Archive for June, 2018

White Silver Sands

“White Silver Sands” was written in 1957 by Charles ‘Red’ Matthews, although partial authorship is also claimed by Gladys Reinhart. The song was a big hit for Don Rondo in the summer of 1957, and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Charts.

The Ventures included the song on their 1961 album, “Colorful Ventures”. Each track on the album features a color in the title.

My arrangement is basically a cover of the Ventures approach except for the half-step modulation at the end.


June 18, 2018 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Blue Skies

Blue Skies”  was written by Irving Berlin in 1926. It has been recorded both as a vocal and instrumental by countless artists in many all genres, including jazz, country, and rock.

The Ventures included the song on their 1961 album, “Colorful Ventures”. Each track on the album features a color in the title.

My arrangement is very much based on theirs, although they didn’t wind up sounding all that much alike when I was done.

June 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

Green Eyes

“Green Eyes” was written in 1929 i(n Spanish) under the title “Aquellos Ojos Verdes” (“Those Green Eyes”) by with lyrics by Adolfo Utrera and music by Nilo Menéndez.

It has become very popular in Spanish, English and instrumental versions over the years.

I have not been able to find a recording by the Ventures, but the Shadows recorded a version in 1967 on their album “Jigsaw”. However, I really do not consider this the best period for the Shadows…perhaps in 1967 they were struggling a bit given the extremely creative and progressive musical environment at the time. 1967 saw “the summer of love” and the release of “Sergeant Peppers” and “Are You Experienced”, among others. At this time the Shadows were trying to modernize their sound — which did not always result in their best work.

In any event, my version is more like one the Shadows might have released in their earlier days.

June 15, 2018 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Sunny River

“Sunny River” was originally a track on the Ventures 1962 album “Twist with the Ventures”. Songwriting credit is given to Ventures guitarist/bassist Nokie Edwards and his friend Gene Moles — who very likely played on the original recording. Nokie Edwards and Gene Moles made a few other recordings under the group name “The Marksmen” at around the same time.

Gene Moles also worked for Mosrite guitars, and was likely instrumental (ha ha) in getting the Ventures to agree to endorse and use the brand.

My arrangement is based on the Ventures original, but adds a few key changes and other minor alterations.


June 14, 2018 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

A Living Trust

“A Living Trust” is an original composition in a classic rock vein…sort of an Allman Brothers style ballad. There is even a section which could be turned into an extended jam — although I did not do that here.

June 11, 2018 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

The Work Song

“The Work Song” was composed by jazz trumpter Nat Adderley (brother of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley). It first appeared as the title cut on his 1960 album. The tune was given lyrics and covered the following year by Oscar Brown Jr. on his album “Sin And Soul…and then some” and has become a standard in both vocal and instrumental forms.

Versions exist by many artists. It was recorded by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and the Ventures.

My version is instrumental guitar rock, but is not based on anyone else’s arrangements.

June 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Dean’s Theme

“Dean’s Theme” was originally a track on the Shadows 1964 album “The Sound of the Shadows”. Songwriting credit is given to leader Hank Marvin and bassist John Rostill. It also appeared on an EP.

It’s an interesting tune, and while not unheard-of, it is not typical of their style, being in a “smoky jazz” feel. It also appears that the original recording did not involve rhythm guitarist Bruce Welch.

My version is pretty much a straight cover.

June 9, 2018 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

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