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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Billy Vaughn - Theme from The Sundowers

Although Billy Vaughn (1919-1991) recorded with large string orchestras at the beginning of his long stint with the Dot label, it wasn't until he developed his "twin-sax" sound around 1956 that his albums began to sell in big numbers. Titles like Sail Along Silv'ry Moon, Billy Vaughn Plays, Blue Hawaii and Golden Saxophones stayed on the charts for months.

Vaughn was often pictured on the LP covers holding a saxophone (or two). But he never actually played on the albums. The twin-sax leads were double tracked by Justin Gordon, who, like the rest of the Vaughn orchestra, received no credit at the time.

Theme from The Sundowners (1960) came in the middle of Vaughn's classic twin-sax period and followed the usual formula of covering recent movie and TV themes and pop songs. But this LP marked a return to the use of strings on many of the tracks, a fact that was pointed out by the sparse and banal cover notes.

The leadoff track was Theme from The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, a well-received 1960 dramatic film that garnered a supporting actress Oscar nomination for Shirley Knight. The movie also starred Dorothy McGuire and Robert Preston. The music was by Max Steiner.

Theme from The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Theme from The Sundowners was combined with another Billy Vaughn LP from 1960 on a two-on-one CD by the Collectables label in 2006. It is, of course, out of print and commanding the usual ridiculous prices on eBay and Amazon.

The Sundowners is also available as a download from all the major sources, but the quality is likely to be substandard. A slightly better choice would probably be the four-CD set Billy Vaughn, Vol. 2 from the Real Gone Jazz label, which specializes in releases that are out of copyright in Europe. Quality of this company's releases varies, depending largely on the source material, but the price is right. You shouldn't pay more than $10-12 for this set that includes the contents of The Sundowners and seven other Vaughn LPs. A lot of dealers have it, including this one.

Here's the title song of The Sundowners album.

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