Archive for May, 2018

Theme from Prairie Dawn

“Theme from Prairie Dawn” 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. With this one I tried to get a feel similar to the early 60’s style of the Shadows.

May 30, 2018 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

The Lonely Sea

“The Lonely Sea” is the final track on the Ventures 1963 album “Surfing”. Song writing credit belongs to rhythm guitarist Don Wilson. Although there are some similar chord changes, it is not the same song as the Beach Boy’s “Lonely Sea”, which was written by Brian Wilson (no relation to Don).

My arrangement is based on the Ventures version, but is not just a cover.

May 29, 2018 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

Diem in Monimentum

“Diem in Monimentum” marks my return to Smooth Jazz. I’m not sure how long this return will last.

May 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Relentless

“Relentless” 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. With this one I tried to get a feel similar to the early 60’s style of surf rock and the Ventures.

May 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

Red River Rock

Red River Rock“, is an instrumental version of the cowboy ballad, “Red River Valley”. First recorded by Johnny and the Hurricanes, instrumental rock and roll band from Toledo, Ohio, it peaked at #5 in the USA and #3 in the UK in 1959.

In 1963 the Ventures released “The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull” which consists entirely of cover versions of popular instrumentals from the late 50’s to early 60’s. “Red River Rock” is on that LP.

My arrangement is not a cover of either the original or the Ventures versions, but is very much in that style.

May 24, 2018 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Bumble Bee Twist

“Bumble Bee Twist” was a track on the Ventures 1962 album “Twist with the Ventures”. On the first pressings of the LP, this track was entitled “The Wasp”. Songwriting credit is given to members Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, and Bob Bogle. However, it is clearly an adaptation of “Bumble Bee Boogie”, which is itself based on Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”.

My arrangement is basically of cover of the Ventures version.

May 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Josie

“Josie” is the final cut on the Venture’s 1961 album, “Another Smash”. Written by founders Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, the title is a reference to rhythm guitarist Don Wilson’s mother, Josie Wilson. The reason for the tribute is that she was an important supporter and promoter of the Venture’s early efforts.

She produced their first demo recordings herself when no commercial backers could be found. While Wilson and Bogle worked day jobs, Josie went around to radio stations and concert promoters with their demo records. She remained a co-producer and business manager until her death at 91 in 2007.

I would describe my version as a “loose cover” of the original.

 

May 22, 2018 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

Wooly Bully

“Wooly Bully” was the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs first and biggest hit. It was a worldwide success, selling three million copies and reaching No. 2 on the American Hot 100 chart in 1965. It stayed in the Hot 100 for 18 weeks, the longest time for any entry that year, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. It was Billboard’s “Number One Record of the Year” despite never reaching No. 1.

The Ventures included an instrumental version of the song on their 1965 album, “Ventures A Go-Go”. Considering that the lyrics of the original are both fairly unintelligible and nonsensical, it does seem a good candidate for an instrumental approach.

My arrangement was inspired by the Ventures version but is not a cover.

 

May 21, 2018 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

When I Fall in Love

When I Fall in Love” was written by Victor Young (music) and Edward Heyman (lyrics). It was first introduced in the 1952 film One Minute to Zero.  The song has become a standard, with many artists recording it, though the first hit version was sung by Doris Day released in July 1952.

My instrumental arrangement is in the style of a 60’s guitar rock group like the Shadows or Ventures.

May 20, 2018 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

Detour

“Detour” is a Western swing ballad written by Paul Westmoreland in 1945. The first recording was by Jimmy Walker with Paul Westmoreland and His Pecos River Boys, released in November 1945.

Patti Page released a version in 1951that first entered the Billboard chart on August 4, 1951, and stayed for 16 weeks – peaking at number five.

Duane Eddy recorded an instrumental version on his 1958 album “Have ‘Twangy Guitar Will Travel”. It was also used as the “b-side” to his 1959 single “The Lonely One”.

My arrangement is based on the Duane Eddy version.

May 19, 2018 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

Goldfinger

Goldfinger is the seventh novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series, first published in 1959. The 1964 movie was the third of the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent.

The title song was composed by John Barry and with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. It was performed by Shirley Bassey for the film’s opening and closing title sequences, as well as the soundtrack album release. The single release of the song gave Bassey her only Billboard Hot 100 top forty hit, peaking in the Top 10 at No. 8 .

The song has been recorded instrumentally by the Ventures, Hank Marvin (of the Shadows) and the Blue Stingrays (actually members of Tom Petty’s backup band, the Heartbreakers).

My instrumental arrangement is not a cover of any of these, but tracks the original in a surf-rock style.

May 18, 2018 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment

Once I Loved

“Once I Loved” (“O Amor em Paz”) is a bossa nova jazz standard composed in 1960 by Antônio Carlos Jobim. The first recording was in 1961 by João Gilberto. Jobim himself recorded an instrumental version of the song in 1963. Frank Sinatra’s 1967 recording is probably the best known in the English-speaking world.

In my instrumental arrangement, I tried to imagine how a guitar group like the Shadows might have played it.

May 17, 2018 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Travelin’ Man

Travelin’ Man” is best known as a 1961 hit single sung by Ricky Nelson. Singer-songwriter Jerry Fuller wrote it with Sam Cooke in mind, but Cooke’s manager was unimpressed and did not keep the demo, which eventually wound up being passed along to Nelson. His version reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Ventures recorded an instrumental version later that same year, but it was not released. In 1999 their version was finally published. My instrumental version was inspired by theirs, but is not really a cover.

May 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Pedal Pusher

“Pedal Pusher” was released by the Ventures in 1964 as a track on their album “Walk Don’t Run Vol 2”, and also as a single in 1965. Song writing credit is shared by all four members.

The title comes from this being one of the first times that the Ventures employed effects pedals on their recordings — both a volume pedal and a fuzz tone were used. This was a very early use of pedals by rock guitarists. Although volume pedals were common with pedal steel players, they were still unusual with rockers. And it was not until 1965 that the Rolling Stones used a fuzz tone prominently in “Satisfaction” and made everyone aware of the sound.

My version is basically a cover of the original, although I did leave out the organ part that is in the original.

May 15, 2018 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

The Light in the Shadows

“The Light in the Shadows” 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. With this one I tried to get a feel similar to the early 60’s style of the Shadows.

May 14, 2018 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

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