It's been a while since we've put up a post about an instrumental record, but when Scott found this videoI knew it was time. I personally worked with and for the Tacoma, Washington-based group in 1969 at Liberty Records when we had their later hit, HAWAII FIVE-O, and have a plaque on the wall commemorating it.
The personnel on this recording were, Bob Bogle-Lead Guitar, Don Wilson-Rhythm Guitar, Nokie Edwards-Bass, and Skip Moore-Drums. WALK DON'T RUN was recorded at Joe Boles basement Studio in Seattle with Joe recording and engineering their first two albums there.
The song was written and recorded by the Jazz Guitarist Jimmy Smith in 1954, and Chet Atkins covered it in 1956 on his album "HiI FI in Focus." It was that version that inspired The Ventures to do it themselves, but differently then Chet's "finger-picking technique, they Rocked It with a big beat.The band didn't actually have a drummer, but booked Skip Moore for the session, and gave him a choice of $25, or 25% of any money made by the record. Old Skip took the 25 Bucks and kicked himself for the rest of his life.
WALK DON'T RUN, was The Ventures first release, and skyrocketed up to #2 on the Hot 100 Chart, but was kept from the Top Spot by Elvis and "It's Now Or Never," but they still sold over a Million Discs and went Solid Gold.The song was so loved that The Ventures re-recorded it in the Surf Style of "Misirlou" in 1964, and opened the tune this time with a fade-in.
This version climbed to #8 on the Hot 100, making the Ventures the only artists in history to have Two Top Ten records of the Same Song.For the TDR-Tribute Video to The Ventures and their double hit song, WALK DON'T RUN, Scott found an old clip of them playing it on Dick Clark's Saturday Night Show with passable picture and good sound. Note the three Guitarists choreography, and all the Teens dressed as if for the Prom...it was a very different time. Rock On!