Archive for May, 2016

Surfin’ the Turf #19: Surfin’ Cat

This is an arrangement of the classic “Alley Cat” which was a hit in  1962 for Danish jazz pianist Bent Fabric. The original was a top-10 Billboard hit.

May 21, 2016 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Surfin’ the Turf #18: Stranger on the Shore

This tune was a HUGE hit in 1962. As written and recorded by Acker Bilk, it went to #1 on the US charts. It also has the distinction of being the “rock era” first recording from the UK to hit #1 in the USA.


May 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment


This is a tune from the Ventures’ 1961 album, “Twist with the Ventures”. I think it’s pretty catchy.

May 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Out of Limits

This tune is actually not the theme from the cult-classic 60’s TV show, the Outer Limits. Of course the opening riff is a rip-off of the theme from the Twilight Zone, another — and probably better — spooky program. All of this got composer and Marketts leader Michael Z. Gordon in some legal hot water. However, the tune was still a #1 hit and the Marketts went on to record the 1966 Batman theme. Later in his career Gordon was a very successful TV and film producer.


May 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment


“Runaway” was a #1 hit for Del Shannon in 1961. Although he had some follow-up success (Little Town Flirt and Hat’s Off to Larry), nothing equaled the popularity of this tune. Del Shannon battled substance abuse for much of his life and sadly committed suicide in 1990 at the age of 55.

The Ventures included a cover of this classic on their 1963 album “Let’s Go!”. While not a cover of their arrangement, my version is certainly in the Ventures, surf-rock style.



May 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment


This is my cover of “Brazil”, which was the 1st track on the 1964 album “Sounds of the Shadows”. Its original title was “Aquarela do Brasil” (Watercolor of Brazil) and was written by Ary Barroso in 1939. One of the 20 most recorded songs of all time, it’s really an interesting tune.

May 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

I’ll Never Find Another You

In the 1960s, there was a huge folk music movement from groups like Peter, Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, and The New Christy Minstrels. Typically the music featured acoustic instruments and lovely vocal harmonies. Although this style began in the USA, it reached across the Atlantic to the UK. The Seekers were a British folk group, and they had a global hit with this tune in 1964.

I thought I would see if a tune like this would work in an instrumental guitar band setting — and I think it does very nicely.

May 14, 2016 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment

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May 2016