Archive for January, 2017

Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’

Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’ was Duane Eddy’s first single, released in 1958. It only reached #72 on the Billboard Hot 100, but set the stage for his future success: his next release, Rebel Rouser, went to #6 that same year.

The Ventures covered the tune in 1962.

In my arrangement I tried to include elements of Duane Eddy’s style as well as the Ventures and surf guitar music in general.

January 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

Guitar Twist

“Guitar Twist” was the 6th and last track on side one of the Ventures 1962 album “Twist with the Ventures”. My version is based on the original.

January 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

Keep Searchin’

“Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun)” was written and recorded by Del Shannon in 1964. It was his second biggest hit, breaking into the top 20 in 1965. “Runaway” was his #1 hit in 1961.

My arrangement is but it retains much of the feel of the original.

Del Shannon’s personal story is rather sad. He was an alcoholic, which interfered with his professional obligations. He still managed to maintain his career, performing through the 1970s and 80’s.

Suffering from depression, for which he was taking Prozac, Shannon took his own life on February 8, 1990, killing himself with a .22-caliber rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California.

January 10, 2017 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Mambo Italiano

“Mambo Italiano” was a 1954 hit for Rosemary Clooney. It was written by Bob Merrill, whose other writing credits include “How Much Is that Doggie in the Window?”. He was also lyricist for the musical “Funny Girl” and “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, both with composer Jule Styne.

The music is very infectious, as my instrumental version should demonstrate. I recommend finding the original vocal version by Rosemary Clooney to enjoy the (now) delightfully politically incorrect lyrics:

Hey mambo, mambo Italiano hey hey mambo mambo Italiano
Go go go you mixed up Siciliano
All you Calabrese do the mambo like-a crazy with the
Hey mambo don’t wanna tarantella
Hey mambo no more mozzarella
Hey mambo mambo Italiano try an enchilada with a fish baccala
Hey goomba I love how you dance the rumba
But take some advice paisano learn-a how to mambo
If you’re gonna be a square you ain’t-a gonna go anywhere
Hey mambo mambo Italiano hey hey mambo mambo Italiano
Go go Joe shake like a tiavanna
E lo che se dice you get happy in the pizza when you
Mambo Italiano

Hey chadrool you don’t-a have to go to school
Just make it with a big bambino
It’s like vino
Kid you good-a looking but you don’t-a know what’s cooking ’til you
Hey mambo mambo Italiano
Hey hey mambo mambo Italiano
Ho ho ho you mixed up Siciliano
E lo che se dice you get happy in the pizza when you
Mambo Italiano


January 8, 2017 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment


“Blackbird” is another song I’ve been afraid to try to arrange and record because the original from the Beatles’ White Album is basically perfect. Lots of artists have covered the tune. I decided to stick with the original form and guitar part and then carefully add a couple other things.

January 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

Come September

This is the theme of a 1961 romantic comedy film starring Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin. The plot is nothing short of ridiculous. The theme — while pretty lightweight musically — is catchy. It was also featured on the Ventures 1963 album “Going to the Ventures Dance Party”.

January 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment


This is my instrumental cover of “Yesterday”, which written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and first released on the album Help! in the United Kingdom in August 1965. The song appeared on the Beatles’ US album Yesterday and Today, released in June 1966.

This is such a wonderful song it has alway intimidated me. I decided it would be best just to approach it as a simple and straightforward instrumental.

January 6, 2017 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

Let It Be Me

“Let It Be Me” was originally published in French in 1955 as “Je t’appartiens” (I Belong to You). It became popular worldwide in 1960 with an English version by The Everly Brothers and again in 1964 with the duet by Betty Everett and Jerry Butler.

For the video accompanying my instrumental version I have assembled a montage of most of the artists who recorded the tune during the 1960s. As you can see, it is a varied group that notably includes both country and soul artists.

January 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

California Dreamin’

“California Dreamin” was the first big hit of the Mamas and Papas. Written by John and Michelle Phillips, it was first recorded by Barry McGuire. However, the Mamas and Papas version, released in December of 1965 became the big hit.

The Ventures featured it on their 1966 album, “Go With the Ventures”.

The Ventures version preserves much of the feel of the Mamas and Papas single. My arrangement has a faster tempo.

January 2, 2017 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

Some Are Lonely

“Some Are Lonely” was originally a track on the Shadows 1962 album “Out of the Shadows”. The songwriter was Cliff Richard — the popular British singer the Shadows backed up for many years. This is a very pretty tune.

My recording is essentially a recreation of the original arrangement.

January 2, 2017 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Ad Venture

“Ad-Venture” is a “filler” track from the Ventures 1966 album “Go With the Ventures”. This LP features mainly covers of hits fro the time like “Monday Monday”, “The Sloop John B” and “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”.

My rendition is based on the Ventures original, with a few changes including a solo break.

January 2, 2017 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Don’t Stop Now

“Don’t Stop Now” is a track from the Shadows 1966 release, “Shadow Music”, their 5th album. Songwriting credit goes to their drummer, Brian Bennett.

January 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

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January 2017