Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Ventures
Album:Live In Japan '65
The Ventures were the most popular instrumental pop group of the 60s with hits like Walk, Don't Run and Hawaii Five-O. By the time Diamond Head was released in 1965, things were slowing down for the group but then they became huge stars in Japan through the 70s. The group was started in Tacoma, WA by construction workers and hobby guitarists Bob Bogle (born Jan. 16, 1934 in Portland, OR) and Don Wilson (born Feb. 10, 1933 in Tacoma). They were originally called The Impacts and then The Versatones. They released a couple of vocal singles independently in 1959 but were unsuccessful. Bogle & Wilson were more interested in the sound of the guitar anyway so decided to ditch the vocals and recruited bassist Nokie Edwards (born May 9, 1935 in Lahoma, OK) & drummer Skip Moore AKA Howie Johnson (born 1938 in Tacoma). Apparently the idea for Walk, Don't Run came from a Chet Atkins record. The song was released locally and became a hit and then the Liberty Records subsidiary Dolton came calling and by the summer of 1960, Walk, Don't Run was #2 on the charts. Howie Johnson left in 1962 and was replaced by Mel Taylor. The Ventures continued to have success in the early 60s but Diamond Head only reached #70 on the charts. Hawaii Five-O would be their last US chart hit in 1967. But The Ventures became huge stars in Japan. Live In Japan '65 was only available in Japan for years and was released on 2CDs in 1995. Through the 70s The Ventures recorded many records strictly for the Japanese market and sold over 40 million records there. Over the years, The Ventures have been categorized as surf music but it's pretty clear that they weren't really part of that scene. But they were pioneers in guitar instrumental music and a lot of fun to listen to. Bob Bogle & Don Wilson still tour the world as The Ventures today. Here's The Ventures performing Diamond Head & Caravan on Shindig Feb. 1965.