Don Wilson of The Ventures (1933-2022)

The co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the highly influential instrumental surf-rock guitar group known as The Ventures has just died. According to NPR, to this day, The Ventures are the best-selling instrumental group of all time, known for their up-tempo, driving, pulsating beats. Bass player Nokie Edwards died in 2018.

Here are three examples of their music.

Here is their version of the theme from the popular TV show Hawaii Five-O.

Another is the tune Wipe Out.

Here is the band playing their first big hit Walk, Don’t Run that was released in 1960.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    The Ventures are the best-selling instrumental group of all time…

    The Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Inc. accountants may disagree with that, but won’t answer their phones until Monday.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    I didn’t recognize the group’s name, but I looked them up, and I’ve certainly heard their cover of “Walk, Don’t Run”. Did they compose anything memorable?

  3. says

    The Ventures were more than successful on the charts, they were influential. The Beach Boys and Eddie Van Halen both cited them as influences, and their influence on surf music and rockabilly is incalculable. They were to the US as The Shadows were to the UK.

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