Bill Doggett’s Honky Tonk; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

Honky Tonk (Doggett/Butler), issued by the famous King label, is another one of those things that simply, just works. For me, it is timeless, feel good and I never get sick of listening to it. Even the crowd noises and clapping is infectious.

Definitely the guitar solo; I think every phrase of it became a lick in every guitarists bag of tricks at the time we got into it.

The charm of this oddity seems to be a blend between simplicity, sincerity and the marvellous, “suggestive” sound of that saxophone! Everything fits! I can even live with the sax’s meandering into nowhere “extended” solo…

Bill Doggett

Bill Doggett

One thing that mystifies me somewhat, is that there isn’t an organ solo. After all it is Bill Doggett‘s group. We just get to hear him gurgling in the background on his Hammond B3.

Anywho, it is time. Time to return to a much simpler era (or was it?), 1956, and let Honky Tonk take you where it will…

Personel undetermined.

 We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.

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The Rockin’ Rebels’ Wild Weekend; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

The Rockin’ Rebels: The Boys From Buffalo NY.

Sometimes things just work. The playing on The Rockin’ Rebels’ Wild Weekend (composers: Kipler/Kipler/Balon/Gorman) is definitely not virtuosic; the melody is somewhat memorable and the performance is questionable. I LOVE it! It’s moody, nostalgic and grabs my ear in a kind of I’m going anyway whether you’re coming or not way!

You must listen to the out; the drummer turns it around on the fade and they just left it there! It’s great. Come back with me now to 1960, and dig into The Rockin’ Rebels’ Wild Weekend, the tune that wouldn’t give up…

 

Personnel as determined: Mickey Kipler sax; Jim Kipler guitar; Paul Balon guitar; Tom Gorman drums.

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

The Ramsey Lewis Trio’s The In Crowd; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

The Ramsey Lewis Trio: Then

I love Ramsey LewisThe In Crowd (composer: Billy Page). It’s from that era when instrumentals were used to lead into the news on radio. I love the simplicity of the improv and and that airy, open feel of the groove. The whole tune kind of moves like it’s propelled from solar energy.

Let’s go back to 1965, and join The Ramsey Lewis Trio’s In Crowd

Personnel as determined: Ramsey Lewis Piano; Eldee Young bass; IsaacReddHolt drums.

The Ramsey Lewis Trio: Now

Now, let’s do it again in 2004:

Personnel as determined: Ramsey Lewis Piano.

We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.

Floyd Cramer’s Last Date; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

Floyd Cramer‘s Last Date tugs at my heart on so many levels. Memories of a country era long since passed; a radio era long since passed; family that has passed on… I never get sick of listening to it and I welcome it back to my ears like an old friend each time I stumble upon it.

Those famous slurred licks in the higher octaves for me, define a very hip country era. I think of his work with Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Eddie Arnold to name a few; unmistakable licks. Listen to the colour palette on this; vibraphone on strong beats; very functional string arrangement. I love the vocal background, just enough to bring out the sentiment!

Come back to 1960 and melt into Floyd Cramer‘s Last Date

Personnel as determined: Floyd Cramer piano.

We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’ A Taste Of Honey; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

Herb Alpert Back In The Day When Enjoying Whipped Cream & Other Delights

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana BrassA Taste Of Honey (Composers: Bobby Scott/Ric Marlow) was feelgood, hip, swingin’ NOT BEATLE’S music that worked. This tune was anywhere music could be stuffed; before the news, commercials, game shows AND in everyone’s record collection! Guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Ah Yes, That Famous Cover. What Appeared To Be Whipped Cream, Was In Fact, A White Blanket Scattered With Artfully-Placed Daubs Of Shaving Cream— The Cream On Her Head Was Real.

A Taste Of Honey has great playing, a clean, “real” players’ production quality (even the bass drum has character) to it AND, an excellent arrangement with an array of acoustic instruments.

Let’s go back to 1965, to listen and groove to Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass‘ A Taste Of Honey

Personnel as determined: Herb Alpert trumpet; Tonni Kalash trumpet; Bob Edmondson trombone; Lou Pagani piano; John Pisano guitar; Pat Senatore bass; Julius Wechter marimba; Nick Ceroli drums.

We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.

Bent Fabric’s Alley Cat; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

Danish Composer Bent Fabricius-Bjerre AKA Bent Fabric.

Bent Fabric‘s Alley Cat (composer: Bent Fabric) was so popular in the sixties that it actually came to life as a dance. There wasn’t a Bar Mitzvah, wedding or actually, any formal family function where the band didn’t play Alley Cat so that everyone, all ages, could do The Alley Cat! The dancers always got excited because it would demand a certain routine which, someone would always teach the dancers; this routine/tune would start out very slow and gradually increase in tempo until it was so fast few could keep up.

I always thought Bent Fabric was a really hip band; the tune always fascinated me. It’s tempo was kind of sexy, kind of nonchalant and was very attractive to the ear. I love the classic “show biz” coda at the end. Alley Cat actually won the Grammy Award for Best Rock & Roll Recording, 1962.

Okay, everyone come back to 1962 with me, line up and, get ready to dance and/or listen to Bent Fabric‘s Alley Cat

Personnel as determined: Bent Fabric piano.

We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.

The Champs’s Tequila; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

The Champs: The One Hit Wonder Group With The Allstar Pedigree Over Time, Including Seals & Crofts; Glen Campbell.

I love the Champs’ Tequila (composer: Daniel Flores) on so many levels. It really never gets old and stands for so much fun in pop culture.

Tequila‘s guitar riff is probably second only to Bo Diddley‘s in the musical scheme of things. When you mix a one word vocal, a dirty NO, filthy saxophone solo with a swingin’ B section, you get something that will never die! The tune was essentially a jam used on the “B” side of Dave Burgess’ (Dave DupreeTrain To Nowhere, which was supposed to be the hit.

Let’s go back to 1958 and have a Tequila party…

Personnel as determined: Danny Flores (aka Chuck Rio) sax, keyboards, vocal; Buddy Bruce guitar; Gene Alden drums

We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.