Listen To:

Selected MP3s of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, and classic easy listening from the original vinyl.

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Guitars & All That Jazz was a radio station that webcast via Live365 for 11 years, ending in June 2011. The playlist consisted of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, early rock 'n' roll, lounge music and classic easy listening.

I hope to share some of this music with you via this blog. Most of it will be taken from the original vinyl (LPs and 45s) , cassettes and the occasional commercially unavailable CD.

Here's hoping you'll find something to enjoy. Please note files are available only for a limited time.

I urge you to purchase the digital version of the albums featured, either on CD or via download, wherever possible.

Listen to the Music
There are now two music streams. Click the appropriate player to the right.
1. Guitars & All That Jazz: Five hours of the best in jazz, guitars and other instrumental gems. New songs are added weekly.
2. Tiki Shores: Music to sweep you away to a tropical isle, a South American dance floor or a bossa nova on the beach at Rio. About 4.5 hours of classic exotica music, Latin rhythms and bossa nova.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bill Justis - More Instrumental Hits

After saxophonist, arranger and producer Bill Justis's heady days at Sun Records, where he recorded the hit Raunchy and produced sessions by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, he moved on to the Mercury subsidiary Smash Records. There Justis recorded a series of instrumental cover albums that began in 1962 with Bill Justis Plays 12 Big Instrumental Hits. (For more info on that LP and a few details of Justis's career take a look at this previous post.)

These albums, featuring versions of the top pop and rock instrumentals of the day, were designed to compete with similar LPs being put out by The Ventures. Most of Justis's arrangements followed those of the original hits pretty closely, as is the case in the cover of Al Hirt's chart success, Java. This comes from More Instrumental Hits (1965), not the second in the series as one might surmise from the title, but the seventh (there were at least eight).


Most of Bill Justis's Sun recordings have made their way into the digital domain, on CD and as downloads. But none of his Smash albums appear to be legally available. Still, used copies of the LPs turn up frequently online and somewhat less often in thrift store bins.

Justis did have a No. 1 hit while with Smash, but in Australia, not in the U.S. Tamouré, with a pseudo-Tahitian flavour to it, was also a Top 10 record on WLS in Chicago, but nationally it just bubbled under the Hot 100 in 1963. Strangely the song was never included on a Justis LP.

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