Instrumental Hit Record

Sandy Nelson is among the small group of musicians who scored a top ten instrument hit record when he recorded "Teen Beat" in 1959.  The song sold a million copies and paved the way for Sandy to become a well-respected studio musician.  He followed up his first hit with another called "Let There Be...
Les Paul will forever be known for his role in the popularity of the electric guitar, the design of the Gibson Les Paul guitar, the multi track recording, the early guitar effects, and his million selling recordings with wife Mary Ford. However, did you know Les also appeared as product endorsee in...
Boots Randolph was the capable saxophonist who proved the instrument could serve a vital role in both rock and roll and country music. His sax can be heard on a range of recordings in which he was both leader and sideman. His “Yakey Sax” hit brought a renewed energy and interest to the saxophone in...
Leon Rhodes is one of the most beloved country music guitarists in history. He established himself as a clever and hard driving musician as part of Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours. Leon’s guitar style helped make up the distinctive Tubb sound on recordings such as “Texas Troubadour Stomp,” “Cool It...
Jimmy Rivers was known in the world of Western Swing as an innovative guitarist who played a double neck and brought to life a hard driving style known as the Brisbane Bop.  Jimmy was a cowboy-type, playing hard and working even harder at his craft as a performer.  He was easy-going and low-key,...
 Shep Shepherd co-wrote the now classic instrumental “Honky Tonk Part 2” while playing in the Bill Doggett band.  The recording became a hit in the late 1950s and helped build a stronger audience for rock instrumentals, which remained popular throughout the mid 1960s.  Shep began playing drums and...
Bob Spikard formed an instrumental rock band with his high school buddies and they called themselves the Chantay’s.  The band’s greatest hit, co-written by Bob, was entitled “Pipeline”!  The song redefined the instrumental hit recordings of the era and helped put Surf Guitar on the map.  Although...
George Tomsco formed the influential rock band The Fireballs with several of his high school friends.  The band became known for its instrumental recordings, which were very popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Many of the band’s best known songs were written by George, including “Torquay”...
Phil Upchurch was a teenager when he joined the solid studio musicians for Chess Records in Chicago.  The old veterans took Phil under their wings and showed him the ropes and welcomed his own style to the studio’s noted sound.  Phil later played on hundreds of recordings for the likes of Quincy...
Mike Vernon formed an instrumental rock band inspired by George Tomsco called The 3 Balls of Fire (the name taken from the first song they learned to play "Great Balls of Fire").  During his career, Mike played with several legendary instrumentalists such as Tomsco and Link Wray, as well as Davie...

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