Archive for March, 2018

Mr. Moto

“Mr. Moto” was one of only a few instrumental rock recordings made by the seminal southern California surf-rock band, the Belairs. It was recorded in 1961 and though it had regional success, it never charted nationally. When the group broke up, some members went on to form Eddie and the Showmen.

My version is not a cover, but rather an arrangement as it might have been done by another instrumental rock band at the time.

March 31, 2018 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

Mr. Rebel

This is my cover of “Mr. Rebel” – a 1963 single by Eddie and the Showmen, a Southern California surf-rock band than was formed by some former members of the Bel-Airs, one of the very first surf-rock groups. None of their singles ever charted in the USA, but these groups are still considered to have been very influential in establishing the surf-rock style.

March 30, 2018 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Meet Mr. Callaghan

This is the theme from Meet Mr. Callaghan, a 1954 British crime film. A hit for Les Paul that same year, it also appears on the Ventures 1961 album, Another Smash!!!

My version is basically a cover of the Ventures arrangement.

March 29, 2018 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Beyond the Reef

Beyond The Reef” was written by Jack Pitman in Hawaii in 1948. It was first recorded by Hawaiian artist Napua Stevens in 1949. Bing Crosby recorded the song a year later and his recording reached No. 26 on the Billboard pop chart. Elvis Presley recorded a version of the song in 1966 but this recording was never released as a single.

The Ventures included the song on their third album, Another Smash, in 1961. While inspired by them, my instrumental arrangement is quite different from theirs.

March 28, 2018 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

The Moon of Manakoora

The Moon of Manakoora” was written by Frank Loesser (lyrics) and Alfred Newman (music) for the 1937 Paramount film The Hurricane starring Dorothy Lamour — who sang the song in the film and recorded it.

The song has been recorded by many artists, both vocally and as an instrumental. The Ventures concluded their 1961 album “The Ventures” with a version. My instrumental arrangement, while firmly in the 1960s guitar-rock style, is completely different from the Ventures version.

March 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Torquay

“Torquay” was originally a surf rock hit for the Fireballs in 1959, recorded at Norman Petty’s now legendary studio in Clovis, New Mexico. The Ventures included it as an album track on the second studio album (The Ventures) released in 1961.

My arrangement is based more on the Ventures approach. Whatever the version, the similarity to the Champs’ 1958 hit “Tequila” is unmistakeable.

March 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

Morgen

Morgen” is a German song  from 1959 originally performed in that language by Croatian singer Ivo Robić. Written by Peter Moesser, the song was a hit in Germany, and then in the USA — also in 1959 — where it peaked at #13. “Morgen” means “morning” and also “tomorrow” in German.

The Ventures recorded an instrumental version as the first track on their 1960 debut album, Walk, Don’t Run. My version is a loose cover of theirs.

March 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Lonely Heart

This song, written by members Bob Bogle and and Don Wilson, was on the Ventures 1961 album, “Another Smash”. It was also used as the “B”-side to their hit single “Ram-Bunk-Shush”. My rendition follows the original but is not a note-for-note cover.

March 24, 2018 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Ginchy

“Ginchy” was written by and was a 1961 UK hit for British guitarist Bert Weedon (1920 – 2012). It was also used by the Ventures in the same year as the “B” side to their single “Lullaby of the Leaves”.

Bert Weedon was a very successful session, studio guitarist and sideman in the 1950s and 60s. Unlike many of his peers, he embraced rock’n’roll and in 1959 was the first British guitarist to have a hit record in the UK Singles Chart. He was the first artist to record “Apache”, although his version did not do as well as subsequent versions by the Shadows and Jorgen Ingmann.

Weedon also published in 1957 a very successful guitar method called “Play in a Day”. Many British guitarists were influenced by his method and his playing method, including Eric Clapton, Brian May, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, Sting, Hank Marvin, Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Page.

My arrangement is based more on the Ventures’ approach than Weedon’s original.

March 24, 2018 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Waiting to Know

“Waiting to Know” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more sophisticated musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. This one is similar to the style of the Shadows.

March 23, 2018 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

Whatever Works

“Whatever Works” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more sophisticated musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. This one is similar to the style of the Shadows.

March 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

A Wondering Day

“A Wondering Day” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more sophisticated musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. This one is similar to the style of the Shadows.

March 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

Spring March

“Spring March” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more sophisticated musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. This one is similar to the style of the Shadows.

March 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

Theme from M*A*S*H

The Theme from M*A*S*H (“Suicide Is Painless”) was written by Johnny Mandel (music) and Mike Altman (lyrics), which was the theme song for both the movie and TV series M*A*S*H. Mike Altman is the son of the original film’s director, Robert Altman, and was only 14 years old when he wrote the song’s lyrics.

Director Altman has said that while he only made $70,000 for having directed the movie, his son had earned more than $1 million for having co-written the song.

My instrumental arrangement is done in the style of the Shadows — who actually recorded and released their own version. Mine is not a cover.

March 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves” was originally a 1945 French song, “Les Feuilles mortes” (literally “The Dead Leaves”), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert.  With English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, it was recorded by artists such as Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra. As an instrumental, it became a jazz standard.

My instrumental arrangement is intended to sound as it might have if done by the Shadows.

March 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

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