We all know and love Conway Twitty’s classic hit, “Hello Darlin’.” But did you know the country legend once recorded the song in Russian?
The new version was commissioned for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first joint space flight between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. On July 19, 1975, the recording was played by the American astronauts on board the Apollo module to Russian cosmonauts flying in Soyuz 19. It was meant to be seen as a gesture of peace and goodwill toward the Russians after years of strained relations.
You can hear the Russian version of “Hello Darlin’,” named “Privet Radost,” below.
The big moment came for Twitty just after he recorded an interview with Walter Cronkite. In a Los Angeles hotel room, he watched as his hit song made history.
“All of a sudden, the talking stopped and the song started playing: ‘Privet Radost,'” Twitty said in his autobiography. “That song was played in Russian all around the world. I don’t know how many millions of people heard it–the only time anything like that had ever happened! It was a tremendous experience.”
Although “Privet Radost” was released as a single that same year, it didn’t end up making it onto the country or pop charts. It has a great story behind it, but it just doesn’t have the same smooth rhythm as the original.
Still, devoted Twitty fans can own their own copy of the tune by picking up The Conway Twitty Collection boxed set, which originally was released in 1994.