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.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Carnaby Street Set - I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman (single)

The Carnaby Street Set might have had the original version of I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman (CBS [U.K.], 1967), as claimed on the picture sleeve of this 45, but the hit recording, on the Deram label, was credited to the fictitious Whistling Jack Smith.

The claim that the Carnaby Street Set were first out of the gate with this novelty tune seems somewhat dubious since the Whistling Jack Smith version was the product of the song's composers, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. It's not likely that the songwriters would have let someone else have the initial crack at the song if they were planning their own version.

What is certain is that both records were issued around the same time in 1967 and both were recorded by mostly anonymous groups of British studio musicians. Here's the recording credited to the Carnaby Street Set.

I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman

I prefer the oompah-marching brass sound of the Carnaby Street Set to the whistling-dominated hit recording. I believe whistling novelty tunes should be taken in small doses or perhaps ignored entirely. Some sources suggest Mike Sammes, leader of the Mike Sammes Singers, well known to British fans of easy listening, was the whistler on the Whistling Jack Smith recording. Another musician posed as Smith for public appearances.

If you look hard (and really, really must have it) I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman by Whistling Jack Smith is available on the major download sites, but the Carnaby Street Set version seems to be confined to vinyl singles and, of course, YouTube.

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