Despite becoming a massive international hit, Joe Meek didn't receive a penny in royalties in his short lifetime. A French composer, Jean Ledrut, accused him of plagiarism, claiming that the tune of "Telstar" had been copied from "La Marche d'Austerlitz", a piece from a score that Ledrut had written for the 1960 film Austerlitz. This led to a lawsuit and the issue was not resolved in Meek's favour until three weeks after his suicide in 1967.
Later in 1962, Joe Meek added words to the melody and produced the new lyricised version for little-known UK vocalist Kenny Hollywood. However, there was little interest in it and it failed to make any impression in the UK charts.
Here are both the instrumental & vocal versions of Joe Meek's creation:
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