Moon landing mystery: Did Buzz Aldrin really play Frank Sinatra on the moon?

QuincyJones" target="_blank" class="body-link" data-vars-item-name="BL-8997026-" data-vars-event-id="c6">Quincy Jones was at a party in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1987, when a stranger, dressed in a white military jacket covered with medals, came up to the music producer and said cryptically: “We worked together before but we’ll talk about it later.” Jones, who did not recognise the man, later told The New York Times magazine that he was nonplussed until a fellow partygoer told him it was Buzz Aldrin , the second man on the moon after Neil Armstrong , who had made his giant leap for mankind.The Apollo 11 lunar lander touched down at Tranquility Base on 20 July 1969 – when Armstrong uttered the famous words “the Eagle has landed” to Nasa’s Mission Control in Houston – and Buzz Aldrin told Jones what happened next. He said that he reached back and grabbed a cassette of “Fly Me to the Moon”, a song Jones had arranged and conducted for singer Frank Sinatra and jazz bandleader and pianist Count Basie. A modern legend seemed to be confirmed: Sinatra’s song was the first music ever heard on the moon.Jones told The New York Times in 1990 that he “freaked” at Aldrin’s story. The man who had been known as Buzz since childhood – after his sister Fay Ann’s mispronunciation of the word brother as “Buzzer” – had delighted Jones by confirming what Sinatra had first told him back in the immediate aftermath of the landing. Jones vividly recalled Sinatra, as excited as “a little kid”, ringing him after meeting the successful astronauts in August 1969 to say that Aldrin had played their song in space. Over the years, Jones has repeated the claim many times, including to GQ , NPR and the Associated Press .From extras.Iowa-born Bart Howard composed his famous love song “Fly Me to the Moon” in 1954 and said it took him about 20 minutes to finish. “The song just fell out of me,” recalled Howard, who originally titled it “In Other Words”, after a recurring line of lyrics. An executive at Decca Records suggested re-naming the song “Take Me to the Moon”, before Howard settled on the famous title. Sinatra and Basie recorded the song in 1964, for the album It Might as Well Be Spring . As the space race between America and Russia accelerated in the late 1960s, “Fly Me to the Moon” became part of the zeitgeist.Fifty years ago, the world rejoiced at the safe return of the three astronauts – Major General Michael Collins had stayed aboard the Apollo 11 Command Service Module while Armstrong and Aldrin went hopping about on the moon – who were welcomed home as heroes on 24 July. Just over three weeks later, the astronauts attended a huge celebration in Houston, Texas. Aldrin’s father, Edwin Eugene Aldrin Sr, was there; his mother was not. The woman who had been born Marion Moon (the eerie coincidence of the name was something Aldrin described as “fate”) had killed herself in May 1968. She had reportedly been anxious and depressed about her son’s imminent fame.There were 250,000 people on the streets of Houston that August day in 1969. The city held a spectacular ticker-tape parade. So many “Moon Certificates” and fake $100 and $1,000 bills (branded “Unified Space over America”) were thrown at the astronauts that Houston’s streets ended up covered in more than two feet of litter.