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.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Gladiators - Tovarich (single)

The Gladiators started out as Nero & the Gladiators and managed two chart records during the British instrumental boom of the early 1960s -- In the Hall of the Mountain King and Entry of the Gladiators.

The group was fronted by pianist Mike O'Neill, who billed himself as Nero and wore a toga on stage. The rest of the group (guitar, bass and drums) wore Roman legionnaire costumes.

Their two hit singles were recorded for Decca and after a third unsuccessful 45 for that label, the group switched to HMV for what proved to be their final outing, Bleak House/Tovarich (1963). Although O'Neill still led the group, the "Nero" billing had disappeared. No keyboards are evident on Tovarich, a stomper fronted by guitarist Colin Green.


Tovarich has appeared on several CD compilations over the years. One that's still available is Les Geants de la Guitares, a four-CD box from Magic Records in France. Guitar instrumental hits and obscurities from both Europe and the U.S. are included in this first-rate set.

I can't find any evidence that Tovarich is available as a legal download, although the title is frequently misspelled as "Tovaritch," so that may help you track it down.

In the meantime here's the "A" side of the Tovarich single by The Gladiators, featuring the piano of Mike O'Neill.

For a full account of the career of Nero & the Gladiators, visit the Obscure Bands of the 50's and 60's blog.

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