King of the Instrumentals
BOB BOGLE (Standing Left)................: Lead Guitar
DON WILSON (Standing Right)...........: Rhythm Guitar
NOKIE EDWARDS (Standing Center)....: Bass
MEL TAYLOR (Seated).......................: Drums (Deceased on Aug 11, 1996)
GERRY MCGEE (Not Pictured).............: Lead Guitar (Since 1968)
LEON TAYLOR (Not Pictured)..............: Drums (Since 1997)
- Together as a group for 47 years
- Recorded some 200 albums (Yes, I mean TWO HUNDRED)
- They have never taken a year off from concerts or recording
- In their fifties and sixties, it is not unusual for them to do 100 shows in 70 days
- They have written a third of their songs (Some 1000 songs)
Walk Don't Run (Their first hit in 1960)
This phenomenal instrumental group was formed in Tacoma, Washington, USA, in 1959 when workmates on a construction crew, Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, discovered a mutual interest in music. They began performing together as The Impacts. When Nokie Edwards (bass) and Skip Moore (drums) completed the line-up they redubbed themselves as "The Ventures".
The quartet discovered "Walk Don't Run" on Chet Atkins HIFI IN FOCUS album. Initially a jazz instrumental, it nonetheless lent itself to a simplified chord structure and by emphasizing its beat, the Ventures constructed a powerful, compulsive sound which not only became their trademark, but was echoed in the concurrent surfing style. The 1960 single reached number 2 in the US charts (number 8 UK) with sales in excess of 1 million copies. They would record Walk Don't Run again in 1964 (Walk Don't Run '64) and then it reached number 8 on the US Chart. This has got to be the only time a group recorded the same song two times and placed it in the top ten both times. If you have ever heard the 1964 version then you will agree that it was a real rocker.
In May 1963 The Ventures released an album of all surf songs. It reached number 30 on the charts and remained a top selling album for seven months. Nine cuts on the album were Ventures original material. But the group paid homage to the genre with "Pipeline" which was a little tougher than the original Chantay's cut.
The Ventures are an American Icon in pop instrumental music. In the last 47 years they have seen ups and downs in popularity but they have always hung in there. I have discovered a source for their albums on CD and have collected a number of their double album copies. One of them has some more recent live cuts which sound great. They have gotten better as time has past.
Download the complete collection in virus free ZIPPED file. - 69 songs that were record by the Ventures.
The History of The Ventures - "How it all started"
In February of 2003 I was privileged to see The Ventures in person for the first time. They sounded great! It was like being in the presence of royalty. Can you imagine seeing three Venture concerts in one week? Yes that was the case as my wife and I sailed with The Ventures on a 5 day cruise in the Pacific. I even got to meet them and have my picture taken.
Don Wilson is the showman of group. I was trilled to see him play that rhythm guitar with fire and passion. He was always mingling with the fans while the other members stayed to themselves. He is a super good guy.
Of course I was in amazement just sitting and watching Nokie play lead guitar. He picks with a thumb pick and his fingers. Since that encounter I have started picking the same way. On the cruise another fan pointed out to me that when Nokie left The Ventures that they filled his spot with another finger picker Gerry McGee (Gerry did not make the cruise but he is still a Venture).
Would a person from Scotland fly for 12 hours to California to see his favorite instrumental band? YES, if he is my friend Ian. Ian and I have known each other for years now but we met face to face for the first time on the cruise. Ian is a swell guy and he knows good music.
Please let me know if any information on this page is in error by using my "comment page".
Go HOME - Refresh Frames