead, Long Island, Cafe-of-Tomorrow, in Chicago, Lake Club in Springfield, Ill.  Larry's Potter Supper Club in Hollywood.  Ralph Stein, formerly a&r man for Flair-X Records, did the arranging on the first Satellite release, and will continue in that capacity.
First release on Satellite? Not quite, earlier in the year "Planets" had already been issued on his own Satellite label [SX-91] backed with "Manganese Blues".  Anyway, Skip Stanley went to radio stations around New York City to get them to play his record.  But Hoffman couldn't land a record deal, and spent $3,000 on trying to get the song pushed.

An unknown singer by the name of Bobby Darin wanted to record his song, "Satellite Baby," which he had written because of the space race between Russia and the U.S., but Skip Stanley was by then so embittered by broken promises of celebrity and wealth that he turned Darin's offer down, to his eternal regret.

Stanley Jerry Hoffman (born in 1929)  first called himself for stage purposes Stanley Hoffman, then Lee Hoffman, then Skip Stanley, and then Stan Hoffman yet again and more recently began calling himself Kwayzar "the oldest rap singer"

He started his career in showbiz when he was 4 :
When he was four, he tried to break into acting. It was 1932, he auditioned for a role in the The Little Rascals. Hoffman's mom was bed-ridden with tuberculosis, so a family friend drove Stanley to the audition.

The director made Stanley's guardian leave the room, which made him panic. He said they began to ask him basic questions -- like where he was from, his name -- and he just froze. The studio called him back for another interview, but the same thing happened. He didn't say a word. He still thinks of that moment, and says; "What would have happened to me in that career if I just talked?"
He had enlisted in the Navy during WWII, and during the time Mao Tse Tung was driving Chiang Kai-shek out of mainland China, Hoffman was stationed in Shanghai and saw dead bodies of G.I.s floating in the Whangpoo River, which was a tributary of the Yangtze.

Upon his discharge from the Navy, Hoffman continued to pursue his dream of "making it big" in showbiz. "I wanted to be a comedian in the movies," he says.   His determination to be an actor was so strong that his mother moved the family into an apartment that was close enough for him to attend Hollywood High School.  He spent two-and-a-half years in drama school on the G.I. bill.

He would team up with one of his school buddies and form a stand-up comedy team — Wallace and Lee (he dropped the first part of Stanley).  

Later, after the failure of his recording artist career, and while in one of the most precarious period in his life, he had to turn to selling real estate to make a living. Fortunately, he was good at it. He finally starting making money -- before losing $375,000 in the stock market.

More recently, the name change to Kwayzar was prompted by his discovery of rap, which nudged Hoffman in a new direction. He says he was influenced by Ice Cube and Eminem.

He has gone into writing and producing rap videos fulltime now, which he uploads on YouTube (YouTube.com/kwayzar11). His cybermusic (also available in CD) bears such titles as the afore-mentioned "Satellite Baby," "Brave New World "(a nod to Aldous Huxley), "Cyberspace," "Chat Room," "Tech Support," and "Clone."

Latin and scientific phrases that alternate with salty language learned during naval days can be heard in his uptempo music videos. Two of his latest are "The Vote of a Lifetime," a rap in support of Obama, and "I Can Still Do It," which is a metaphor, he says, for young as well as old people not giving up, not quitting on that dream.

At this point, he says, "Writing and producing rap videos keeps me busy, keeps me active, and keeps me well, while I hope to be an inspiration especially to older people that they, too, can and should still lead productive, and thus meaningful, lives. The whole thing has become a labor of love."

Still practicing a bit of self-promotion, Kwayzar wants his sobriquet henceforth to be "The world's only senior cyber-rapper Caucasian."




  1. Very interesting. I just discovered your site, WOW!!! I'm having a blast. Thanks for posting and don't stop!
    Larry, New Orleans

  2. Would you believe that Mediafire blocked the first link: "Satellite Baby" by Skip Stanley may be available for download from Amazon?
    Then they list an album: 50s Rock & Roll Horror.
    But the second link is OK.

    1. Thanks KL from NYC. I'll fix that soon...

  3. 07/25/2016 : both versions here :