Archive for December, 2018

Soulful Strut

The instrumental “Soulful Strut” peaked at #3, selling a million copies with the gold record awarded by the RIAA in January 1969, less than 3 months after the track’s release in 1968. The original artists were Young-Holt Unlimited (also known as Young-Holt Trio), who were from Chicago. Drummer Isaac “Redd” Holt and bassist Eldee Young were formerly members of Ramsey Lewis’ jazz trio.

As far as I can tell, the Ventures never covered this huge hit, although it was normally their practice to do their own versions of popular instrumentals.

So, I thought I’d give it a try for them. However, I did it in early 60’s surf-rock style, which probably would not have been their approach in 1969 or 70.

Whatever. Let’s file this one under my heading of “Anachronistic Surf Rock”.

December 21, 2018 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

I Venture Alone

“I Venture Alone” 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 an early 60’s slow dance in the style of surf rock and the Ventures.

December 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

The Friendly Beasts

“The Friendly Beasts” is a traditional Christmas song about the gifts that a donkey, cow, sheep, camel, and dove give to Jesus at the Nativity. The song seems to have originated in 12th-century France.

I have given the carol a guitar instrumental setting in the style of the early 1960s.


December 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Too Young

“Too Young” was written by Sidney Lippman, with lyrics by Sylvia Dee. It was published in 1951.  The best-known version of the song was recorded and released by Nat King Cole that same year. It was a million-selling record and reached the #1 position on the Billboard chart, staying at #1 for 5 weeks and altogether on the Best Seller chart for 29 weeks.

In 1972, a 14-year-old Donny Osmond had an international hit with the song; it peaked at #13 in the USA that year.

I was inspired to arrange the song after hearing a beautiful 1974 rendition by guitar great Nokie Edwards. My version does not attempt to recreate his, but is more in a Duane Eddy style.

December 2, 2018 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 180 other followers
December 2018