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Sarah Vaughn: Bye Bye
From 7″ (Mercury, 1964)

James Royal: House of Jack
From 7″ (CBS Germany, 1969)

Mark Martin: In the Good Old Topless Time
From 7″ (TWR, 1968)

I previously wrote about “instrumentals-made-into-vocal” covers in 2010, and now have three more to add into the mix.

Sarah Vaughn’s “Bye Bye” obviously riffs on Mancini’s hugely famous “Peter Gunn Theme”. I’m on the fence with this one…you don’t really need to throw vocals on one of the best frickin’ t.v. themes of all time but then again: this is Sarah Vaughn we’re talking about. 1

The James Royal is a pretty good vocalization of Keith Mansfield’s “Soul Thing” – this is a case where I wouldn’t necessarily think vocals would work over the track but Royal totally nails it. However – and this is a big point – Mansfield’s original is just so monster, it’s hard to put vocals on it without diminishing the power of the instrumental.

And look – I threw the Martin in here just for kicks. It’s one of the most bizarre vocalizations…a strange and pretty weak set of verses put atop “Champ.” You gonna try to vocalize “Champ” (itself an instrumentalization of “Tramp”)? Can’t be done. Nope.


Mark Murphy: The Red Clay
From Mark Murhpy Sings (Muse, 1975). Also on Giants of Jazz

I can’t believe I never posted this up before – Mark Murphy (a really great vocalizer) over one of Freddie Hubbard’s most classic compositions. As far as I know, this has never been sampled and that always surprised the hell out of me.

  1. But if we’re going to talk “Peter Gunn” covers, no one’s taking out Art of Noise. No one.