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  • criminel 7:15AM

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Johnny Smith

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
Back in the 50's one of the foremost US jazz guitarists was a cat called Johnny Smith.

somehow I missed ever hearing him, he usually played one of those electric archto ps that I never really dug the sound of... but he had an instruction manual for two bucks that showed you how to play jazz chords and that's why I still play those old two dollar chords instead of the official GJ pompe chords.

Anyway...

I was surprised today to learn that Johnny Smith wrote the 1960's hit by the Ventures "Walk Don't Run" which I did dig when I was a lad back in the day... Check out his version, it's pretty cool...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HwQxdrmwY8

Wonder if Johnny ever met Django?
I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.

Comments

  • Archtop EddyArchtop Eddy Manitou Springs, ColoradoModerator
    Posts: 589
    Wonder if Johnny ever met Django?

    The short answer is yes. Go to the Search feature here and type in Johnny Smith and you'll find more than 60 comments -- including a video of Johnny talking about Django.

    I met Johnny earlier this year a few months before he died. A friend of mine invited me to lunch with him. I knew he had met Django, but I asked him at the time if he ever played with Django. He snickered and said, "No. I knew better!" AE
    kevorkazito
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,339
    Cool, Eddy, thanks!

    by the way, I was also interested to find out in the comments below the YouTube video that "Walk Don't Run" was written over the chords of another old favourite jazz standard of mine, "Softly, as in a morning sunrise"... though obviously by the time the Ventures got through with it there wasn't much similarity left between the two...
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • ShawnShawn Valley Center, Kansas✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 325
    Johnny Smith is one of my favorites, and one of the main reasons I started getting into Jazz in the first place. He was extremely well versed in classical music and you can hear that in his playing. Funny enough, I know who Johnny Smith is, but had to google "The Ventures" as I'd never heard of them... :lol:
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,339
    had to google "The Ventures" as I'd never heard of them...

    You young punks of today!

    :wink:

    Actually, the Ventures were an interesting band, for reasons I didn't discover until long after their heyday in the sixties... It turns out that most of their hits were direct copies of an English group most of us Americans never heard of, "The Shadows"...

    And furthermore, most rock fans in the UK probably have no idea who the hell "The Ventures" are/were.

    Life is funny, innit?

    :P
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    Lango,
    I'd heard of Smith, and knew he'd written W don't R, but until listening to the vid you shared, I couldn't hear anything I wanted. Guys like Wes, Johnny, and Joe Pass always represented some kind of "highest standard" of theory and simultaneously a low level of "hit" making. They sounded and still sound so laid back that anybody without a purist regard for pure capability might not stick around. The vid shows how capable Johnny was and the range he had. There's great passages and fresh ideas (to me anyway) in there.
    I'm hoping the last bit, the "baroque" thing was doubled tracked. Can't believe it was one pass.
    Thanks
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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