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|Single by Al Hirt|
|from the album Honey in the Horn|
|B-side||"I Can't Get Started"|
|Producer(s)||Chet Atkins, Steve Sholes|
|Al Hirt singles chronology|
"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 and spending four weeks at number one on the easy listening chart in early 1964. The song was also featured on his greatest hits album, The Best of Al Hirt. Hirt released a live version on his 1965 album, Live at Carnegie Hall. He 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.
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. (Was that not Bert Kaempfert's version?)
Despite being a band with three vocalists, this was an instrumental version. They also performed the track live, 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. The Muppets performed "Java" on the November 27, 1966 edition of The Ed Sullivan Show.