Topaz

This is my cover of “Topaz”, an instrumental released in 1961 in the UK by a group called “The Staccatos”. I cannot find any information about whether it charted, and if so, how high it went. If you happen to remember or can find out, let me know!

I think it is a cute number.

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July 9, 2019 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Mary Kay White

“Mary Kay White” is an original instrumental intended to be in the style of the Ventures. I wrote and recorded it on the occasion of receiving my Nash T-52 in Mary Kay White with gold anodized pickguard, which I selected to match my Nash Mary Kay S-57 and PB-57.

Mary Kaye was a real person, (January 9, 1924 – February 17, 2007) and was a guitarist and performer who was active from the 1940s through 1960s. Mary was photographed in a 1956 Fender promotional advertisement featuring a new Stratocaster. The white guitar with maple neck and gold hardware later became popularly known as “The Mary Kaye Strat.”

July 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Ginza Lights

This is my cover of “Ginza Lights”, originally a track on the Ventures 1966 album, “Go With the Ventures”. This album is primarily covers of then recent hits like “Monday Monday”, “Good Lovin'”  and “Eight Miles High”.

“Ginza Lights” is one of the “filler” tracks — which I usually find more interesting — written by members of the group. An up-tempo rocker, songwriting credit in this case is shared by all four: Bob Bogle, Nokie Edwards, Mel Taylor and Don Wilson.

Ginza is a district of Tokyo, and is a popular upscale area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. By 1966, the Ventures were enormously popular in Japan (and they still are) and had already toured the country many times.

June 25, 2019 at 10:39 am Leave a comment

The End of the World

This is my instrumental cover of “The End of the World”, which was a big hit for country singer Skeeter Davis in 1962. It was a major crossover success, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by written by composer Arthur Kent and lyricist Sylvia Dee, who often worked as a team.

The Skeeter Davis track was produced by Chet Atkins and featured pianist Floyd Cramer. The song was performed at Atkins’s 2001 funeral as an instrumental by Marty Stuart and was also played at Davis’s own funeral in 2004.

June 23, 2019 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Lady of Spain

This is my arrangement of “Lady of Spain”. It was composed in 1931 by Tolchard Evans. The song is often played on the accordion; it was the theme song of Myron Floren, the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show. The song has also been covered vocally by Bing Crosby and as a guitar instrumental by Les Paul.

It never appeared on a Ventures album, but in 1961 their arrangement of the song was used as the “B-side” to their single “Blue Moon”.

May 31, 2019 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

Tall Cool One

This is my cover of “Tall Cool One”, which was first released in 1959 by a group from Tacoma, WA called “The Wailers”. They became popular around the United States Pacific Northwest around the late 1950s and the start of the 1960s, performing saxophone driven and Chuck Berry-style  R&B and rock and roll.

The Ventures, coincidentally also from Tacoma, included an arrangement of the song on their 1964 album, “Fabulous Ventures”.

 

May 26, 2019 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment

The Swingin’ Creeper

This is my cover of “The Swingin’ Creeper”, which was originally a track on the Ventures 1965 album, “Ventures A Go Go”. Songwriting credit is shared by all four members of the group at that time, Don Wilson, Bob Bogle, Nokie Edwards and Mel Taylor. It was also used as the “B” side for the 1965 single “Pedal Pusher”, which did not chart. The prominent organ part is not atypical for Ventures during this period. Although a “guitar” band, many of their mid-sixties and later tracks utilized keyboards. And from 1969 – 1978, a keyboardist was a permanent part of their lineup.

 

May 26, 2019 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

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