Archive for July, 2016

Lullaby of the Leaves

Listening to this arrangement, you would never know what a beautiful tune this is, or how many different jazz artist made soothing recordings of the tune. Written by by composer Bernice Petkere and lyricist Joe Young, it was featured in a  1932 Broadway revue. Ella Fitzgerald’s version is probably the best known jazz version.

Somehow, the Ventures turned it into a raucous surf rock tune in the style of “Walk Don’t Run”.  That’s what my arrangement is based on. I do not recommend trying to sleep with it playing.

July 31, 2016 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

The Eleventh Hour

This spooky number was an album cut on the 1964 album “The Fabulous Ventures”. My arrangement follows theirs with a few added subtleties.

July 31, 2016 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment

The Lonely Bull

“The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro)” was written by Sol Lake and recorded by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The Herb Alpert single was the first release on A&M Records.

It became a hit (US #6) and title song to the album The Lonely Bull, released in December 1962.

The Ventures covered this on their 1963 album “The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull”.


July 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment


This was the “B-side” of the Ventures 1966 version of “Secret Agent Man” . The irony/humor of the 7-eleven is pretty cool.

July 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

The Ninth Wave

Originally released by the Ventures in 1963 on their album “Surfing”.

July 29, 2016 at 7:30 am Leave a comment


“Stingray” was a minor hit in the UK for the Shadows in 1965. My arrangement follows the original, where the lead instrument is a fuzz bass — a Burns Bison. I use a baritone guitar that I built myself from Warmoth parts.

I don’t know if the title references the car or the fish. I chose to feature the car in my video, since it is more sixties.


July 27, 2016 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

(Venturing) Over the Rainbow

“Over The Rainbow” is a song you probably never expected to hear done this way, so it makes an excellent addition to my “anachronistic instrumental rock” series.

BTW, the Ventures did record and release at least one version of this classic song.


July 23, 2016 at 7:05 am Leave a comment

Wayback Garage #12: While my Surfboard Gently Weeps

This arrangement of the iconic, late-60’s classic may not be what you would expect, except possibly from me.

July 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

The Stranger

“The Stranger” was released together with “Man of Mystery” as a two-sided single in 1960 by the Shadows. The combined release reached #5 on the UK singles charts.

July 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt

“The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt” was an instrumental by the British group The Shadows. It went to number 5 in the UK Singles Chart. In 1964, and was their last top-10 hit. The character Flingel Bunt was an imaginary character invented by the actor Richard O’Sullivan, a friend of the Shadows.

My cover version here stays pretty close to the Shadow’s original approach.

July 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

The Savage

“The Savage”, from a movie called “The Young Ones”,  was a UK top 10 hit for the Shadows in 1961. The Ventures covered this tune as well.


July 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

Man of Mystery

“Man of Mystery” was a UK #5 single for the Shadows in 1960 with “The Stranger” as the B-side. The Shadows version is a cover of the theme from a series of films, “The Edgar Wallace Mysteries”, written by Michael Carr.

My version follows the Shadows’ arrangement with a few small changes.


July 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

Dance On!

It’s too bad that more Americans don’t know about the Shadows. In the early sixtes, they were YUUGE in England, with sixteen tracks in the top ten of the UK singles charts. Somehow that success did not help them with the British invasion here.

“Dance On!” was one of their number one instrumentals in 1962. It was also recorded in a vocal version by British female soloist Kathy Kirby, whose version reached number 11 in the UK chart in September 1963.

Petula Clark recorded the song in French (“Je me sens bien auprès de toi”) and Italian (“Sto volentieri con te”) which made the Top 5 of the French and Italian charts. She also recorded an English version for album release on the Canadian market.

My version of this tune is basically a cover, with only a few small changes. I made a point of trying to capture some of Hank Marvin’s playing style in my own.

July 13, 2016 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment


“Geronimo” was a Shadows single, penned by leader/lead guitarist Hank Marvin, and reached number 10 on the UK singles chart in 1963. It is conceivable that they were attempting to repeat the success they had in 1960 when their single “Apache” topped the UK charts.

My arrangement is based heavily on the Shadows original.

July 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Wayback Garage #5: See You in September

Most people remember the Happenings 1966 #3 hit with this tune, but the original recording was the Tempos in 1959.  The Four Seasons and Shelley Fabares also recorded versions which did not chart.

July 11, 2016 at 7:06 pm Leave a comment

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July 2016