Friday, June 15, 2012

The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett

The name of the artist alone caught my attention.  The second time in as many weeks I went to Dr. Strange Records in Rancho Cucamonga and at the first bin I found has these old vinyl for 50c each and 2 for 75c.  How can I resist?  I browsed through all the junk, Streisand, Croce, America, etc. until I found these 3 albums by "The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett".  Anyone who has 50 guitars is my hero (for the record, I have less than 20) but this is vintage instrumental music that is the basis for a lot of covers by classic surf bands.  The days of instrumental music is over and these vinyls belong to a very specialized genre amongst record collectors.  After listening to these 3 albums, I'm now on the hunt for more 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett (I've seen a list of at least 18 releases doing a quick online search).  Although it's doubtful I can get them for 50c each again).

From the website
Tommy Garrett was "Snuff" Garrett, A&R director for Liberty from 1958-1966, producer of numerous early 60s hits by white rock-n-roll artists such as Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, and Gary Lewis. Garrett also gave Phil Spector his first job in the business, as A&R man in New York for Liberty. He produced a series of LPs for Liberty under the name of "The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett," one of the least adventurous and most easy-listening guitar groups, usually arranged by Ernie Wilkins and with Tommy Tedesco as lead guitar. Garrett also produced a number of exotica recordings by "The Midnight String Quartet" and Jonathan Knight on the Viva! label.

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