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Nokie Edwards

1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Nokie Edwards (Photo by Joe Kohen/WireImage)
Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist for the influential instrumental rock band The Ventures, has died at the age of 82, according to multiple news sources.

Edwards died on March 12 from complications following hip surgery.

Edwards' death was announced on the Ventures' official website.

"The Ventures' family feels this loss very deeply.” Edwards “has been part of the Ventures' history for almost six decades and helped to shape the early Ventures' sound and the success of their career," the message added. "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."

Edwards was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Ventures with the rest of the band in 2008. They performed at the induction ceremony.

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Edwards began playing string instruments at a young age. The group came together in the late 1950’s with Bob Bogle, Don Wilson, Howie Johnson and Edwards.

Edwards started out playing bass with the band but quickly moved to lead guitar.

The Ventures influenced many other bands with their surf/psychedelic guitar rock songs. Guitar Player magazine said the band was “the quintessential guitar combo of the pre-Beatles era, [who] influenced not only styles, but also a generation’s choice of instruments.”

The Ventures first made a name for themselves with their instrumental version of the Chet Atkin’s song, “Walk, Don’t Run.” The song was a huge hit, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. Nokie played lead guitar on the track.

The band would have 14 songs hit the Billboard Hot 100.

Edwards left The Ventures in 1968 to pursue a solo career, releasing several albums.

He rejoined The Ventures from 1972 until 1984 and continued to occasionally play with the band.

Edwards became an actor later in life and appeared on the HBO western “Deadwood,” playing the mysterious friend of Wild Bill Hickok.

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