Archive for September, 2018

Vaya con Dios

Vaya con Dios (May Be God with You)” was written by Larry Russell, Inez James, & Buddy Pepper, and first recorded by Anita O’Day in December 1952. Les Paul and Mary Ford had a No. 1 recording of the song in 1953. It is considered one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

Although the Shadows did not record and instrumental version, they did back up Cliff Richard on his vocal recording of the song in 1963.

I tried to come up with a setting that might have been like a Shadows instrumental.

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September 25, 2018 at 11:08 am Leave a comment

Fly Away

“Fly Away” was originally a track on the Ventures 1968 album, “Flights of Fantasy”. This album featured mainly covers of currently popular material like “Scarborough Fair”, “Summertime Blues”, and “The Mighty Quinn”. “Fly Away” was one of the “filler” tracks. Songwriting credit is shared by the four band members, Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, Bob Bogle and Mel Taylor.

By 1968, the music scene had progressed well beyond the Ventures’ basic rock’n’roll origins, and the Ventures had adapted their sound and approach to stay current. This tune was something of a throwback to their roots.

September 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment

Magic Waltz

“Magic Waltz” is a composition by Ernie Lamprell.

September 19, 2018 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

Strike!!

“Strike!!” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more complex 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.

September 12, 2018 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

Cue Ball

“Cue Ball” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more complex 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.

September 10, 2018 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

Blue Tail Twist

“Blue Tail Twist” is a rockified setting of the Southern Folk Song, “Blue Tail Fly”. Burl Ives had a hit with the song in 1948.

In 1960, an instrumental rock group, Johnny and the Hurricanes, turned it into a rock number called “Beatnik Fly”, which reached the singles charts in both the USA and UK. At the time it was fairly popular to use well-known traditional songs as the basis for recordings. Johnny and the Hurricanes had an earlier hit called “Red River Rock”.

The Ventures picked up on this trend, including a versions of “Red River Valley” on their 1962 album “The Ventures Play Telstar, The Lonely Bull” and “Blue Tail Fly” on “Twist Party Vol. 2, also in 1962.

My arrangement of “Blue Tail Fly” is in this tradition and style , bit is not a cover of anyone else’s version.

September 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

Londonderry Air

“Londonderry Air” (Oh Danny Boy) is an air that originated in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is popular among the American Irish diaspora and is well known throughout the world. It was first published in the 1850s. The song “Danny Boy” uses the tune, with a set of lyrics written in the early 20th century.

Duane Eddy recorded the song in 1961, and the Shadows also recorded a very nice arrangement. I have been unable to find a version by the Ventures.

My arrangement is not based on any prior versions; rather I attempted to cast the song as a slow “surf anthem” as it might have been done by the Ventures or an early 60’s surf-rock group.

September 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm Leave a comment


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