This was a dollar. It had a lot of songs that I like on it, although between the time I bought this and now, I am kind of played out on the generic Latin sound.
Despite the title of the band, Tommy “Snuff” Garrett does not play the guitars on this album. Garrett, rather, produced these albums. Garret was born in Dallas in 1938. While working as a DJ in Lubbock, he became pals with Buddy Holly. In 1959, he became the staff producer for Liberty Records in Hollywood. Having a knack for recognizing hit songs, he worked with a variety of acts including Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, and Gary Lewis and the Playboys. After leaving Liberty, he worked with a variety of other artist and remained active producing hit songs. He would die in Tuscon, AZ in 2015.
Garrett produced a string of records under the 50 Guitars moniker between 1961 and 1969. There were around 25 records in the series. Several of them made the Bilboard charts. The main guitarist on the album was none other than Tommy Tedesco. Tedesco (1930-1977) was a celebrated session guitarist . Known as the most recorded guitarist in history, Tedsco worked with the Mamas and Pappas, Ricky Nelson, Elvis, both Nancy and Frank Sinatra, Cher, Frank Zappa, the Beach Boys, and Barbra Streisand. He worked on soundtracks, released his own recordings, and was a member of the Wrecking Crew, a group of elite session musicians in Los Angeles. Tedesco had an interesting column in Guitar Player (the most serious of guitar magazines of the era), called Studio Log in which he described a session, the challenges presented, how he overcame them, the wages earned, and the equipment used. He would die of lung cancer at age 67.
Link to a sample of the column including playing with Frank Zappa
Column from his work on the Waltons
This album is a greatest hits collection, released in 1968. The songs are all popular Latin numbers including “Guadalajra”, “La Bamba”, “The Girl From Ipanema”, “Mexican Hat Dance”, “Guantanamera” and “Malguena”. The arrangements are ok, all guitar driven, mostly of the nylon string variety. Tedesco’s playing is top notch.
For a sample, I went with “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”.
Meh. The problem with this album is there is no variety. I mean it is all nylon string guitar. Could use a bit more instrumentation and color on this. I know it is 50 Guitars and all, but at least some percussion flavor would have made this more interesting. This is in no way an indictment against Tedesco, whose playing on this album is excellent. It is just that this falls in more of an elevator music category.