One of the most influential figures in the evolution of the surf rock sound of the late 1950s and early 1960s has died. The AP reports that Nokie Edwards, who pioneered the genre as the lead guitarist of the Ventures, died at age 82.
His death was confirmed today, but no details were provided.
A message on the Ventures’ website said: “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.”
The AP notes that the Ventures were an instrumental group founded in Washington state in the late 1950s by guitarists Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, with Edwards joining soon after.
“They helped create the driving, twangy surf sound that influenced the Beach Boys among others and were best known for the hits ‘Walk, Don’t Run,’ on which Edwards played bass, and the theme for the TV show ‘Hawaii Five-O,'” the AP reports. “The Ventures sold millions of records and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, when they were introduced by John Fogerty. The Rock Hall praised the Ventures as ‘the most successful instrumental combo in rock and roll history.’”