Don Wilson, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the instrumental guitar band The Ventures, has passed away.
He’s 88 years old.
Wilson died Saturday in Tacoma of natural causes, surrounded by his four children, The News Tribune reported.
The band’s hits include “Walk, Don’t Run” and the theme song for “Hawaii Five-O.” They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
“Our father was a great rhythm guitar player who moved everyone [the] world with his band, The Ventures,” son Tim Wilson said in a statement. “He will have his place in history forever and be loved and appreciated by many. He will be ignored.”
During the 1960s and early 1970s, 38 of the band’s albums charted in the United States.
The Ventures has had 14 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. With over 100 million copies sold, Ventures is the best-selling instrumental band of all time.
The band scored a 2nd domestic hit with “Walk, Don’t Run” in 1960.
Venture founders Bob Bogle and Wilson were bricklayers when they bought guitars and chord books at a Tacoma pawn shop in 1958.
“They were just really cheap guitars,” Wilson once recalled. “They don’t get along very well. But we want to learn. “
The following year, they formed Joint Venture, adding Nokie Edwards on bass guitar and Howie Johnson on drums.
Johnson broke his neck in a car wreck in 1961 and died in 1988. Skip Moore played drums on “Walk Don’t Run”, while Mel Taylor took over the drums and rounded out the classic lineup, with Edwards playing lead guitar, in 1962.
The band continued to perform through numerous lineup changes, but Wilson was the one who remained unchanged throughout. He didn’t miss a single tour until his retirement in 2015, according to his family’s statement.
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https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/don-wilson-surf-rock-legend-guitarist-the-ventures-dies-at-88/3117388/ Don Wilson, Guitarist With the Ventures, Dies at 88 – NBC10 Philadelphia