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

“Mr. Rebel” was 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 — along with Dick Dale — in establishing the surf-rock style.

My version here is basically a cover of the original.

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” 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” 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

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