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The Ventures

Original members
  • Bass: Bob Bogle, born 6 Jan 1934, Wagoner, Oklahoma
  • Lead guitar: Nokie Edwards, born 9 May 1935, Lahoma, Oklahoma
  • Rhythm guitar: Don Wilson, born 10 Feb 1933, Tacoma, Washington
  • Drums: Howie Johnston, born 1938, Olympia, Washington
  • Replaced in 1963 by Mel Taylor, born 24 Sept 1933, Brooklyn, NY; died 11 Aug 1996, Tarzana, California

Ventures LP The Ventures are perhaps the most successful instrumental group of the rock era, having sold over 50 million records since 1960.

The group formed in Seattle in 1959, and soon recorded a cover of Chet Atkins' own cover of jazz guitarist Johnny Smith's "Walk, Don't Run." The initial release was on the Blue Horizon label, which was founded and funded by Wilson's mother. It quickly became a regional hit, however, and was picked up and rereleased nationally on the Dolton label. For most of the next 10 years, the Ventures would crank out an endless series of LPs on Dolton, mostly filled with covers of other vocal and instrumental hits. Their tremendous success in the early 1960s inspired countless teenagers to form their own guitar-led quartets, aided in no small part by the series of instructional books put out under Edwards', Wilson's, and Taylor's names.

Among the group's hits were "Perfidia" (1961), "Lullaby of the Leaves" (1962), "Walk Don't Run '64" (1964), and a cover of the theme to the television show, "Hawaii Five-O" (1969). Although their popularity in the USA faded by the late 1960s, the Ventures were enduring favorites in Japan, and continue to tour and record for the Japanese market to this day. They sold over 30 million albums in the Japanese market alone, many of these live albums recorded in Japan.

Virtually nothing the Ventures recorded is without something of interest, but their mid-to-late sixties material is definitely worth checking out, particularly now that much of it available in attractive 2-fer CD sets from One-Way Records. In many cases, the best stuff on these albums are not the covers, but the original tunes, such as "Night Stick" and "A Swingin' Creeper" from Ventures a Go-Go.


  • Walk Don't Run, Dolton BST-8003
  • The Ventures, Dolton BST-8004
  • Another Smash, Dolton BST-8006
  • The Colorful Ventures, Dolton BST-8008
  • Twist with the Ventures, Dolton BST-8010 (later reissued as Dance!)
  • Dance with the Ventures, Dolton BST-8014 (also issued as The Ventures Twist Party, Vol. 2)
  • The Ventures Beach Party, Dolton BST-8016 (also issued as Mashed Potatoes and Gravy)
  • Going to the Ventures Dance Party, Dolton BST-8017
  • The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull, Dolton BST-8019
  • Play Guitar with the Ventures, Dolton BST-17501
  • Surfing, Dolton BST-8022
  • Play the Country Classics, Dolton BST-8023 (later reissued as I Walk the Line)
  • Let's Go, Dolton BST-8024
  • The Ventures in Space, Dolton BST-8027
  • The Fabulous Ventures, Dolton BST-8029
  • Walk, Don't Run--Vol. 2, Dolton BST-8031
  • The Ventures Knock Me Out!, Dolton BST-8033
  • The Ventures on Stage, Dolton BST-8035
  • Ventures a Go-Go, Dolton BST-8037
  • Ventures Meet Bobby Vee, Liberty LST-7289
  • The Ventures Christmas Album, Liberty LST-8038
  • Where the Action Is, Liberty LST-8040
  • Batman Theme, Liberty LST-8042
  • Go with the Ventures, Liberty LST-8045
  • Wild Things, Liberty LST-8047
  • Guitar Freakout, Liberty LST-8050
  • Super Psychedelics, Liberty LST-8052
  • Golden Greats by the Ventures, Liberty LST-8053
  • $1,000,000 Weekend, Liberty LST-8054
  • Flights of Fantasy, Liberty LST-8055
  • The Horse, Liberty LST-8057
  • Underground Fire, Liberty LST-8059
  • More Golden Greats, Liberty LST-8060
  • Hawaii Five-O, Liberty LST-8061
  • Swamp Rock, Liberty LST-8062
  • Tenth Anniversary, Liberty LST-35000
  • New Testament, United Artists UAS-6796
  • Shaft, United Artists UAS-5547
  • JOY, United Artists UAS-5575
  • Rock & Roll Forever, United Artists UAS-5649
  • Only Hits, United Artists UA-LA 147
  • The Jim Croce Songbook, United Artists UA-LA217-C
  • The Ventures Play the Carpenters, United Artists UA LA231G
  • Now Playing, United Artists UA-LA471G
  • TV Themes, United Artists UA-LA717G
  • Rocky Road, United Artists UA-586G
  • NASA 25th Anniversary, Tridex TDX1003
  • Superpak, UXS-80
  • Radical Guitars, IL 1006
  • Greatest Hits, TDX 100
  • Legendary Masters, EMI E2 93451
  • The Compact Ventures, Garland GRZ003
  • Live in Japan '65, EMI E2 32820
  • Tele-Ventures, EMI 53738
  • In the Vaults, CDCHD 651
  • Surfing, GNP Crescendo GNPD 2246
  • Wild Again, GNP Crescendo GNPD 2252
  • New Depths, GNP Crescendo GNPD 2259

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