Venturing #14: Johnny Guitar

“Johnny Guitar” is the title track/theme song from the 1954 movie of the same name starring Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden.

The title made it irresistible to numerous instrumental guitar bands. Versions exist by both the Ventures and the Shadows. The rendition with the most world-wide traction, however, was by a Swedish instrumental surf-rock band called the Spotniks (yes, I did say a a Swedish instrumental surf-rock band).


February 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

Venturing #13: Theme for Young Lovers

Originally released in 1964 by The Shadows, this tune was written by their rhythm guitarist, Bruce Welch. It has a very pretty melody and a fairly straight arrangement.

Marlene Dietrich wrote German lyrics for it and recorded it as “Ich werde Dich lieben” :

February 6, 2016 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Venturing #12: Music to Watch Girls By

This was first a hit for then Bob Crewe Generation, and was based on a Diet Pepsi commercial. It was covered by several artists, including the Ventures.

February 4, 2016 at 5:40 pm Leave a comment

Venturing #10 & 11

“Yellow Jacket” was an album track for the Ventures, as far as I know, it was never released as a single. Still, it’s pretty catchy garage-band style rock’n’roll. You might note a resemblance to the “American Bandstand” theme.

“Sleepwalk” needs no introduction. A number one hit in 1959 for Santo and Johnny, there may be no better song in the world for a slow dance or for watching the submarine races.


February 3, 2016 at 7:45 am Leave a comment

Venturing #9: Wonderful Land

“Wonderful Land” was an  instrumental hit written by Jerry Lordan (who also wrote Apache and Atlantis). It was recorded and released as a single by The Shadows in 1962. It stayed at No. 1 for eight weeks on the UK Singles Chart. interestingly, the Shadows never had any records chart in the USA — even though in England they were the most popular band until the Beatles came along.

February 2, 2016 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

Venturing #8: Pipeline

“Pipeline” was a 1963 surf-rock ht for The Chantays. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

My arrangement, while hopefully recognizable, strays pretty far from the original.

January 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm Leave a comment

Venturing #7: Tequila

Is there an instrumental better known or more recognizable than “Tequila”?

It was a 1957 #1 hit for “The Champs”. My arrangement does not stray far from the very catchy original.

January 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

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