Euro Football Cup 2008: Get Your Jazz National Anthems Ready!

National Anthems of the World

The UEFA euro football cup 2008 will certainly have many highlights. The singing of the national anthems though won’t be one. What football players do best is playing football – not singing national anthems.

If you love football and big band jazz you should get yourself Stan Kenton’s “National Anthems Of The World”. You can download it on iTunes. While the football players are trying to sing their national anthems you can turn down the volume of your tv set and play Stan Kenton’s versions instead.

“National Anthems Of The World” was recorded in 1972 and arranged by Robert Curnow. It was issued as a double LP by the Creative World label (ST-1060). If you’re a vinyl lover, get your copy at GNP Crescendo.

Why I Hate Music Downloads

Skull on Computer Window

It’s not the downloading of music itself that I hate. What I hate about it is the missing booklet. When I buy music – especially reissues – I’d like to have some information about it. I want as much credits as possible: musicians, songwriters, arrangers, producers, time and place of recording and so on. And I don’t mind a short biography of the artists and some nice photos.

iTunes for example won’t give you any of these credits. Although theoretically it would be possible. Every iTunes file comes with an “Info” tab where you can edit information about the file such as the artist’s name, album title, name of the songwriter, year of production and there’s also a comment box. Usually they only give you the name of the artist and the album title. That’s it. Sometimes they add the year of production. But if it’s a reissue the year of production often refers to the reissue and not to the original production date.

So you really only get the music and nothing else when you download. No added value. If you buy a CD you have a booklet with at least some information. It’s true, some downloads at iTunes come with a virtual booklet. But it’s a kind of hassle. Either you store it somewhere on your hard drive where you probably will never find it again or you write a CD, print the booklet, take scissors, cut it out and stuff it into a tiny jewel case. So much for the digital age …

Yes, it’s great to have immediate access to music. But it’s not enough for music lovers. Here’s my hint for record labels: allocating well researched background information that comes with a well designed booklet is a market niche for CDs.

Billy Strange Instrumental Records On iTunes

Billy Strange LP covers

Thanks to iTunes you have access to a lot of material that hasn’t been issued in a long time. «GNP Crescendo Records» for example has reissued nine of Billy Strange’s instrumental records from the sixties on iTunes. Billy Strange had huge success with his version of the «James Bond Theme». For «GNP Crescendo Records» he recorded several LPs with contemporary Pop and Country hits and self written tunes.

Billy Strange started his career as a guitarist and singer in the forties. He was part of the West Coast Country and Western swing scene. He played with «The Sons Of The Pioneers», Roy Rogers, Spade Cooley and Smokey Rogers. Later he also performed with the «Cliffie Stone Hometown Jamboree». He recorded regularly under his own name from the fifties on. Besides that he recorded countless guitar parts for country and pop stars such as Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys, The Ventures, and many more.

He also wrote successful arrangments. His most famous credits are the arranging of Nancy Sinatra’s «These Boots Are Made For Walking». He also arranged for Frank Sinatra, composed movie soundtracks, produced, and wrote the hit record «Limbo Rock». His instrumental records are only a small part of his many sided career.