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Some songs where words aren’t instrumental

Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you!
Is that all you blighters can do?

      — “Show Me,” from “My Fair Lady”

I’m going to take Eliza Doolittle’s advice this week and skip all those words. We’ll concentrate on melodies.

Here are some of my (many) favorite instrumental songs, and I’d welcome learning about some of your choices, too. You can list them in the Comment section below.

I’ll start with a special song, the beautiful “Mae,” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. This was our father-daughter dance at Laura’s wedding last spring.

More tropics

And I’m still not completely over last week’s bout of musical “tropical fever.” So, I’ll reprise a couple of upbeat songs from that list — Perez Prado’s “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” and The Ventures’ “Perfidia” — and then add several more:

“Yellow Bird,” by the Arthur Lyman Group.

“Coming in the Back Door,” by the Baja Marimba Band.

• And two from Artie Shaw, his “Begin the Beguine” and another holdover from last week, “Frenesi.”


Still in a mellow mood

“Moonglow and Theme From ‘Picnic,’ “ by Morris Stoloff and orchestra. A great medley — and a great movie scene with William Holden and Kim Novak.

• Two versions of “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” — the original with the Vince Guaraldi Trio and even bigger remake, from Sounds Orchestral.

• Bill Pursell’s romantic “Our Winter Love.”

Some Mancini music

How about two from Henry Mancini —both from the original Peter Sellers “Pink Panther” film?

The theme song, of course, and then the lively “It Had Better Be Tonight” — first the instrumental version and then — just because I love the movie scene — the song “Meglio Stasera,” complete with Italian lyrics.

Some jazz

Four songs:

• Two laid-back samples: Andre Previn’s “Like Young” and the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s classic “Take Five.”

• And two Dixieland jazz numbers: the Village Stompers’ “Washington Square” and Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen with “Midnight in Moscow.”

Some ‘happy’ songs

• The Marketts’ “Balboa Blue.” (If I were ever going to host some fancy radio show, this is the tune I’d pick as my theme song.)

• Ralph Flanagan’s upbeat “Hot Toddy.”

• Bert Kaempfert’s “That Happy Feeling.”

Three progressively rockin’ songs

• Valjean’s “throwback” “Mr. Mozart’s Mash.”

• Dave “Baby” Cortez’s “Rinky Dink.”

• The Rockin’ Rebels’ “Wild Weekend” party anthem.

One soul-stirrer

• Raymond Lefevre’s “Soul Coaxing (Ame Caline).”

A ‘last’ word

I’ll end with two songs that each contain one spoken word:

• One at the start: “Wipeout,” by the Surfaris.

• And one at the end: The Champs’ “Tequila.”

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