Archive for January, 2017

The More I See You

The More I See You” was composed by Harry Warren, with lyrics by Mack Gordon in 1945. It is considered a jazz standard and part of the “American Songbook”. It has been recorded by many artists — such as Nat Cole and Julie London in the 1950s and more recently by Michael Buble’.

In 1966, Chris Montez released the most commercially successful and well-known recording of the song on Herb Alpert’s A&M label.  This version went to number sixteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent four weeks at number two on the Easy Listening chart.

My instrumental arrangement attempts to combine the straightforward innocence of the Chris Montez version with the more complex and sophisticated harmonies normally associated with jazz versions.

January 21, 2017 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Strangers in the Night

Strangers in the Night” has music by Bert Kaempfert and English lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. The song was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra, who took it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the title song for his 1966 album Strangers in the Night, which became his most commercially successful. Sinatra’s recording also won him the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

I have given it an instrumental surf-rock setting, and I think it is safe to say this was never imagined by Kaempfert nor Sinatra.

I should also perhaps confess that I have never actually liked this song, and even after arranging and recording it, I still don’t.

January 20, 2017 at 7:05 pm Leave a comment

Wonderland by Night

“Wonderland by Night” was #1 hit for Bert Kaempfert in 1961. I was a bit surprised when I ran across this tune. I’m not sure I remember it. Also, by this time I would have thought I’d found all the #1 instrumentals from the era.

The original is very slow and features a juicy, romantic trumpet as the lead instrument. My arrangement has most of the same parts but is faster and features guitars — the result is a much more “country” vibe.

January 20, 2017 at 7:50 am Leave a comment

Call Me

This is my instrumental cover of “Call Me”,  probably best known as a 1966 hit recording by Chris Montez. However, it was originally written for Petula Clark by songwriter Tony Hatch — who also penned “Downtown”, “I Know a Place”, and “Don’t Sleep in the Subway, Darling”. This is not the same song as Blondie’s “Call Me”

For my arrangement I tried to imagine the song as the Shadows might have done it in a bossa nova style with a somewhat jazzy in feel.

January 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

Theme from “The Wild Wild West”

The TV series “The Wild Wild West” ran on the CBS television network for four seasons: 1965 to 1969. I *loved* this show, and it was very popular.

The series followed Secret Service agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) as they solved crimes, protected the President, and foiled the plans of megalomaniacal villains such as Dr. Loveless, played by Michael Dunn.

The theme is very memorable, yet as far as I can tell no one ever released an instrumental guitar-rock version of it. Until now. 🙂

January 17, 2017 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

Tales of a Raggy Tramline

“Tales of a Raggy Tramline” was originally an instrumental track on the Shadows 1962 album “Out of the Shadows”. My version is basically a straight cover.

Written by (then) bassist Jet Harris and drummer Brian Bennett, it features a prominent drum solo part presumably inspired by the rhythm of a tram going down its tracks. A “tram” is the same thing as a “streetcar” — a vehicle running on tracks laid in the street and obtaining power from overhead wires.

Both Harris and Bennett grew up in London in the 1940s, when trams were a major component of public transport. London Transport discontinued their use in 1952, although other areas of England still utilized them after that. Trams were reintroduced to London in the year 2000.

January 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Bad to Me

Bad to Me” was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) for Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas. They released their recording of the song in 1963 and it became their first number 1 on the UK Singles Chart. The single would be released in the US the following year, and become a top-ten hit here, reaching number 9.

January 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

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