Archive for May, 2016

Orange Fire

“Orange Fire” was originally a track on the 1961 album “Colorful Ventures”. Each song on the album has a color in the title. There are some standard, well-known songs like “Blue Moon” and “The Green Leaves of Summer” and a bunch of other tracks like this one and “Yellow Jacket” .

May 13, 2016 at 6:35 am Leave a comment


“36-24-36” is a great example of a “B” side. Paired with the Shadows 1961 hit “Kontiki”, it clearly is a group effort (all four members get song-writing credit) that was generated off the Jet Harris’ bass riff that starts the song.

May 12, 2016 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

Happy Guitar

I continue to widen my reach for instrumental rock hits from the 60’s. Here is “Happy Guitar” which was released by the Spotnicks in 1963. The Spotnicks are an instrumental surf-rock group from Sweden, formed in 1961. Along with the Shadows and the Ventures they are counted as one of the most famous instrumental bands during the 1960s. They were noted for wearing “space suit” costumes on stage. They have released 42 albums, selling more than 18 million records, and — like the Ventures and Shadows — are still active. They never charted in the US, so not many people here are familiar with them. However, they had considerable success in the UK.


May 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

Pooh’s Hoop

This is a jazz-rock-fusion track.

May 10, 2016 at 6:35 am Leave a comment

Surfin’ the Turf #8: Yakety Axe

I could hardly exclude this iconic theme from my retrospectives of 50’s and 60’s instrumentals. A top-40 hit for Boots Randolph in 1963, it has gone on to be very familiar thanks to its use by Benny Hill and others.

May 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment


Written by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint,  another New Orleans legend, trumpeter Al Hirt, took this song to #4 in 1964.

Although an extremely popular instrumental, it did not get picked up by the Ventures or many other instrumental guitar bands.


May 2, 2016 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Surfin’ the Turf #6: Percolator

Okay, boomers, do you remember this? In 1962 a Maxwell House Coffee commercial got this started. It was turned into a top-10 hit by Billie Joe and the Checkmates.

May 1, 2016 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

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May 2016