Instrumentals of the 60’s “The Lost Music” 1960 to 1962

By Gary:

I thought this would be a breeze, but when I got into it, dates, musicians and a lot of items were not clear and contradicted themselves.  BUT, once started I could not quit so I have put time into this every day for the last 3 weeks.  I finally found an accurate listing of Labels, groups, BB rankings and then there were the law suits and stories.  What I did not realize was, a lot of the one hit groups were the studio guys using different names. 

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1960 would be a good year for instrumentals and introduce a new group, which would have 3 top Forty Hits, would be a huge influence for guitarists, and introduce us to the Mosrite Guitar out of Bakersfield California and have huge Album sales, “The Ventures”. 

A group from Buffalo NY would have a hit from the theme song of the Tommy Shannon Show on WKBW in Buffalo N.Y.  Then it would be re-released in 1963 and be a bigger hit, unfortunately they would not get royalties, writing credits and generally be taken advantage of by one of my favourite D.J.’s.

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Bill Black’s Combo would be back with three hits.
BillBlackCombo
Bill Black’s Combo
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1960 / Blue Tango (my Dad loved this song, not me) / #16 BB
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Really, a sad result to a great recording.  One of my favourite radio Disk Jockeys on WKBW 1520 on the AM dial in Buffalo NY was Tommy Shannon and this next  was his theme song.  It started around 1957 and this clip from 1961 will give you an idea where the original tune came from
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There was a group in Buffalo “The Rebels” they recorded the song and called it “Wild Weekend” it would be a minor hit in 1960/61 but two years later it would reach # 8 BB 1963.  The group did not get there royalties or the writing credits, basically they were taken advantage of.
RckinRebels
The Rebels / The Rockin’ Rebels / The Buffalo Rebels
1960/61 and then again in 1963 / Wild Weekend / The Rebels / # 8 BB 1963
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 Let’s get to the group that would sell so many Albums, The Ventures.

Their humble beginnings would start in Tacoma Washington and they would dominate the “Instrumental Scene” in the sixties, with TV Themes, Albums and singles.  They have sold in excess of 100 Million Records.

Ventures
The Ventures
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1960 / American Bandstand / Walk Don’t Run /
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1981 (1960 release) / Perfidia /
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Duane Eddy would be back with 3 hits.  One would be a carry over from 1959 Peter Gunn.
Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy
1960 / Because they’re Young /
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1960 / Shazam /
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2010 / Guitar Geek Festival / Peter Gunn /
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1960 / Because they’re Young (from the movie ) / #4 BB
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Johnny and the Hurricanes would be back with a rendition of an two old Folk Songs “Blue Tail Fly” and Down Yonder and a song about a Goose.
Hurricanes
Johnny and the Hurricanes
1960 / a rare alternate take of Beatnick Fly /
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1960 / Beatnick Fly / Johnny and the Hurricanes / # 15 BB
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1960 / Down Yonder / Johnny and the Hurricanes / # 48 BB
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1960 / Rockin’ Goose / Johnny and the Hurricanes / # 60 BB
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The next Artist would be a huge surprise.  The great guitarist, who pretty much ran Nashville, would enter into the “Pop” market in late 59 and 60.  I will put it in 60, but I think it was 59.  I should go down stairs and look, because I own the Album.
Atkins
Chet Atkins
1959/60 / Boo Boo Stick Beat / Chet Atkins / # 49 BB (not the country charts)
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1959/ 60 / Teensville / Chet Atkins / # 73 BB Pop Chart
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Chet would be joined by another Nashville Studio Musician who was firmly entrenched in the Country Sound, pianist Floyd Cramer.  Floyd would be prominent for many years, but would succumb to Lung Cancer in 1997 at the age of 64.
FloydCramer
Johnny Cash TV Show / Last Date /
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1958 / A little known Rock and Roll number called Flip Flop and Bop / # 87 BB and from the Last Date Album
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The next instrumental would be would be a copy of a recording from 1960 but would be popular in 1961.  The Shadows version of Apache would be on the British Charts for 5 weeks in 1960, but the Danish Guitarists version, Jorgen Ingman, would reach # 1 on the Chum Chart in Canada and # 2 in the US.
JorgenIngmanShadoes
Jorgen Ingman                            The Shadows
The Shadows in 2008 /
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1960 / Apache / The Shadows (5 weeks on the British Charts)
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1961 / Apache / Jorgen Ingman / # 1 Chum Chart # 2 BB
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This recording would be from a studio musician, and a recording of Glenn Millers old Standard “In the Mood”, with a little R&B style.  Ernie would leave us in 1997, but that one recording had some of the greatest musicians, Ernie Fields piano, Plas Johnson on Sax, Rene Hall on guitar and drummer Earl Palmer.  They would also be, with some minor changes:  B Bumble and the Stingers, the Marketts and the Routers.
ErnieFields
Ernie Fields
1959 into 1960 / In the Mood / Ernie Fields Orchestra / # 4 BB
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The last song for me in 1960, would be one of my favourites.  This again would be a collaboration of Studio Musicians and this is what happened.

The Piltdown Men were a Rock and roll Instrumental Recording studio group from Hollywood, California, featuring two lead saxophones. They were the brainchild of Ed Cobb and pianist Lincoln Mayorga of the For Preps, and their records were issued on the Capitol label.

Their name was inspired by the Piltdown Man hoax. In 1960, their tune “Brontosaurus Stomp”, featuring saxophonists Scott Gordon and Jackie Kelso, guitarist Bob Bain, bassist Tommy Tedesco, drummer Alan Brenmanen, and Mayorga on piano, reached #75 on the Billboard Hot 100.

They achieved great success in the UK, where their hits were, beginning 1960, “McDonald’s Cave” (based on “Old McDonald Had A Farm”, and originally the B-side of “Brontosaurus Stomp”), “Piltdown Rides Again” (based on Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”), and (in celebration of the coincidental start of The Flintstones cartoon series on television) “Goodnight Mrs. Flintstone” (based on “Good Night Ladies” by E.P.Christy). They released no more records after “Night Surfin” in 1962, produced by Nick Venet.

PiltdownMenBrontosourusStomp

1960 / Brontosaurus Stomp / The Piltdown Men / # 75 BB

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1960 / McDonalds Cave / The Piltdown Men / # 14 UK

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notesLine1961
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This would be another big year for instrumental hits.  The established people would return, but there would also be a lot of new artists.
Bill Blacks combo would have a pretty good year with 4 songs I remember but in checking, there were actually 6.
BillBlack2
Bill Blacks Combo
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1961 / My Girl Josephine (my favourite) / Bill Blacks Combo / from the Twist Her LP
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Duane Eddy had a few hits, but I remember buying only one.
Duane2
Duane Eddy
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1961 / Pepe / Duane Eddy and the Rebels /  # 18 BB
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Another group from the Clovis New Mexico Studios, would be heard from.  They would have one huge hit, which my Dad loved, Wheels.
StringAlongs
The String-a-longs
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The other group from Clovis would have a hit in 1961. They were a  great group and I own all of their recordings.
Fireballs
The Fireballs
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The Ventures would be back with a great song and arrangement.
Ventures
The Ventures
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This group was full of great musicians, why, because they were the Stax House Band, with Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Booker T and so on.
MarKeys
The Mar-Keys
Live in Europe/ Last Night / The Mar-Keys /
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This is my favourite song from the Royaltones.
The Royaltones
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The absolute King of the Surf Guitar would be heard from in 1961, Dick Dale and the Deltones.  Lets Go Trippin’ would be considered the first surf song and he would use the first 100 Watt Fender Amp.
DelTones
Dick Dale
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1961 / Let’s Go Trippin’ / Dick Dale / # 4 in LA # 60 BB
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The next instrumental would be from the great Freddie King and is still one of my favourite songs.  The late Jeff Healy had a great version of this, I love this song.
FreddieKing
Freddie King
Hide Away / Live /
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This year would be the first hit for the late Paul Revere and Raiders, from Boise Idaho.  This would be the only “instrumental” hit to crack the top 40, the rest of the many hits would be featuring Mark Lindsay.
PaulRevere
Paul Revere (Dick) and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders, Casino Rama, Orillia Ontario / Like Long Hair /
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Nashville would be heard from again in the form of pianist Floyd Cramer.
FloydCramer2
Floyd Cramer
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B Bumble and the Stingers, were the house band for Rendezvous Records, but in 1961 & 62 they cracked the top 40.
Bumble
1961 / Bumble Boogie / B Bumble and the Stingers / # 21 BB
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How it happened

In 1959, Earl Palmer, René Hall and Plas Johnson, all African American musicians from Louisiana, were the house band at Rendezvous Records. According to Palmer, the three friends “always talked about how we could make some money and not leave the studio. One day I said, ‘Let’s do a rock version of “In the Mood”‘. The single, credited to the Ernie Fields Orchestra, became a hit, reaching #4 on the US pop charts in early 1960.

“Bumble Boogie”

Hall then came up with the idea for B. Bumble and the Stingers, taking the same approach to a piece of classical music. Prompted by record producer Kim Fowley, he approached pianist Jack Fina, whose 1946 swing arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee” for Freddy Martin and his Orchestra, called “Bumble Boogie” (RCA Victor 20-1829), had reached #7 on the charts and been used in the 1948 Walt Disney animated film Melody Time. Using Fina’s arrangement, Fowley recorded pianist Ernie Freeman on two tracks, one using a grand piano for the rhythm part, while the other featured a “tack piano”, a modified upright piano with tacks attached to the hammers to create a tinny “honky tonk” sound. The other musicians on the session, at Gold Star Studios, were Palmer on drums, Red Callender on bass, and Tommy Tedesco on guitar.

“Bumble Boogie” went to #21 on the Billboard charts in June 1961. Because the session musicians all had other studio commitments, a teen band from Ada, Oklahoma, who had played no part in the recording itself, were recruited to handle promotion and public appearances. Their names were given as Fred Richards, Don Orr, and “B. Bumble”, a pseudonym for guitarist R. C. Gamble.

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How it happened

“Nut Rocker”

Follow-up records “Boogie Woogie”, with Freeman’s tack piano double tracked, and “Caravan”, were less successful, and Rendezvous seemed to lose interest in B. Bumble and the Stingers. Fowley then secured the copyright to an arrangement of Tchaikovsky‘s “March” from the Nutcracker Suite, and took this to local entrepreneur and pianist H. B. Barnum, who recorded it under the name “Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks” on the small Del Rio label. When Rod Pierce of Rendezvous heard it, he convinced Fowley that his label could do a better version with their own band.
A recording date was quickly arranged, but on the day, Freeman did not appear. In his place, guitarist and arranger René Hall rushed pianist Al Hazan into the Rendezvous office, which was rigged up as an improvised studio. According to Hazan, “Rod decided to record the first take while I was still trying to practice the piece with the other musicians. Because I was so rushed to learn ‘Nut Rocker’, I was not happy at all with my performance on that first take. However, in spite of my asking Rod to let me do it over again, he said he liked it just fine the way it was.”Released as “Nut Rocker” in February 1962, the record went to # 23 in the US and # 1 in the UK. Del Rio struck a deal with Randy Wood of Dot Records and re-released what they were now calling “(The Original) Nut Rocker” by Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks, but it was not a hit.

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A group from Culver City California, had a surf rock hit on Candix Records.  Unfortunately the Label would be bankrupt in a year.
the frogmen
The Frogmen
Jim Young (rhythm guitar), Dennis Farley (lead guitar), Mike Anderson (drums), Raymond Sullivan (alto saxophone), Larry Bartone (tenor saxophone), Larry Wnuk (piano
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A surf rock duo called “The Duals”  from Los Angeles recorded a “Car” song in 1961.  They were black so their faces would never appear on any album, they had legal troubles, like you would not believe. 

Duals

The Duals
Here is the story

“Stick Shift” — the Dual’s only hit single

At the time of their record contract signing, the two boys by then had called themselves the Duals. After many rehearing’s, the Duals released their first single “Stick Shift” (b/w “Cruising”) in 1961. The song featured prominent sound effects — the sound of the engine, the screeching tires, and all that — many music writers think that these effects were the selling point of “Stick Shift.”
A minor label, Star Revue leased the master recordings to New York-based Sue Records which released “Stick Shift.” The single climbed all the way to its peak position at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. But subsequent singles failed to chart, thus the Duals would be lined with other one-hit wonders.

Legal battle

Despite the hit, the Duals as well as Barrett had a difficult time dealing with it, because they never received any payment from Sue Records. Thus a long, legal battle had set in and eventually stretched for over four decades. Finally, The Duals received their first pay check in 2004 (through EMI Records) from earnings of their only hit single “Stick Shift.” However, Bellinger was deceased by then so his son Ron Jr. received the money on his father’s behalf.

 

1961 / Stick Shift / The Duals / # 25 BB

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notesLine1962notesLine

Their would be a lot of new artists in 62 and some of the old reliable people would return.

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The Stax-Volt House Band or part of it would be heard from in the form of Booker T. & the M.G.’s.  If you ever wondered what MG stood for, it was not the car but Memphis Group.

Booker T. & the M.G.’s

https://strathdee.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/booker-t-and-the-mgs/

Green Onions (live) Booker T, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn /Stax Celebration 2003 /

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  and 1967 /

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1962 / Green Onions / Booker T. & the M.G.’s / # 3 BB # 1 R&B

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This group really did not exist.  Billy Joe and the Checkmates and the Percolator Twist and this is their story.

In case you’re wondering who this Billy Joe person was, that’s a little complicated. Billy Joe Hunter, strictly speaking, did not exist. “Billy Joe” was simply a stage name for Doré co-founder Lou Bedell, who himself was alternately known as Lew Bedell or Lou Bideu. It was Bideu who was received a co-writing credit for “Percolator (Twist)” along with Ernie Freeman.

Despite posing as a the titular bandleader for publicity purposes, Bedell/Bideu didn’t actually play on the recording — the group you hear is Freeman (xylophone), Rene Hall (guitar), Red Callender (bass), and Earl Palmer (drums). The group (most likely with different musicians) released several more pop singles through the mid 1960s — even branching into soul/funk in the early ’70’s — but as far as I can tell none of them charted.

Percolaator

1962 / Percolator Twist / Billy Joe & the Checkmates / # 10 BB

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Dave “Baby” Cortez would return with “Rinky Dink”

Cortez

Dave “Baby” Cortez

1962 / Rinky Dink / Dave “Baby” Cortez / # 10 BB

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Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers from Norfolk Virginia would reach # 12 with the “B” side of their recording.  The A side was Dig Yourself and was promoted as such, but then a disc jockey turned it over and “Wiggle Wobble” went to # 12 BB.  Les Cooper would leave us in 2013.

LesCooper

Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers

1962 / Wiggle Wobble / Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers / # 12 BB  Great Recording

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Bobby Gregg was a drummer who left us in 2014.  He is known for playing with many famous artists, Bod Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone etc.  But in 1962 he would hit the chart with two songs, The Jam # 14 and Potato Peeler # 89.  They were a group of very talented studio musicians, which would simply be known as Bobby Gregg and Friends.  The great guitarist Roy Buchanan would play on Potato Peeler.

Gregg

Bobby Gregg

1962 / The Jam Pts. 1 & 2 / Bobby Gregg / # 14 BB

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1962 / Potato Peeler / Bobby Gregg / # 89 BB

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Next we will look at one of the greatest Sax players ever.  Unfortunately he would be killed in 1971.  In the fifties, he played with the Coasters, worked with Buddy Holly in session work, but in 1962 he made it to # 17 BB and # 1 R&B with Soul Twist, of course I am talking about the great King Curtis.

Curtis

King Curtis

1962 / Soul Twist / King Curtis / # 17 BB # 1 R&B /

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Staying with Sax players, I would buy the Album and use it late at night when me and my date were just chillin’ .  Ace Cannon would work with Bill Black and would tour with Hi Records.

Ace

Ace Cannon

1962 / Tuff / Ace Cannon / # 17 BB

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Duane Eddy would have two big hits this year.  One was truly just and instrumental, but the other had background singers.

Duane3

Duane Eddy

https://strathdee.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/duane-eddy/

Live / Dance with the Guitar Man /

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1962 / Moanin’ N’ Twistin’ / Duane Eddy / # 18 BB

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1962 / Dance with the Guitar Man / Duane Eddy / # 12 BB

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Another group of Studio Musicians would create a group under the name, “The Mar-Kets” which would eventually become just “The Marketts”.  They would crack the top 50 twice in 62 and huge in 63 and again in 66.  I guess they could be called another Surf Rock Group, but they were never a real group as they used various studio guys.  The driving force was Michael Z Gordon.

Markets

The Mar-Kets or The Marketts

1962 / Balboa Blue / The Mar-Kets / # 48 BB

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1962 / Surfers Stomp / The Mar-Kets / # 31 BB

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Michael Z Gordon would create another hit, under a different name, The Routers.  He used session musicians and recorded “Let’s Go (Pony)” which peaked at # 19 BB.  This song is used in sports arena’s today. 

Routers

Yes, the same photo, but the Routers

1962 / Let’s Go (Pony) / The Routers / # 19 BB

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The King of the Surf guitar would be back in 1962 with his signature song “Misirlou”, Dick Dale & the Del-Tones.

Dale

Dick Dale

This is from the movie “A Swingin’ Affair” / a very young Dick Dale in 1963 /

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and 1994 on the Conan O’Brien Show /

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1962 / Misirlou / Dick Dale & the Del-Tones /

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This British Band, was the backing band for Billy Fury, The Tornados.  In 1962 they set a precedent in being the First British Instrumental Group to have a # 1 hit in both the U.S. and Britain.

Tornados

The Tornados

Video / Telstar /

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and then the original line-up /

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1962 / Telstar / The Tornados / # 1 BB & UK

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The great soul / jazz organist Jimmy McGriff would crack the top 40 in 62 with the Ray Charles song “I got a woman”

Jimmy McGriff

1962 / Jimmy McGriff / I got a woman / # 20 BB

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5 responses to “Instrumentals of the 60’s “The Lost Music” 1960 to 1962

  1. Telstar is a good song ..well-written Sir!!
    Keep up the good work
    Arturo

  2. Denny MacDougall

    Your posts on 50’s and 60’s instrumentals brought back some great memories and reminded me of how much I enjoyed this genre which for the most part has been lost in pop music. How about Pipeline by the Chantays or Memphis by Lonnie Mack?

  3. BIG BOOMER THANK YOUS!!

    This is such a detailed and interesting compilation . Know that Boomers everywhere send KUDOS for all your hours of diligent research…from the Boomers who are your fans and the Boomers who haven’t connected with you yet. This is a tremendous musical legacy of our generation in general but specifically the non-singing popular records.

    It is easy to overlook these instrumentals when there was such a wealth of vocalists emerging in our youth. But you have captured the essence of this evolving genre in the 50’s and 60’s.

    Linda from Wiarton

    On Sat, Jun 4, 2016 at 10:17 PM, Russ & Garys The Best Years of Music wrote:

    > RussGary posted: “By Gary: I thought this would be a breeze, but when I > got into it, dates, musicians and a lot of items were not clear and > contradicted themselves. BUT, once started I could not quit so I have put > time into this every day for the last 3 weeks. I finall” >

    • From Gary: Thank you Linda, I came up with the idea, because over the years I have made Cd’s, that I play again and again and they are only instrumentals. It was a bigger project that I had envisioned, but I just could not let it go. So, I guess all in all it consumed a month of my time, mainly all of March 2016.
      Gary

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