Hawaii Five-O – The Ventures | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4); 1969

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

By 1969, the Ventures were the biggest instrumental group in rock ‘n’ roll history with over 30 albums to their credit. Still, despite their worldwide popularity, the quartet had placed only two singles in the Top 10 in eight years: Walk – Don’t Run in 1960 and Walk-Don’t Run ’64. The group’s most recent charter was a version of the theme to CBS-TV’s Secret Agent Man. After that, the Ventures – ever ready to catch a ride on the latest musical fad – released albums such as Guitar Freakout, Super Psychedelics, and Underground Fire, on which they tackled everything from Strawberry Fields Forever to Snoopy vs. The Red Baron and Light My Fire. In 1968, the Ventures recorded their take on the theme for a new CBS Fall lineup show called Hawaii Five-O. Augmented by a full complement of session musicians, the guitar/ bass/drums Ventures blasted onto the Hot 100 the following spring, and two months later crested at #4.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Morton Stevens

Lyrics Written by:

  • Liberty