Posts filed under ‘Rockabilly’

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

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


“Detour” is a Western swing ballad written by Paul Westmoreland in 1945. The first recording was by Jimmy Walker with Paul Westmoreland and His Pecos River Boys, released in November 1945.

Patti Page released a version in 1951that first entered the Billboard chart on August 4, 1951, and stayed for 16 weeks – peaking at number five.

Duane Eddy recorded an instrumental version on his 1958 album “Have ‘Twangy Guitar Will Travel”. It was also used as the “b-side” to his 1959 single “The Lonely One”.

My arrangement is based on the Duane Eddy version.

May 19, 2018 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

Windy and Warm

The instrumental “Windy and Warm” was written by John D. Loudermilk for Chet Atkins, who recorded it in 1961. It was very popular and became something of a signature tune for Atkins.

Versions from 1963 also exist by the Ventures and the Spotniks and from 1966 by Doc Watson. Really more of a fingerpicker than surf rock, it remains a popular acoustic guitar solo today.

My arrangement is, in feel,  more along the lines of the Chet Atkins original, although I play it on my Gretsch (Chet Atkins) electric using a pick.

May 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Lonesome Town

Lonesome Town” was written by Baker Knight.  Ricky Nelson’s version became a hit single in the United States, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. The song was also featured on his 1959 album, Ricky Sings Again.

The Ventures released a version on 1961 on their album The Ventures.

My instrumental arrangement actually uses a setting closer in spirit to Ricky Nelson’s version than the Ventures.

April 30, 2018 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

(theme from) Silver City

The “(theme from) Silver City” was released by the Ventures on their 1961 album, “Colorful Ventures”. This album featured a color in every song title. It was also released as a single that year, but did not chart.

The music was written by composer/arranger/producer Hank Levine, and — though it sounds like it could be — it is not a Western movie theme.

My version is more an arrangement than a cover.

April 29, 2018 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Arthur

“I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Arthur” was the “B-Side” on the Shadows 1965 single “The War Lord” which was their last top 20 UK hit in the 1960s.

Despite the rather silly title, the tune — composed by bassist John Rostill — is actually pretty cool with a nice Rockabilly swing. I would describe my rendition as a “loose cover”.

April 20, 2018 at 6:54 pm Leave a comment

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