Java (instrumental)

Single by Al Hirt
from the album Honey in the Horn
B-side "I Can't Get Started"
Released January 1964
Recorded 1963
Genre Jazz
Length 1:55
Label RCA Victor
Writer(s) Allen Toussaint
Producer(s) Chet Atkins, Steve Sholes
Al Hirt singles chronology
"Cotton Candy"

"Java" is an instrumental adaptation from a 1958 LP of piano compositions, The Wild Sounds of New Orleans, by Tousan, also known as New Orleans producer/songwriter Allen Toussaint. As was the case of the rest of Toussaint's LP, "Java" was composed at the studio, primarily by Toussaint.

In 1963, trumpet player Al Hirt recorded the instrumental, and the track was the first single from his album Honey in the Horn. It was Hirt's first and biggest hit on the US pop charts, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 7, 1964[1] and spending four weeks at number one on the easy listening chart in early 1964.[2] The song was also featured on his greatest hits album, The Best of Al Hirt.[3] Hirt released a live version on his 1965 album, Live at Carnegie Hall.[4] Hirt also recorded the song with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops for the RCA Red Seal album Pops Goes the Trumpet (Holiday for Brass) in 1964.[5]

Hirt's recording won the Grammy Award for Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra in 1964.

The same recording was used as the closing theme for Vision On, a British children's television programme, shown on BBC1 from 1964 to 1976.

The Angels released a vocal version in 1965 as the B-side to the song "Little Beatle Boy".

The Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut performed her gold medal-winning floor routine at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich to a live piano version condensed to about 1 minute 9 seconds.

The Beautiful South covered it in 1994, releasing it as a B-side to "One Last Love Song".[6] Despite being a band with three vocalists, this was an instrumental version. They also performed the track live,[7] often ending gigs with it, with the vocalists playing handheld percussion instruments or bouncing round the stage on giant space hoppers.

The Muppet Show featured "Java" at the beginning of episode 22, where it was danced to by two creatures. The bigger creature constantly knocked the smaller away. At the end of the song, the small creature blasted the bigger one away.

See also


  1. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 287.
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 116.
  3. "The Best of Al Hirt [RCA 1965] - Al Hirt | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  4. "Al Hirt - Live At Carnegie Hall (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  5. "The Beautiful South - One Last Love Song". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  6. "The Beautiful South Setlist at Tor 3, Düsseldorf". Retrieved 2016-02-26.
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