November 21, 2012

The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run (1960)

In 1958, Bob Bogle went looking for a new car in Seattle, Washington. At a local car lot, he met the son of an auto-dealer, Don Wilson. The two found a mutual interest in guitars and music and soon began playing at parties, in clubs, and in bars as The Versatones. Eventually renaming themselves to the moniker seen above, the group only performed instrumental songs, more often than not of the surf variety. All in all, thirty-eight of their albums charted in the US; fourteen of their singles charted (with six of them being in the Top 40); and three of their singles made it into the Top 10. They were number six in the 1960s for total number of albums sold and have the distinct honor of being the best-selling instrumental group of all time. Bob Bogle passed away in 2009 at the age of seventy-five.

Inspired by the traditional song “Softly, As in the Morning Sunrise,” this song was originally written and recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954. When recorded by this band in the fall of 1960 as a surf tune, it quickly became a hit in both the US and the UK. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was later revisited by the group in 1964, calling the later version “Walk, Don’t Run ’64.” Despite more than a dozen artists covering this song, this version remains the mostly widely known.

album art

The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run (1960)

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