Memory Lane: ‘A Swingin’ Safari’

Do you ever get a tune in your head from way, way down at the bottom of your memory jar, and then it drives you nuts because you can’t remember what it’s called or where you heard it?

I’ve had this one going round and round. I kept thinking it was from a TV game show, The Match Game, and it turned out I was right–it was the theme song for the first edition of The Match Game, 1962-69. And I used to hear this at my friend’s house after school, because his mother never missed the show.

Nothing like an old TV theme to take you back! Hey, where were you in ’62? I think Paul Lucas asked that once. Of course, he had us all behaving like teenage sitcom characters, which wouldn’t be even close to describing my pals and me. I have a vision of two or three of us just sitting down to play Mille Bornes when we heard this music coming from the living room.

Bert Kaempfert, Billy Vaughn, you made great music! Don’t let anybody say you didn’t.

4 comments on “Memory Lane: ‘A Swingin’ Safari’

  1. Drat! I would have loved to hear this old tune. I used to love it. today, my computer decided to go on strike and make no sound all day. It is a mystery to me.

  2. Whatever happened to music? There was some great stuff back in the day. Yesterday I had lunch at Applebee’s and the background music was someone rapping about a big booty. A substantial portion of modern Country strikes me as being re-heated ’70s Rock and Rock degenerated into a swamp of fuzz guitar fifty years ago.

    So I listen to older Jazz, MOR stuff from my parents era and virtually everything that Chet Atkins ever recorded, but especially the material from the ’60s.

    Kaempfert was awesome, IMHO.

    1. No kidding. And to top it off, in the mid sixties, Eoxk took a turn to the truly nasty with suggestive lyrics and grungy distortion. Distortion effect pedals are one of the most prolific accessories in the music business and guitarists have more words to describe distortion than the people of the artic have to describe snow.

      Here’s the thing, as I see it: all of this distortion is chaotic, the antithesis of clean, pure tone. I don’t think that distorted guitar is inherently evil, but I think it fits in well with the overriding social agenda of chaos and confusion; it is not conducive to deep, reflective thought.

      As I write this, I am having my daily mental repose, which consists of thirty minutes or so of quality time with my guitar, spent trying to play clearly, cleanly and with articulation that requires planning and insight. The music, basically Country, Jazz, etc. produces a peaceful state of mind and equips me to face the day’s challenges more effectively.

      I almost sound like an Asian sage, but it really is a peaceful activity and clears the mind. The concentration required is beyond description and my mind is filled with a detailed map which describes the logic of the song and the arrangement. Pop music has taken an ever lower road to the point that it’s now processed vocals, weak melodies and outrageously exaggerated back-beats. Even the most primitive of the early Rockabillies would have found it foreign. I find it galling.

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