Archive for May, 2015

Old Guy Plays “Hip Hug Her”

Like the west coast Wrecking Crew and the Motown-based Funk Brothers, Booker T and the MGs played behind countless hit records. Unlike those other units, however, Booker T and the MGs had an independent life as an instrumental group, performing and recording hit records of their own. They were also notable for being integrated, with two black and two white members – at a time with R&B acts were almost exclusively black.

Hip Hug Her is from 1967, so I have given it a little bit of classic rock vibe to go with the funk.

May 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Old Guy Plays “Because”

I don’t know about my fellow geezers, but there was definitely a stretch of time where I liked the Dave Clark Five as much as the Beatles. This is one of my favorites of their songs.

May 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Old Guy Plays “Sukiyaki”

This episode of “Old Guy Plays Oldies” is Sukiyaki, which was written by Rokusuke Ei and Hachidai Nakamura and released by Kyu Sakamoto. It climbed to the top of the US charts in 1963. Its original Japanese title translates as “I look up when it walk”. The title Sukiyaki was chosen as a Japanese word most likely to be familiar to Americans. Sukiyaki is of course a dish with beef and vegetables.

For those interested in more info about this song and its backstory:

The original recording by Kyu Sakamoto benefits from a vocal performance that conveys considerable emotion – even to those who cannot understand the Japanese lyrics. Kyu Sakamoto was a very popular performer in Asia, and during his USA popularity appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. He was killed in an airplane crash in 1985.

The English lyrics people are likely to know are not particularly faithful to the original, so a translation of the original Japanese follows.

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Remembering those happy spring days
But tonight I’m all alone

I look up when I walk
Counting the stars with tearful eyes
Remembering those happy summer days
But tonight I’m all alone

Happiness lies beyond the clouds
Happiness lies above the sky

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow
For tonight I’m all alone

Remembering those happy autumn days
But tonight I’m all alone

Sadness hides in the shadow of the stars
Sadness lurks in the shadow of the moon

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow
For tonight I’m all alone

May 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

Cool Cats Medley

I have taken the audio from my two prior video posts and interleaved them with two more classic TV theme recordings (both too short to stand on their own, really) and combined them all into a “Cool Cats Medley”. See if you can identify the “cool cat” whose theme appears first and the show/”cool cat” whose theme appears after Peter Gunn and before James Bond.

May 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Old Guy Plays “James Bond Theme”

I don’t think this number needs any explanation or background. I doubt there are many people on the planet, regardless of when they were born, who do not recognize this iconic theme.

So instead, a few words about production: There are three instruments here: guitar, bass and drums. I am not a drummer — that part is programmed and handled by EZ Drummer. I played the bass part myself and recorded it into ProTools. The, I play back those two tracks while I record the video and the guitar part. I then mix the audio and overlay it over top of the video.

May 10, 2015 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

Old Guy Plays “The Theme from Peter Gunn”

Peter Gunn was a private eye television series that aired from 1958 to 1961. The show’s creator was Blake Edwards, of “Pink Panther” fame. The title character, played by Craig Stevens, was an impossibly urbane, well-dressed private investigator whose hair was always in place and who loved jazz.

The series is probably best remembered today for its music, especially the popular “Peter Gunn Theme” presented here, which won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for Henry Mancini and subsequently has been performed and recorded by many jazz, rock, and blues musicians. Guitarist Duane Eddy’s version reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.

I have plans to record a couple more TV or movie themes, so stay tuned….

May 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

Old Guy Plays Ferry Cross the Mersey

This is video #5 in the Old Guy Plays Oldies video series. The featured tune is Ferry Cross the Mersey, written by Gerry Marsden and a top ten hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1965. This is one of my all time favorite songs ever.

The guitar is my Nash J-63.

May 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

Old Guy Plays Apache

By now it should be apparent to my regular readers that I love the guitar instrumentals of the 1960’s. Apache, written by British pop composer Jerry Lordan, is one of the classics. Probably the best known version in the USA is that by Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann. It was also covered by the Ventures, and many people think the Ingmann version is the Ventures. The original recording was by the wonderful British instrumental Band, the Shadows — for whom the tune was written.

The guitar is my Nash J-63.

May 1, 2015 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

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May 2015