Award winning musician and member of the Cherokee Nation Nokie Edwards died March 12 in Yuma, Arizona at the age of 82 as a result of complications after hip surgery.
Edwards is best known as the founding member of the band The Ventures – “Walk Don’t Run”, “Wipe Out”, and the themes for “The Fugitive”, “Hawaii Five-O”, and “Secret Agent Man”. The Ventures had 37 albums between 1960 and 1972 that landed on the charts, making them one of the most successful instrumental bands in music history.
Before forming The Ventures, Edwards played with Country music star Buck Owens.
Speaking on the music Edwards one said, “I believe in simplicity. If you have a melodic line, people will like it. If you can hum it, you can have a hit.”
Edwards is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – as a member of The Ventures – and the Native American Music Hall of Fame.
Along with his Hall of Fame inductions; Edwards has earned recognition from Japan’s Foreign Minister and the Japanese Grand Prix Award for The Ventures contributions to music, gold and platinum albums, and The Ventures have sold a total of over 100 million albums.
Not only a musician and songwriter, Edwards was a teacher and appeared on the television drama “Deadwood”.
He was born Nole Floyd Edwards in Lahoma, Oklahoma on May 9, 1935; one of 12 children but grew up in Puyallup, Washington. Born into a family of musicians, Nokie was playing a number of instruments at the age of five. He made his professional debut performance at a radio station in Idaho when he was only 12 years old.
From 1956 to 1960 Edwards was a member of the Army Reserve and the National Guard.
Predeceased by daughter Kim, Edwards is survived by his third wife Judy and daughter Tina, stepsons Patrick and Seth, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.