♫ A Taste Of Honey ♫ (Redux)

It has been a dark day, newswise, and I determined that I would find a song that would make me smile, for my face seemed to be permanently contorted into a scowl by evening.  An aside … I had thought to do Great Balls of Fire here today, as something of a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis who died yesterday, but … after reading a bio about Mr. Lewis, I couldn’t, in all good conscience, do it.  He was rather a nasty piece of work throughout his life, and … I just couldn’t.  Then, I thought perhaps something by Barbra Streisand, but nothing put a smile on my face until … HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS!  A few centuries ago when I was a teenager, I was a big fan of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  They were by no means the first, nor the last to record this song, but theirs is my favourite version.  As I began listening to the song, I heard a crackling sound … it was the corners of my mouth turning upward for the first time all day!

Songwriters Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow wrote this as the theme to a play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney that was made into a movie in 1961. This instrumental version was recorded by piano player Martin Denny and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme.

In 1966, Alpert received Grammys with his version of the song in three different categories: Best Instrumental Arrangement; Best Instrumental Performance, Non-Jazz; and Record of the Year. In addition, Larry Levine (the engineer for this song) received a Grammy with Alpert’s version for Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical.

This song has been recorded both as an instrumental and as a vocal by so many artists it would make your head spin.  The Beatles recorded it in 1962, and Tony Bennett in 1964.  Acker Bilk recorded an instrumental version in 1963 that reached #16 in the UK. Barbra Streisand also recorded it in 1963.  I had never heard The Beatles version, so tonight I listened to it, thinking I might play it alongside Herb Alpert’s.  Um … no.  I like The Beatles, mind you, but … not their rendition of this song.  I also listened to Streisand’s version, and again, while I love Barbra … no, just no.  And so, tonight you get … Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass …

16 thoughts on “♫ A Taste Of Honey ♫ (Redux)

  1. Jill, my whole family loves Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. My oldest son played trumpet in the marching and jazz bands, so he was additionally enthralled as a result. For long car rides, a greatest hits CD was a terrific escape. Keith

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    • I’m so glad … what’s not to love about Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass! My daughter played the trumpet in high school for a while before switching to the drum. Somehow, she never sounded quite as good as Herb Alpert and his group!


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  3. Two things came to mind as soon as I started reading.
    It is a family joke the various songs or musicians I or we can’t stand. eg Moon River I think I have mentioned before! I hope no one is offended, but for some reason I could not stand Tijuana Brass, perhaps because it was played endlessly?
    I then went down a rabbit hole remembering the film of 1961 classic British kitchen sink drama A Taste of Honey. I was transported back to my junior school years, an evening when Mum and Dad went to the cinema and my older friend came round to help me babysit my brother and sister. Her family lived right nearby so we were instructed to go for help in an emergency. We did things like melt jelly babies to make a drink, then watched the film on television, probably not a film I would have been allowed to watch as I must have been eleven or younger. But the film has always stayed with me. At the time I could not understand how the teenage girl got pregnant when she wasn’t married – it was a total mystery.

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    • Heck, no reason to be offended! Music is one of those things that is unique … each of us feels the music and loves or hates it, often for no identifiable reason, just because! I play a variety and certainly don’t expecte everyone to like all of them! I’m just happy when people come and listen.

      I’ve heard of the movie, but never watched it … I’m guessing I wouldn’t be able to stay awake through it! 🤣 Oh yes, a complete mystery!!! Ahhhh … the good ol’ days, eh?

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  4. You’ll probably expect me to say this, but I much preferred the Beatles’ version. Fun fact: Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Taxi is the tune played as one of my teams – Leyton Orient – come onto the pitch before a game. If we win, Status Quo’s Rocking All Over The World is played afterwards. A great, upbeat song to send us all home in a happy mood 😊

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  5. Herb Alpert and the Tiajuana Brass are arguably the best instrumental band of the Rock Era, though they did have a lot of very good competition. But for me, the biggest revelation was when we found out he could sing too.

    Having said that, I have probably said this before, where did all the instrumental bands go? I cannot remember the last time I heard an instrumental hit on the radio, especially one that rose to number 1, Which HA&tTB did regularly in the 60s. They were not the only ones to do so.

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