The Ventures: Walk, Don’t Run


This was written and recorded in 1954 by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith.

Chet Atkins recorded it in 1956 for his LP Hi-Fi in Focus.

The Ventures turned it into a hit in 1960, reaching No 2 in the States and No 8 in Britain.

I can’t choose between these two great videos.


3 Replies to “The Ventures: Walk, Don’t Run”

  1. Fabulous! I love the two Ventures videos. I’d not heard the Johnny Smith or the Chet Atkins version before; it looks like the Ventures added the introduction with the descending chords. The Pink Fairies did a very heavy version of “Walk Don’t Run” in the 1970s. Blow your mind!

    Those early guitar instrumentals were the greatest, most tuneful and innovative electric guitar compositions. None of the great guitar heroes of the later years were a patch on these people. Here is “Pipeline” by the Chantays, clean-cut boys all of them:

    Here’s how to play it (I like these instructional videos):

    From further back Les Paul and Mary Ford (brought to you by Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash):

    And just for fun, “Wheels”:

  2. I like both those Ventures clips, and I hadn’t heard the Johnny Smith or the Chet Atkins versions before. It looks like the Ventures added the descending chords intro.

    Those early rock guitar instrumentals were so new and innovative; many of the the later so-called guitar heroes were not a patch on these people.

    “Pipeline” by the clean-cut Chantays:

    …and an instructional video on how to play it:

    A bit of fun from Billy Vaughn, “Wheels”:

    From much earlier, the fabulous Les Paul and Mary Ford (brought to you by Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash). Not an instrumental but with some great playing from the master:

    (I originally typed this reply out yesterday, but accidentally closed the page before submitting it and so lost it all! Must remember to save.)

    1. Hi Andy This is Margaret. Pipeline and Wheels will both come up sometime, but I had only heard of the Stringalongs for the latter, so thanks very much. Lovely stuff. Btw requests welcome – I have no system.

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