Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Ventures - "Walk - Don't Run"

One of the more well known singles in dad's crates is this classic instrumental version of "Walk - Don't Run", by The Ventures.
"Walk, Don't Run" is an instrumental composition written and first recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954. The tune is essentially a contrafact of the chord changes to the standard "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise".
The Seattle-based instrumental rock band The Ventures released their version of the tune as a surf rock single in autumn 1959 on Dolton Records, which quickly became a hit. In the UK, the tune was covered by the John Barry Seven, whose version, while only peaking at #11 on the Record Retailer chart, compared to the Ventures' #8, outcharted them to reach the Top 10 on other UK charts, such as that of the NME. The Dolton release of this record had two backing sides, the first release (Dolton 25) had "Home", and after initial sales were so great (to gain royalties), the B side was replaced with a Bogle-Wilson (The Ventures) original composition, "The McCoy" (Dolton 25-X).
The Ventures' version is believed to be one of the first surfing songs to make the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #2 and reaching #3 on the Cash Box magazine chart for five weeks in August and September 1959.

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