Skip to comments.Northwest legend Nokie Edwards passes away at 82 (guitarist from The Ventures)
Posted on 03/12/2018 4:10:21 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Nokie Edwards best known as lead-guitarist of The Ventures passed away today at the age of 82.
We have been advised this morning that Nokie Edwards passed away today after several months battling an infection after hip surgery this past December. The Ventures family feels this loss very deeply: Nokie has been part of the Ventures history for almost 6 decades and helped to shape the early Ventures sound and the success of their career. He was an innovator and one of the greats on guitar, so much so that he influenced many young players over the course of his career. Born in Lahoma, Oklahoma with Cherokee roots, he found his way to Washington State where he met Bob Bogle and Don Wilson and began playing and recording with The Ventures, initially on bass (because Bob was playing lead) but eventually taking over as lead guitarist for the group. Nokies many accomplishments include composing and his song, Ginza Lights (Futari No Ginza) was one of the first of the Ventures Japanese hits and is still a standard in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nokies wife, Judy, and all family members, friends and fans. His music will live on.
In 2008, Edwards was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with The Ventures. The award was presented by John Fogerty. The band performed their biggest hits, Walk Dont Run and Hawaii Five-0, augmented on the latter by Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame musical director Paul Shaffer and his band.
Aside from music, Edwards had a role on the Deadwood an American western drama where he played the mysterious friend of Wild Bill Hickok.
Edwards was 82.
The Ventures - Walk Don’t Run 64’ - Beloved Invaders - Tokyo Japan 1966
Dick Dale and Nokie Edwards 2005
Because he did almost exclusively instrumentals many people dont view him the way they might a Clapton et al but Edwads was possibly more influential....so many players learned to play along to Ventures records since the entire song was, in a manner of speaking, a guitar solo with no vocals to sit through. Not to mention he was a virtuoso.
Prayers up for Nokie. I wasn’t a big fan of the Ventures, but the first song I learned on guitar was “ Walk Don’t Run.” I’m sure many others learned it first too. But then I dove head-first into deep Delta Blues.
I graduated high school in 1965. So many great rock and roll songs while I was growing up.
Some pretty big movies too in 65. “The Sound Of Music”, “Dr. Zhivago”. The British invasion was going strong then too.
My most memorable versions of Telstar was by the Tornadoes; of Lonely Bull, Herb Alpert.
I was enthralled by the Walk, Don’t Run, Hawaii 5-0, Wipeout, Pipeline. What a sound! Went right through your gut when played on a good stereo or jukebox.
They all got it from Link Wray. He was the first.
I liked The Ventures versions. Apache as well.
The Ventures were a smash in Japan prior to the British invasion because anyone could “understand” the songs. Launched a whole industry of bands.
Nokie would play around the US on his own (and Ventures would play separate shows/tours) but whenever they played Japan, they all had to be there.
They even released several albums just for the Japanese market.
Radio stations like instrumental cues because they could fade out of them or talked over them. And it was a time when commercial radio tried to play something favorable to all ages of listeners.
Rest in peace Mr. Edwards
For me, Apache was best by Jorgen Ingman. Ventures had the big sound, though.
Was fortunate to see Nokie three times with The Ventures. A VERY talented guitarist, Nokie toured Japan many, many times with the group & on his own.
The Ventures did record Pipeline but it wasn’t theirs originally.
The Chantay’s - Pipeline (Lawrence Welk Show 5/18/63)
Thanks for that bit of music history.
One of my all time favorite songs is “Silence Is Golden” by “The Tremeloes”. I was sure the “Searchers” also did it but have checked a couple of times and can’t find it.
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