portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Friday, May 11, 2018

"I'm sorry, I have a cold . . . . . "

just for fun . . . . . I always found the Ventures 'straight', a little too camp and really really funny! Classic! Check out the notes as to who is on it and how it came to be.  Fascinating history of the Wrecking Crew (and no I didn't but this one when it came out either . . . . . . . )

On this day in music history: May 10, 1969 - “Hawaii Five-O”, the twenty-eighth album by The Ventures is released. Produced by Joe Saraceno, it is recorded at Western Recorders in Los Angeles, CA from April 30, 1968 and April 1969. Enjoying major success both at home in the US and abroad, in particular drawing a huge and enthusiastic following in Japan. During the 60’s The Ventures also tour the world extensively and record prolifically. The band release over two dozen albums between 1960 and 1968, making them the most successful instrumental rock band of all time. In early 1968, lead guitarist Nokie Edwards decides to leave the band to begin a solo career. He is replaced by new guitarist Gerry McGee, joining the other members Don Wilson (rhythm guitar), Bob Bogle (bass) and Mel Taylor (drums). In the Spring of 1968, the band record the theme song for a new series set to debut on CBS in the Fall. The song is “Hawaii Five-O”, written by film and television score composer Morton Stevens. The Ventures record the theme, augmented with member of legendary studio collective The Wrecking Crew. Along with the four members of the band, they are backed by another thirty five musicians. The session is arranged by veteran arranger George Tipton (Harry Nilsson, Jose Feliciano). The Ventures version of the “Hawaii Five-O” theme is released as a single by Liberty Records in September of 1968 just as the series is making its network debut. The series starring Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Zulu and Kam Fong, is an immediate hit, but The Ventures single initially makes no waves at all. With the show becoming a ratings hit, Liberty re-promotes the song at radio in early 1969, and it finally takes off. Entering the Hot 100 at #100 on March 8, 1969, it races up the chart, peaking nine weeks later at #4 on May 10, 1969. With the single climbing the chart, The Ventures quickly head back into the studio to record an entire album to go with their newly minted hit. Like many of their other albums, “Hawaii Five-O” consists largely of instrumental covers of recent hit songs, with the band covering Glen Campbell’s “Galveston”, Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy” and The Beach Boys’ “I Can Hear Music”. The album’s second side contains two medleys including The Classics IV’s “Spooky” and “Traces” and The 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In”. The album is another hit and becomes one of The Ventures’ best sellers. First released on CD in 1990, it is remastered and reissued in Europe in 2004, including seven bonus tracks including an original radio commercial advertising the album. The original eleven song album is remastered and reissued by Sundazed Music in 2012. Sundazed also reissues it as limited edition vinyl LP, pressed on clear vinyl. “Hawaii Five-O” peaks at number eleven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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