Original and two best covers (IYHO)

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"I'll See You in My Dreams" is a standard, composed by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Gus Kahn, and published in 1924. It's a typical pre-Swing Era foxtrot.

The original from '24 is actually not very memorable recording, so I won't even post the link (but you can find it on Youtube).

However, by the time the Swing Era rolls around, the song gets some good traction.

Peggy Lee

From a radio performance, this version was never contemporarily released on a record.

Peggy holds that torch.



And an honorable mention, Ella Fitzgerlad

I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (Jones - Kahn), Ella Fitzgerald vocal, accompanied by the V-Disc Jumpers - October 12, 1945 (V-Disc session)

Oh Ella!



But the best version is the Western Swing version with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.

Also not contemporarily released on a record. Recorded during multi-disk recording session, it's thought that Wills got drunk with his usual singer of the period Tommy Duncan the night before, and as this was the last scheduled recording, they both failed to show for the session. They had six songs already in the can and this was a spare.

Wills faithful sideman, Clifton G. "Sleepy" Johnson, normally only a guitar player in the band rose to the moment and made this wonderful, fast-paced Western Swing version.

Since Johnson was an unknown as a singer and Duncan was contracted to get top vocal billing, the song was never released until various Bob Wills anthologies came out in the 1970's. Recorded May 17, 1938.

 

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Nobody been here since last week? Ok, here's another...

The Stranglers "Golden Brown" was released in 1982. It's noted for its distinctive harpsichord instrumentation and its movement between 3/4 and a more obscure 13/8 time signature and a subtle pitch change mid-song.

What's it about? Hugh Cornwell states, "'Golden Brown' works on two levels. It's about heroin and also about a girl." Essentially the lyrics describe how "both provided me with pleasurable times."

The original:



During the Covid lockdown, a musician and video maker Laurence Mason, created a Dave Brubeck ‘Golden Brown’ version, using the visuals from a Dave Brubeck quartet TV concert done for Benelux Television in 1964.



Mason played all the instrument parts for the instrumental version and edited the video to match.

Since Brubeck was no stranger to 3/4 time as well as other more exotic signatures, and the visual editing by Mason is so tight, it is an impressive fantasy performance. I must say, I was fooled when I first saw it.

Really, they are playing 'Take Five'.

The original Take Five version is here:



Joe Morello (drummer) performance is so great. Except when he is doing his solo, he is the definition of attention-deficit cool.

Half of the original is a drum solo. As one Youtube wag puts it, "Brubeck's reaction to the insane Morello drum solo is what gets me. Brubeck quietly stares at Morello like a hungry seagull while Morello acts like a tap dancer on meth for 3 good minutes, then as the insane quantum physics level drum show seamlessly glides into the original groove, Brubeck just turns around and keeps playing his piano like a happy donkey trotting into the sunset." He's right, Brubeck does a lot of staring.

The second cover is by a Mexican Mariachi group, the Mararchis from 2013.

It's helped by the fact that Hugh Cornwell, the original singer is along to sing the lyrics in the Mariachi version.

As the story goes, he woke up one day and said "Golden Brown in Mariachi style!"

The group 'The Mariachis' were selected, and the rest is Youtube history.

The Marachis wrote: "A great honour and great fun to meet and play with one of our favourite legends of music and being able to perform a "Golden Brown" remake with legend Hugh Cornwell."

Very well done, they look like they are all having lots of fun.

 
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Virgulino Ferreira

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Nobody been here since last week? Ok, here's another...

Great text, much appreciated, thank you!

This thread and Snagg's dogges are my favorite threads. It' a shame that the botched server migration has left this thread mutilated. Most videos are missing: most posts had 3 videos. I alerted the admins several times.:( (@techadmin @techadmin1 @admin1 @Editor @MR.CLEAN)
 

WhoaTed

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Nobody been here since last week? Ok, here's another...

The Stranglers "Golden Brown" was released in 1982. It's noted for its distinctive harpsichord instrumentation and its movement between 3/4 and a more obscure 13/8 time signature and a subtle pitch change mid-song.

What's it about? Hugh Cornwell states, "'Golden Brown' works on two levels. It's about heroin and also about a girl." Essentially the lyrics describe how "both provided me with pleasurable times."

The original:



During the Covid lockdown, a musician and video maker Laurence Mason, created a Dave Brubeck ‘Golden Brown’ version, using the visuals from a Dave Brubeck quartet TV concert done for Benelux Television in 1964.



Mason played all the instrument parts for the instrumental version and edited the video to match.

Since Brubeck was no stranger to 3/4 time as well as other more exotic signatures, and the visual editing by Mason is so tight, it is an impressive fantasy performance. I must say, I was fooled when I first saw it.

Really, they are playing 'Take Five'.

The original Take Five version is here:



Joe Morello (drummer) performance is so great. Except when he is doing his solo, he is the definition of attention-deficit cool.

Half of the original is a drum solo. As one Youtube wag puts it, "Brubeck's reaction to the insane Morello drum solo is what gets me. Brubeck quietly stares at Morello like a hungry seagull while Morello acts like a tap dancer on meth for 3 good minutes, then as the insane quantum physics level drum show seamlessly glides into the original groove, Brubeck just turns around and keeps playing his piano like a happy donkey trotting into the sunset." He's right, Brubeck does a lot of staring.

The second cover is by a Mexican Mariachi group, the Mararchis from 2013.

It's helped by the fact that Hugh Cornwell, the original singer is along to sing the lyrics in the Mariachi version.

As the story goes, he woke up one day and said "Golden Brown in Mariachi style!"

The group 'The Mariachis' were selected, and the rest is Youtube history.

The Marachis wrote: "A great honour and great fun to meet and play with one of our favourite legends of music and being able to perform a "Golden Brown" remake with legend Hugh Cornwell."

Very well done, they look like they are all having lots of fun.


Hell yes, most excellent thank you.

(Mariachi fan here btw)
 

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"Secret Agent Man" is a song written by P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri. The most well-known recording of the song was made by Johnny Rivers. Rivers also sang the song for the opening titles of the American broadcast of the British spy series 'Danger Man', which aired in the U.S. as 'Secret Agent' from 1964 to 1966.

The curious thing is Rivers record is not the original, nor the first recording, nor wasn't even made until two years after he sang the first verse for 'Secret Agent". And no, Johnny Rivers didn't write the song, his version is just one of many that were released on record in 1966. A deep dive:

Lew Grade of ITC Entertainment was looking for program ideas in formats that could be easily exported to other English-speaking TV markets, and especially to the USA where networks would contribute upfront money. US networks were always looking for in-the-can series that could be bought cheaply to replace clunkers or be summer replacement fillers. In 1962 CBS bought in and the series began filming in the UK. Danger Man for one year in the US.

Patrick McGoohan starred in the half-hour series as an American (!) NATO secret agent based in Washington, DC. Only one series of 37 episodes was made.

Fast forward to 1964 James Bond had become outrageously popular, and another British TV show, The Avengers, proved to be popular on world TV markets.

At the request of ITV's Grade, Danger Man's original creator, Ralph Smart, reworked the original Danger Man concept. The episodes were extended to one hour at the request of US-interested networks. The Patrick McGoohan character was reworked to be more James Bond-like and more definitely English. CBS bit and purchased the series again.

Upfront money gave CBS the right to fiddle, and CBS didn't like the harpsichord intro theme that ITV supplied for Danger Man called "High Wire" so they solicited various arrangers to contribute a 15-second snippet of music for use as the opening of the U.S. version of the show. CBS executives were worried the show might not be successful without a "hummable" theme song.

They also didn't like the title, and wanted something that said "Secret Agent".

P.F. Sloan, a west coast songwriter/arranger ("Little Old Lady from Pasadena", "Eve of Destruction", "Up Up and Away") and session guitar player (with the Wrecking Crew) wrote the famous opening lick and the first few lines of the song, with songwriting partner Steve Barri contributing to the chorus. A snippet was recorded as a test by Sloan and Barri, and submitted to CBS. To Sloan's surprise, CBS picked it as the show's US theme, which led to Sloan and Barri writing a full-length demo version of the song.

The snippet is lost, but the full-length demo version, written later in 1964, is here:



Never published as a record, Sloan had a pretty well-formed idea of what the song should sound like for the series. Note the lyrics still are "Danger Man, Danger Man, their givin' you a number..." as CBS had not yet decided on the US version name to replace Danger Man. Sloan also sings very much in the mold of Johhny Rivers but lacks the depth and polish of a seasoned singer.

Sloan's skills were in guitar playing and composition and his vocal range was deemed insufficient by CBS for use for the TV track intro. Sloan and Barri's publisher/producer, Lou Adler, also produced and managed Johnny Rivers, so Rivers was approached to add the vocals for the TV show. With the US version now renamed (What says "Secret Agent" more than "Secret Agent"?) Rivers sang a 0:40 second verse and chorus version for use with the series. Done and in the can. And that would be his only involvement for another two years.

When the show finally aired in 1965 the catchy intro and verse caught several bands' attention. The Ventures likely started playing a cover version in concert first, but first on a record honors would go to The Challengers, a surf/hot rock'n'roll group, and is found on their 1965 album "The Man From Uncle", which also cashed in on the popularity of the spy theme genre. Unfortunately, they are a bit lackluster and seem to be hiding behind the studio musicians, so you are forgiven if you have never, ever heard this version.

The Challangers version (yawn):



By the time 1966 rolled around, more than a dozen cover versions were released, including the one best known today. Sloan's publisher had pushed him to formally write a version of the song for publishing and this was now available to all comers.

It is the extended version recorded live at Whisky A Go-Go in LA which is the version we all know. Recorded a full two years after the TV theme intro, it became a signature song (albeit a cover) for Johnny Rivers. But by this time, Secret Agen Man had been canceled.

Rivers claimed he came up with the opening guitar riff that was inspired by the "James Bond Theme" (but this is disproved as that lick is clearly heard on Sloan's demo version). It's likely the best-known song not thought of as a cover song in the world (It's pretty well known as "Johhny Rivers' Secret Agent Man.")

So on to the two best covers...here are two favorites:

Stepping out into some new space with the tune is none other than the "Velvet Fog" himself, Mel Torme. His jazzy version from 1966 holds up well over time and he's clearly having fun with it.



But the best cover in my opinion is an obscure version done by the arranger and library music composer Johnny Pearson. Pearson had a long career of writing, arranging, and project album composition - with so much volume it's hard to track down any one recording.

The origin and date of this recording are not known. It might have been a demo or an unused project. It typically shows up included on off-label spy theme record album collections. The recording itself may have only been a test or a demo as the recording is far from perfect - in fact, a tape splice is heard at about 49 seconds in. I don't believe it is even in stereo.

The Johnny Pearson version:



It is an amazing instrumental cover and a truly fresh reworking of the original melody in an interesting odd syncopated rhythm.

The harpsichord lead-in seems a nod back full circle to the original "High Wire" Dangerman theme of the original UK series version.

The Danger Man UK series theme, the jazzy "Highwire" is found here:



Secret Agent Man (Danger Man) would last only two seasons on CBS/ITV before McGoohan would say he would do no more. Losing his secret agent series at the height of spy popularity, Lew Grade approached McGoohan directly and McGoohan proposed the concept for "The Prisoner". The rest is history.

The Ventures eventually released an instrumental cover which is found here:



The Johnny Rivers Whiskey A Go Go live version of 1966 is here:



What's that you say? The original and TWO covers only? Oh. Sorry.
 
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Johnny Smith was a self-taught guitarist from a small town in Alabama. Smith worked as staff studio guitarist and arranger for NBC studios in New York from 1946 to 1951, and on a freelance basis for the studio until 1958.

Johnny Smith wrote 'Walk, Don't Run' in 1954. It was one song of a six-song 10' LP EP. This release was a side project for Smith and didn't receive a lot of notice. The song was soon forgotten.

It was adapted and re-recorded by Chet Atkins in 1956 and was a track on his LP 'Hi-Fi In Focus' [RCA Victor LPM 1577, 1967]. I'm a fan of Chet Atkins, but his play on his early stuff is sort of procedural and his cover of Walk, Don't Run follows this pattern found on his early work.



Six years after Smith released his original version, an obscure group from Tacoma Washington recorded 'Walk, Don't Run' at a small studio in Seattle. It was released on a minor local label called Dolton records.



This group was of course the Ventures and this cover of Walk Don't Run was their first big hit [Dolton (Dolphin) Records No. 25, 1960] This recording of 'Walk, Don't Run' would put this local tavern circuit group on the road to their future world-wide, decades long success. They would go on to re-record it both live and in the studio many times.

Following the Ventures cover hit, a cascade of Ventures-esque covers were released by various garage, surf, back-beat and mainstream guitar groups through the end of the 1960s. These versions tend to be Venture sound-a-likes, each at a different speed, in a slightly different key, and with their own unique combination of reverb, fuzz and distortion.

Even the normally lush orchestral sound of Billy Vaughn couldn't break out of this Ventures defined mold with his 1960 version, which is mostly a wall of guitars. [London Records LHA-778, December 1960]



Another small branch of covers of Walk, Don't Run diverged, and here we have an early jazzy rendition by Count Basie from 1963. [Reprise 420, 1963] A song still in a hurry.



Walk, Don't Run defines one of the problems with doing covers. Covers are either perfect copies of the popular original, or you put your own stamp on it and own it to give it new life.

They are many competent Walk Don't Run covers, but nothing shines, except for a 1964 recording by a Japanese group, Takeshi Terauchi and Blue Jeans.



Terauchi was a Japanese gutar player who single handedly brought surf, garage and back-beat to Japan. This is from his album simple titled "Surfing". [Toshiba Records – TP 7031; Album: Surfing; 1964]. This is our first best cover winner.

Glen Campbell tried his hand with a Billy Strange arrangement backed by the Wrecking Crew, but the backing do-do-do vocals and romping horn section are just frosting on what is really a Ventures-esque cover. [Capitol, 1965]



Released also the same month, Herb Albert supplied his horn version and injected enough character that he nearly wins the cover contest. Honorable Mention [A&M SP112, September 1965]



But wait, Takeshi Terauchi is back in 1970 with a take-no-prisoners version that is at the same time an upbeat jazz version and a logical evolution of the original Ventures guitar sound.



This is our second best cover winner.

So the two best covers? Takeshi Terauchi No. 1 (1964) and No. 2 (1970)

And the real winner? I saved the best for last.

Frankly, most people have never heard the Jimmy Smith original.

It's really so different from any of the covers it begat, you need to take the time to make a special moment to enjoy it.

So first go to the bar, fix a good strong drink, pick your most comfortable seat, sit down, and take a few relaxing deep breaths. Just relax and enjoy.

Run, Don't Walk, Original - from 'In a Sentimental Mood', [Roost RLP 424, 1954]

Here is a case where all the covers pale to the little-known original.



See, folks need to listen to what Johnny Smith was telling us all along - walk, no reason to run.

His (original) version conveys that musical idea perfectly.

The Ventures and their like simply approached the problem backwards, which works too.
 
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1674192328515.png


Just for visual reference...
 

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