Time to feature another Instrumental hit from the Golden Years of Rock and Roll, how about the biggest selling instrumental group of all time: THE VENTURES. The group that came out of the Seattle -Tacoma area was: Don Wilson-Rhythm Guitar, Skip Moore-Drums, Nokie Edwards-Bass, and Bob Bogle-Lead Guitar.
Wilson and Bogle were a couple of Blue Collar guys that liked playing guitar, and one day they decided to form a group and bought two guitars at a Pawn Shop for $10 each. They had a Chet Atkins LP, "Hi Fi in Focus," that contained a track called, WALK DON'T RUN. Bob and Don figured it was simple enough to learn to play, and just sped it up with a heavy drum line.
They have a special place in my old, cold heart because I was with Liberty Records, and have a plaque on my wall for breaking another of their hits called HAWAII FIVE-O. It was amazing how big and appreciative their fan base was, every show was like a party. They sold over a hundred million records, no other instrumental group even comes close.
The Ventures ( The name was suggested by Wilson's mother when they couldn't come up with something they liked themselves) were known in the Record World as "The Band who launched a Thousand Bands," because their records influenced so many up-and-comers.
Fun Fact: One of the Venture's former Drummers: George T. Babbitt, Jr., joined the USAF and rose to be a 4 Star General, and in 1998 he played a reunion show with the band wearing full-uniform. The original lineup of the Ventures was inducted into the R&RHOF by John Fogarty in the Class of 2008. Scott found this video of them from Dick Clark's Saturday Night Show, which has turned out to be a treasure trove for us, doing their signature, "Walk Don't Run," in 1960. Notice how the drummer is out in front at the beginning, something you don't see very often. Rock On Ventures.
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