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April 30, 2012


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I too was about 14 and WALK DON'T RUN was the first song any of us learning to play by ear HAD to learn. Today the younger generation it seems has to learn STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. But I seem to recall that the ventures allure wasn't just the music, and about everything good was instrumental, but that they were working men, masons I think. And THEN came the Brittish invasion. My Unit in Vietnam was on the 23rd Infantry's order of battle (less OPCON) (operational control. I wonderred just what the H THAT meant. It turned out we were OPCON of the 7th Air Force. I have to wonder if he wasn't one of our commanders. The records WERE secret and are kept in the Army's Historical repository. I notice he doesn't wear a giant chestful of bogus horseshit medals all the other Generals wear that when all put together equal ONE Vietnam service medal, MAYBE. He seems to be a rarely MODEST man for a General. And I bet that Gold record is the award he displays on his wall at home. We fell in love for the first time, and our first kiss to that music at the "sock hops."

George Babbitt worked with/for me somewhere in our USAF careers; but, if you are reading this, George, let me know. Don Miller, colonel, USAF(ret).

this was one of the first songs I learned on guitar... I had a Fender Jazzmaster guitar previously owned by the Volcaros( Bob Weber)who later play on the song "Green Eyed Lady"...if any of you has that guitar...I would like it back...ha ha...John Scott Dreamin...itunes...

My late brother, an Air Force vet with 2 tours in Nam would have loved this. A big Ventures fan. Thanks for sharing it.

Yeah, really cool. Is he any relation to the Babbitt who was one of the Funk Brothers of Motown fame? That would be incredible.

Thanks for the post. Ah, the memories. Class lives for ever. thanks again

Wow! I remember playing this as lead guitarist with my cousin Oscar who was our drummer, and two brothers who were base and rythem guitar players,

Outstanding!!! I and three other highschool friends had a "garage Band" back from 60-65, and learned to play "Walk Dont Run" almost as good as The Ventures...ALMOST...I have a 1963 Fender strat, original owner, and I can still play "Walk Dont Run", which along with Bill Doggets "Honky Tonk" were back then, and still are my alltime favorite tunes...I can still play both...although none of us became a 4 star general. I was the only one to go into the service...I was a lowly Radioman 3rd class...

I grew up in that era, and learning to play guitar, I was amazed by the Ventures,played my guitar to there recordings a long time, still play guitar,and now will get there albums and learn them all over again,because they were the tops in instrumental groups at that time.

Glenn Majeau

this was realy nice i got all your songs on reel to reel tapes back in 1968 serving on the uss america in the south china sea loved you guys and still do.!!!

Our commander 'n thief could learn something from this HERO. Let him talk down to Mitt and explain General Babbitt.


My brother that is 16 years younger than I just forwarded this to me.
I remember it and enjoyed it.
I love the Military so this made my day. And thank you, to all the Military Service people, where ever you are.

This brings back so many fond memories of my youth!!! I'm now 71 years young. The Ventures have always been my #1 group. I was in the Air Force & played in the Air Force Drum & Bugle Corp for a year while stationed at Keesler A.F.Base in Biloxie, Miss. shortly after Pres. Kennedy was shot.
Thom Kleckner

Great men and officers wear the same uniforms. Greater men play drums. 4 years USAF 21st. Fighter wing Chambley France

That's fantastic. I've still got the "45 record" of the Ventures doing this song.

Great performance!
The General came to McClellan AFB, CA., for a command visit and as one of the Public Affairs staff I sat with his aide at lunch. Seems you can take the boy out of the band -- but not the drummer out of the general! The aide carried the practice block and sticks so that the general could pound away on his numerous flights across the country!
We later found out about the reunion for his retirement dinner, and loved the video!
Carry on sir!

OMG is that ever awesome, The General hasn't lost his touch one bit I have always loved the Ventures, Rock on General!

good times. good music, greatest memories for all of us that enjoyed the music..............Thanks for the smile and the share................Love this video!!!!


Great to hear the Ventures again and to hear REAL Rock & Roll that had a rhythm, beat and tune! None of the crash, banging and out-of-tune, raspy voices!

The West Coast Sound. Dick Dale and the surfers. Thanks
BTW Matthews NC, right near Charlotte, NC, used to be called Stumptown.

Thanks so much. I always loved Walk don't Run. You guys are great. Keep up the good work, it is fantastic.

You go General and the Ventures, great video

" My kind of people. "
Don't forget to leave us young ones out who appreciate you
and truly are trying so hard to keep up & follow in your footsteps.

My husband and I were dating in 1960 to 1961 when I believe this song came out and we immediately adopted it as OUR SONG. Most people had mushy romantic songs, but the sound and beat of this was the best we had heard, and we loved it.

I saw the Ventures when they came to Brewer, Maine 1964. I was in the Air Force stationed at the now closed Dow Air Base Bangor.

great to hear the story loved the song and dancing to it at sock hops in ROme Ga

I was 16 in 1965 and I still have my worn copy of WALK DON'T RUN- great great song. Lost a few dear friends in Vietnam and this was our traveling song. Thank You General- Rock On for all of us......

i was in the Air force when I first heard the Ventures. They just blew me away, and they can still do that after all these years.Still have some of their vinyl LPs.

I grow up in the 60's as teenger, the ventures music is just great,I would like to see them all together again in a concert.soon,

that is the song that started me learning to play drums back in the 60's, I didn't become a general however, great vid

Walk Don't Run was the very first record (a .45) that I bought. I was ten years old. There had never been anything like it. From then until I was in my late teens, The Ventures were my favorite group. I believe I stopped buying their albums at about the 40th one. I was a huge fan of surf music during it's peak in the mid-60s even though I live in the Midwest. Later, I drifted to groups like the Byrds, etc., but I have always loved The Ventures. I even bought a Ventures model Mosrite guitar in 1967 which I traded for an old acoustic 12-string in 1971. That Mosrite would now be worth up to $10,000 (ouch!). Jimmy Hendrix had a Mosrite and some of his most famous songs were played with one. He would bang around his Fenders but when he took out his Mosrite, he treated it as if it was made of gold.

As the years went by, my tastes changed and groups like The Allman Brothers, etc., became my favorites and blues is my favorite genre but I still have a place in my heart for The Ventures and I have collected hundreds of their songs in MP3 format and still enjoy listening to them. I still love the clean crisp sound of their music and it would be hard for someone not to tap their feet to most of their music.

In my opinion, The Ventures in Space may have been their best album but, in any case, it was way ahead of it's time and the eerie and unearthly sounds on it are still amazing. I have always suspected that that album influenced groups like Pink Floyd. The listener has to keep in mind that that album was made before we had all the electronic effects that we have today. I still don't know how they did some of the stuff on that album.

but I suppose my favorite Ventures albums were the classic ones like Walk Don't Run, Twist Party Part II, etc.

The Ventures have given me so much enjoyment over the years. I was so happy when they were finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

They are the greatest instrumental group of all time and many people (especially young people) have no idea what a huge influence they had on great guitarists that came later.

In my opinion, Mel Taylor was one of the greatest drummers of all time - nearly up there with Buddy Rich, etc.

Thanks for the memories.

To Jan Wickline:

The Ventures switched back to Fender guitars after their deal with Mosrite ended. If you go to their website, there is a discussion about that. They actually preferred the Fenders. However, in recent years, Don and Nokie have introduced their own model guitars. Both appear a bit like Mosrites but they aren't. The Mosrite guitar is reportedly then most counterfeited guitar of all time. I am not referring to copies that are openly made by other companies. I am referring to illegal fakes. There are companies today that make Mosrites but I believe there is some confusion about which ones are official and legal. One of the Ventures families even produces a Mosrite (or did) but I'm not sure it is considered legal. (It's a confusing mess!) Many Mosrite copies are made in Japan. That said, the originals are highly collectible and very valuable. I bought a Ventures Model Mark I Mosrite in 1967 but, unfortunately, traded it in 1970. I could kick myself for doing that because that Mosrite would now sell for up to $10,000.

Anyone buying a Mosrite these days should be extremely careful to avoid fakes and counterfeits but some of the legal copies (I don't fully understand how this all works) appear to be virtually identical to the originals.

Again, in answer to your question, The Ventures actually preferred Fender guitars and went back to them after their contract with Mosrite ended. In fact, their early albums were played with Fenders, including Walk Don't Run and you can see them on some of their album covers.

Really like the variety of items you cover on your blog. This is just one of many. Thanks Mr. Stump!!

Thanks for sharing!

Oh Boy Does that bring back some great memories , I am 73 and have mates around the same age and I cant put into words how much that music means to us old OZZIES God bless you guys'

I didn't know that the little screach sound was from scratching a guitar string. Never put it together in my mind until I saw the video here. You Tube is awesome

I am retired Air Force Colonel who worked directly for Gen. Babbitt during the last 2 years of his career at Wright -Patterson AFB. He is the real deal!! Great general and an even better person.

The Ventures were a great group, good memories of them & just how amazing and wonderful it must be, to have a member of your group to become a veteran of this wonderful country & he is now serving as a four star general. Thanks so much to you GENERAL GEORGE BABBITT & TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF OUR VETERANS, YOU ARE THE BACKBONE OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY---USA.

Love that song...I remember from my younger days...I used to have that song in my head all day and all night for weeks. Thanks for your service general.


i remember this sound still sounds great!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went into the Air Force in 1957 and was honorably discharged in 1960. Stationed at Forbes afb, Topeka,Ks and Andersen afb Guam.
Always loved this group and their music. It really made me proud to be an Air Force vet after seeing this video.
Bob Reed

loved it. is there more? it is No.2, 2012. I am 63 years ol. actually a little younger than this group. but loved it just the same.

I had no idea...! I enlisted in the Air Force in early '66 in combat photo reconn. All these years since, I never connected the dots for Gen. Babbitt, and the Ventures. This story was sent to me via friends of mine in TN, and as promised in their email, it did bring a smile to my face. We "baby boomers" lucked out, in that the internet has provided us with some very rewarding links to our past. I posted a website in 2000, trying to locate fellow vets from our 601st photo flight, det. 3, Ubon, Thailand. That website brought out nearly 30 contacts. (www.601st.com) Now, I want to check out the General's bio in more detail, and get back to the Venture's website! Great posting!

Very good. Brought back lots of good memories. Will be "dusting" off my old Venture albums soon including those with Bobby Vee singing along. Remember? Together they were "dynamic" Lots of hits. My favorite was Rubber ball! Bouncy Bouncy Bouncy Bouncy I'll come running home to you!

Great video, I enjoyed it so much I played it several times. I'm 66 years old and hearing the four songs that are on the clip bring back the good ole days.

I am an eighty-two year old widow. When I was in high school at Bay High School in Panama City, Florida, I played in the band with a very good drummer. He and some of his friends formed a dance band and play for special occasions at school as well as locally.The beach was so lively , even in 1945, 46 and 47, they played out there on weekends. Well - your story reminds me of this drummer. He also made something big of himself. He graduated from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) and went to work eventually for Union Camp. He made "CEO" of the Company before retirement. I'm just an old lady from Alabama and felt the urge to share this.

It does bring back memories, that's for sure!!

well i was a drummer in 2 af bands the 542nd in 1951 & 2 and the 515th in 1953 and the best i could do was airman 2nd class..what do you suppose that means...loved the video..

In the late 50's and early 60's my family lived in Zaragoza, Spain through an Air Force assignment of three years. There were some unusual opportunities for teenagers since the high school was on base. Memories of "Walk Don't Run" are so vivid as the song was the musical intro theme we used for a radio show that I DJ'd called "Platter Chatter". I never lost the love of early Rock N Roll music and eventually became an avid record collector with 9,000 records, including 41 Ventures albums.

I was playing a gig at the Ribber, a night club in Lakewood, an area in Tacoma, Wa. Then Nokie Edwards came in with drummer and old buddie musician friend Randy Viers (The Routers "LET'S GO").Nokie had his guitar with him so I asked him to sit in and we Played HONKY TONK, what an honor and fun it was to have that great guitarist back me up. When we finished the song and the applause died down Nokie said play it again Scooter, I said ok, and started in, Nokie played harmony, line for line lick for lick all the way. I never was fortunate enough to see the Ventures in concert, but I did follow Nokie in this NW area and enjoyed his great expertise and masterful guitar work when I could get there. Thanks for bringing back all these great memories O.D. Scudder (Scooter)

A good veteran's day gift! Not only is Gen Babbitt a great role model, but a testimony to what the military provided for our young people in career preparedness. I was a Ventures fan as well, and still play their music. It is uplifting and brings back memories of high school (class of '61). I graduated HS in June, joined the Navy in July, and became an aircraft carrier pilot at the age of 19... one of the youngest Naval Officers at the time. After Viet Nam, went on to become an airline pilot, retiring as a 757/767 Captain, a career I would not have had, had it not been for the US Navy. We kept the tradition with my sons joining the military... a very proud moment for me when I pinned the bars on my oldest son when he became a 2nd Lt in the Army. Another son joined the Navy and served on the "Big E" (USS Enterprise, CVN-65)and a daughter served in the USAF and today has a management position in an international corporation. Rock on, George!

There was a story that the original drummer (Babbit?) for "Walk don't run" was offered a share in the songs royalties or $25 to do the session... and took the $25. Cna anyone confirm one way or the other?

Brought chills to me. Yes, I remember Mosrite guitars. They were made in Bakersfield California. Thank you Ventures for a lot of great memories and music.

I remember the Ventures from when I was a kid. I work for DLA and worked for agency (Battle Creek site) when Lt Gen Babbitt was Director. He was a good Director.

There was a story that the original drummer for "Walk don't run" was offered a share in the songs royalties or $25 to do the session and took the $25
His name is Howard Johnson. not George Babbitt.

why is my video I put on youtube is right here about 2 years ago. I am weedsan21 on youtube I put that video from vhs tape convert mpeg file.

I was in Yokosuka, Japan in the early sixties and got to see the "Ventures". I remember after the concert was over, the audience, mostly Japaneese rushed the band and started taking clothes or whatever off the band. The music they played was gold then and even so more now. I was an eighteen year old Seaman in the United States Navy. Thanks to Utube I can play back the old "Venture" tunes and relive my younger days.

ooops not Howard Johnson. it is Howie Johnson

Wow. It's the Wayback Machine! I have a CD of their "Best of" and play it from time to time. I graduated high school 1966 and this takes me back to all that great music, which they were an important part of!

my 2 cents worth.....SANDY NELSON......"let there be drums"


WOW! That was great! I have been a Ventures fan forever and still have most of their LP's. I even have one I bought in Japan that is clear red vinyl and the jacket is entirely in Japanese. I never get tired of listening to their music and being transported back to my youth and the days when music was music!

this was really really great to hear them once again, brought back many good memories...

Wow, that was so cool and nostalgic ....... I love the Ventures and have on my dancing shoes whenever I hear their music. Those were the days when both lyrics and music, synchronized into something absolutely bewitching

Just fantastic! I remember that very well. That was music.

When was this show??
THe general acquits himself nicely. The lead guitarist, oddly (Bob Bogle?), plays this kinda sloppily. Blown notes and slurs, I guess he's played it so many times it's become rote.
Fun vid.

PS. The guitarist Johnny Smith wrote "Walk don't run" as a slow jazz tune. Google that, Smith was amazing. (Try "MOonlight in Vermont" too)

Fantastic, I'm hearing these songs after nearly 40 years & it brings back fond memories of playing the Ventures LP at parties and doing the jive. Long live the Ventures

Not only listening to the general and the band playing but reading these posts brought more than one tear to my eyes. Thanks to a great band and to the general for the many years of pleasure they've brought not to mention the pride it brings to us "youngsters". Long live R&R..... and The Ventures.

I have all of the Ventures albums........YES LPs..... The first record I ever bought was Ventures in Space..... so cool. Amazing that one of the group went on to become a General. Maybe he is the reason I joined the AF.......Great music.

It must be reassuring for him to know that: if that Four Star General thing doesn't work out for him, he could go back to being a drummer in a band...

wow! I watched this band at my high school graduation, (Richmond H.S. Richmond, CA. 1964) and met all the guys, 1st tune I ever learned to play on guitar was 'walk, don't run!' Thanks for the memory

Some great Ventures videos on youtube.com.

This is a great video; but what happened to the original guitar soloist of the Ventures, Nokie Edwards; barely a mention of him in the comments; it's like he never existed! I for one can see him every year at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention in Nashville, and let me tell you, he still picks very efficiently.

Hey, Hendrix learned his first licks in uniform!


This link was sent to me from an old friend in Panama and what a great gift. From the first time I heard their music to this very day, the Ventures are still my favorite. I have a lot of their music and required my son to listen to the Ventures as well as his hard rock. His suffering turned him into an enthusiast of the Ventures more than his hard rock. The Ventures transcends generations and I especially like the Ventures breath of instrumental composition. A fan forever.

Thank you so much for posting this video. The Ventures are an iconic rock and roll band and noteworthy for their unique guitar sound. Having been a young high school drummer myself in the Bay Area in the early- mid 60's, Walk Don't Run was one of the very first songs that our band played. Most of their tunes highlighted the drummer almost as much as the guitars. Great memories and congratulations to the General!!!!

Made me smile and I'm still smiling!

Great video history bit. Ventures will always be my favorite group. Never would have known they raised a general, their selection of him to drum speaks well of their judgement of character, and his ability.

Outstanding, I ues too play guitar some, and playing the Ventures tunes was at the top of my list. S. graham

To the Ventures:

Great work guys.

Keep up the good music.

yorba linda, ca

WOW............put a smile on my face, lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. WE lived in a GREAT time all of us 60's teenagers!

What an era! with President John Kennedy wanting to reach the moon before the end of the decade and we did! One of my fondest memories was The Ventures' "Telstar" song and The lonley Bull I played over and over as a young teen. Of course when I listened to Walk Don't Run here, as with most all the other commenters brought a smile to my face of better times past.

Man does that ever remind a guy of the great old days! That's an awesome video. Thanks for posting it!

You're right it does bring back memories. Thanks!

Way To Go Air Force Atta Boy Give Er The Gun!!!

Love it! Brings back a lot of old memories. Real music!

I love the ventures. I played this as a kid and my x got tired of my band,and crazy ways,so I sold my grieth clipper & and fender band master and married the bitch.(bouht a 66 GTO.)Got laid that night,Big deal, and havent playd a gutar since.

Had the honor and privilege to watch a great number of USO and special services shows such as the Ventures(several times)...from Saigon to Okinawa and Guam in the 65-73 timeframe...these were all excitedly received by the many deserving "young people" of the time...many had just come in from the field (exhausted) or at one of the many military hospitals (recuperating)in the Pacific...whether it was the Ventures, or a Bob Hope performing with an Ann Margret...there was always an overwhelming raucous response of appreciation and just "feeling good" for the SHOW! Had 21 years of rewarding USAF service...Lt Col (ret)

I discovered my teen years with the Ventures. Parker's on Aurora was the name of the place, I think. They are still the greatest instrumental group of all time. I always wondered why it took so very long to get them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. God, I love their music. Enjoyed watching Peter Frampton playing with them in one of the videos. He looked like he was playing with his teachers and soaking up everything that they did. As a retired Master Sergeant, Gen. Babbitt looks like the type of man I would have enjoyed serving with in the military. Thank you for your service Sir.

If this doesn't bring back this best years of those like myself, now age 67, 68 in May, then those folks never listened to "ROCK AND ROLL", the only real music that has been worth while in this country. I know there are a lot of people out there that will disagree, but they were not around from the mid 50's up to the late 70's and missed a lot of the best performers of rock music ever produced. I wish we had a radio station near by that would play nothing but the old Rock And Roll music here in the area of Kings Mountain N.C.. Don't get me wrong, there are other go types of music out there but for those of us that were around when Rock And Roll came into our lives, that was the best thing in music to us.May Rock And Roll live forever in our country and in the hearts and memories of all of us that wee lucky enough to be here when it came into our lives, I will love Rock and Roll until the day I die. If anyone reading these postings have never heard the many Rock groups music, PLEASE find it and listen to it, I promise you will fall in love with it too. Vic Pitts, U S Army Retired.

I joined the U.S.Air Force in late 61 and when I arrived at the 634th Radar Squadron we formed a band,the CENTURIONS. The Ventures were an important part of our music. For the next 2 and 1/2 years we entertained and played in local clubs and the officer's club. After the service,we all went on to persue our careers but I still own and listen to the many albums and now and then put on my earphones and play along on my drums. I still reminis with my friends about the old times which count as some of the best thanks to the music of the Ventures. I am glad that they are still around. They were an icon in Rock and Roll and I am glad that they are recognized finaly. Thank you all.

I use to live next door to Mel Taylor The drummer in the 60s on Agnes ave in North Hollywood I remember hearing him play day and night What memories.

No other way to a say it. OUTFREEKINGSTANDING !! Break out my wetsuit and my stick and the sex wax!TOBE CITY

Sorry should bew TUBE city to many typos

Great video and memories of 60s rock 'n' roll. Grew up in Anacortes listening to The Ventures, The Wailers, The Frantics, The Sonics on KJR radio. Danced at Parker's Ballroom, The Spanish Castle, Seven Cedars and many more teen dance "clubs" to many top-notch Northwest bands. Started my own band at the US Coast Guard Academy in 1964, played at Academy dances, New England colleges and local high schools. After graduating, we went our separate ways as Coast Guard officers, but reunited about eight years ago and play 2-3 gigs a year in CT, FL, VA, and NC. Lead vocalist is a retired Rear Admiral, and the rest of us are retired Captains and Commanders. Rhythm guitarist graduated but did not receive a commission due to severe football injury (back). Three of us played football for the legendary Otto Graham. Thanks for the memories!

Marvelous! Still have 6 of their LPs and the original "Walk Don't Run" on a 45 in my collection.(The'64 or'65 version is on an LP.) Had a discussion on the merits of the 2 versions with 2 fellow USAF VN-Vet buddies a few months ago. Don't think ANY of us were aware of Babbitt until now. Will find out. Many thanks.

Loved the video. Memories of years gone flooded in. What a group! Philip

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