The Ventures Biography
Don Wilson and Bob Bogle founded the Ventures, an American instrumental rock band, in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington. During the 1960s, the band, which was mostly a quartet, helped popularise the electric guitar in the United States and around the world. While their reputation in the United States diminished in the 1970s, the group is still highly regarded in Japan, where they tour on a regular basis. Wilson (rhythm guitar), Bogle (initial lead guitar, switched to bass), Nokie Edwards (initial bass, switched to lead guitar), and Mel Taylor comprised the band’s classic lineup (drums).
During this time, the band remained a consistent presence in the American music landscape, releasing 22 albums between 1962 and 1967, with all but one reaching the top 100 of the Billboard album charts (13 of which reached the top 40). In the singles market, they had more moderate success, with six singles charting on the Billboard Hot 100. Walk Don’t Run ’64 (a re-arranged surf-style version of their 1960 breakout hit) was their most successful single during this period, peaking at #8.
During this period, the Ventures’ international popularity began to skyrocket. After Bogle and Wilson toured Japan in 1962, the Japanese music market loved the Ventures’ sound. When they returned in 1964, this time as a full band, their music had become enormously popular in Japan, and they were met at the airport by hundreds of admirers. Their 1965 single “Diamond Head” barely reached #70 in the United States, but it was a huge smash in Japan and Hong Kong, becoming the first million-selling single in Japan. The Ventures were responsible for the eleki boom in Japanese music, during which thousands of Japanese bought electric guitars and several guitar-based bands formed.
“Walk, Don’t Run,” their first widely released hit, catapulted the trio to international recognition and is widely regarded as one of the best songs ever recorded for guitar. In the 1960s and early 1970s, 38 of the band’s albums charted in the United States, making them the sixth best album chart performer of the decade, and the band had 14 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. The Ventures are the best-selling instrumental band of all time, with over 100 million recordings sold.
The Ventures have had a long-lasting impact on the evolution of music around the world. The band was among the first in rock music to use and popularise fuzz and flanging guitar effects, concept albums, and twelve-string guitars. Their instrumental skill, originality, and distinct sound impacted numerous musicians and bands, earning them the title “The Band That Launched a Thousand Bands.”
The ensemble is the best-selling instrumental rock group of all time, having sold over 110 million albums worldwide. Thirty-eight Ventures albums charted in the United States, while six of fourteen chart singles made it into the Top 40, with three reaching the Top 10. According to “Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Albums,” the Ventures had 34 chart albums in the 1960s, making them the sixth best pop album performer of that decade.
Among their accomplishments in America, the Ventures had five LPs on the Billboard Top 100 albums chart at the same time in 1963.
They also released two instructional LPs, Play Guitar with the Ventures and Play Electric Bass with the Ventures. This series included four LPs, the first of which hit the Billboard Top 100 Album Chart—a feat previously unheard of for an educational LP. aThe Ventures became the first act to have two versions of the same song in the Top 10, “Walk, Don’t Run” (#2) and “Walk, Don’t Run ’64” (#8), which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its lasting impact, and the group was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
The Ventures Discography
|Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures|
|Going to the Ventures Dance Party!|
|Mashed Potatoes and Gravy|
|Twist Party, Volume|
|Twist with the Ventures|
|The Colorful Ventures|
|Walk, Don’t Run|
Frequently Asked Questions
The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle.
The Ventures Greatest Hits?
The Ventures Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the American rock band The Ventures, released in 2000.It features some of the band’s best-known songs, including “Walk Don’t Run”, “Hawaii Five-O”, “Perfidia”, and “Secret Agent Man”.
The Ventures First Album?
Walk Don’t Run is the debut album by the Ventures, featuring cover versions of well-known songs and original compositions, released in 1960.
Who Was The First Drummer For The Ventures?
Mel Taylor, original drummer of the durable Ventures whose pioneering instrumental rock style became known as surf music, has died. He was 63.