Posts filed under ‘Oldies’

Bluer than Blue

“Bluer than Blue” was a track on the 1961 album “The Colorful Ventures”.  On the LP, each song had a color in the title. The album included standards like “Blue Moon” as well as contemporary hits like “Greenfields”.

It also included a number of tracks written to fill out the album.  “Bluer than Blue” is one of these. It was written by Tommy Alsup and Dick Glasser who wrote “Guitar Twist” for the Ventures “Twist with the Ventures” album.

At this point in the Ventures’ career, the group was only Bob Bogle and Don Wilson. they did not have either a regular drummer or bass player. Only Bogle and Wilson are pictured on the “Colorful Ventures” cover. Bogle and Wilson were almost constantly on the road as well.

Given these factors — and that Alsup was a skilled guitarist — it is likely that neither Bogle nor Wilson were actually involved in this track. In the book “Walk Don’t Run, The Story of the Ventures”, the record producer makes no apologies for including tracks recorded exclusively by studio players.

I can also find no evidence that the Ventures ever performed this song live.


October 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

The Intruder

“The Intruder” was a track on the Ventures 1962 album, Going to the Ventures Dance Party! It was written by guitarist Billy Strange, who is considered to be one the elite studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. He also wrote “Limbo Rock”.

The Ventures version uses at least three guitars (plus bass and drums), with at least two sharing lead parts. I have pared it down to use only two, combining the lead parts into one — as the Ventures might have done it live.

October 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment


“Wildcat” was a “filler” track on the Ventures 1966 album “Wild Things!”, which mainly featured covers of then currently popular songs like “Wild Thing”,
“Sweet Pea”, “Summer in the City” and “Hanky Panky”.

As is usually the case for me, I prefer the ‘filler tracks” — and this one is no exception.

My arrangement omits the keyboards of the original, but is otherwise a cover.

October 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment


“Bulldog” was a track on the Ventures’ 1961 album, “Another Smash”. The song was composed by George Tomsco, the original lead guitarist for the Fireballs. My approach is based on the Ventures’ version.


October 11, 2018 at 7:47 am Leave a comment

Nokie Shuffle

“Nokie Shuffle” is an original composition.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending and performing at the 10th annual Ventures Fan Fest. The theme this year was “A Tribute to Nokie Edwards”.

Nokie was an incredible guitarist whose skills took the Ventures to  another level in the early 60s. At the fan fest many played his numerous “signature” tunes. I resolved to develop a better understanding of his style, which has never come easily to me.

I usually do better going for the “spirit” of a style than trying to directly imitate things note for note. “Nokie Shuffle” is an attempt to do that.

October 9, 2018 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

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.

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

Older Posts

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

Join 128 other followers


October 2018
« Sep