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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guitar Galaxies - George Barnes

La Paloma
Guitar Galaxies
George Barnes
Recording Director: Hal Mooney
Engineer: Phil Ramone
Mercury SR 60956 & PPS 6011

Guitarists on the album include: George Barnes, Don Arnone, Allen Halon, Everett Barksdale, Al Caiola, Al Casamenti, Art Ryerson, Barry Galbraith and Carl Kress

George Barnes made the first recording of an electric guitar in 1938 with Big Bill Broonzy.

Barnes did not receive national acclaim until he recorded an album called Two Guitars with Carl Kress (who is credited on this album).

This album features the "light-pop" sound that you typically hear from an Enoch Light project from this period and excellent Mercury engineering.

I found this same album with two different cover designs, the second example is a substantial book-fold (PPS 6011) which was released in 1961.

Billboard review for the 1961 release: Another in the new Mercury Perfect Presence sound series, this admittable set features the great guitaring of George Barnes, abetted by an ensemble of melody guitars, with assorted percussion instruments. Things are largely keyed to a Latin beat, which lends an admirable showcasing for the percussion elements. Tunes include "Tequila," "Anna" and "Lady In Red." Excellent sound with an eye-catching, tastefully done cover of three latin dolls. Classy merchandise.

When Yuba Plays The Rumba On The Tuba
Bim Bam Boom
Cuban Pete
Lady In Red
Mama Inez
Linda Mujer
La Paloma
Anna (El Negro Zum Bon)
Orchids In The Moonlight


  1. thanks for posting this, mark...i'm george's daughter, and am producing a transmedia property titled THE GEORGE BARNES LEGACY COLLECTION, a history of american popular music through the 44-year career of an electric guitar pioneer whose influence on 30's blues, 40's swing, 50's and 60's rock and country, and jazz throughout, until his death in 1977 at the age of 56, has been surprisingly undercelebrated. cheers! alexandra barnes leh, los angeles

  2. Thank you for your comment Alexandra! I thrilled that you stopped by! I hope that you will drop by again when you have completed your project and leave a link so that we can check it out! Thanks again! Mark

  3. Hi, Mark! I meant to get back to you earlier, but had lost your link -- I finally launched THE GEORGE BARNES LEGACY COLLECTION this April 1, and am delighted by the response to the site and the content therein. It's a work in progress, of course -- there's so much music, and so many associated photos and stories. The additions I make, as well as associated activities, are always announced on the GB Facebook and Youtube pages, which you can join on the website. I hope you and your readers will come enjoy and partake!
    All my best,

  4. I have a mint copy of Guitar Galaxies on my deck right now. It conjures up a smoke filled lounge on a Sunday afternoon, with my Dad reading the papers, and relatives round. I managed to rescue a pile of vinyl from his collection when he died a few years back - my Mum was about to take it all down to the local Oxfam shop!
    Paul Craven


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