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Not a good week for Bogleheads

An unscientific poll at Gale HQ today revealed that while nobody personally knows somebody with the surname Bogle, we all associate the name with different quasi- and mega-famous Bogles. For some, John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard and “father of indexing,” and his investment theory devotees known as Bogleheads, springs to mind. Others named Bogle Vineyards, makers of the excellent Phantom, the very good Petite Sirah (currently 2007 vintage $8.99 at Costco, a screaming deal), and the many other wines we don’t drink a whole lot of around here. The W. C. Fields fans among us know that he wrote under the name Charles Bogle (that’s why Fields will come up in results for a Name Search in Biography Resource Center for “bogle”). Indeed, 100% of those polled agreed that “bogle” is a really fun word to say out loud. But we are here today to commemorate the life of Bob Bogle, who passed away Sunday at the age of 75.

Bogle was the guitarist and, later, bassist for the Ventures; he founded the band with guitarist Don Wilson as the Impacts. They later became the Versatones, and finally the name they settled on. As the Versatones, they recorded a tune called “Cookies and Coke.” When the band became the Ventures, the group took the Chet Atkins jazz number “Walk Don’t Run” and made it rock.  They left the rolling to other groups — the Ventures played only instrumentals, as described by their entry in Contemporary Musicians.

The success of “Walk Don’t Run” allowed Wilson and Bogle to give up their construction jobs for a full-time music career. [Label] Dolton’s distribution by Liberty Records resulted in the Ventures relocating their recording activities to the Los Angeles base of Liberty. According to [Bob] Shannon and [John] Javna, Liberty Records owner Bob Bennett offered the group some prophetic advice. “Don’t change the image,” Bennett supposedly told the group. “You can add to it but don’t change it. Don’t ever try a vocal.”

In 1962, the Ventures revealed their willingness to embrace new elements in their music with their release of “2000 Pound Bee,” which featured the first-time recording of fuzz-guitar in a song. They had their most successful LP release in 1963 with The Ventures Play Telstar, and The Lonely Bull, an album that achieved gold-record status and topped out at number eight on the charts. At this time Edwards took over lead guitar duties, while Bogle switched to bass guitar. In 1964 the group proved that lightning can strike twice, when they made the top ten with a new version of “Walk Don’t Run” that incorporated various influences from popular surf music of the time.

The Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, and were also the first foreign members of the Japanese Conservatory of Music (like Tom Waits and Bill Murray’s Bob Harris, they were big in Japan.)

Source: “Ventures.” Contemporary Musicians, Volume 19. Gale Research, 1997.

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Posted on: June 17, 2009, 3:36 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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