Posts filed under ‘traditional’

Estrellita

“Estrellita” (Little Star) was composed in 1912 by Mexican composer Manual Ponce. It is by far his best known work, and has been performed and recorded by orchestras, instrumentalists and singers ever since it was written.

Despite its appeal, I could find no versions by any instrumental guitar groups like the Ventures or the Shadows.

I decided to rectify the situation.

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January 28, 2019 at 5:59 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

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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