"Walk, Don't Run" is a rock'n'roll instrumental composition written and first performed by Johnny Smith in 1955. It became a hit single in autumn 1960 for the Seattle-based instrumental rock band The Ventures. In the UK, the tune was covered by the John Barry Seven, whose version, while only peaking at #11 on the Record Retailer chart, compared to the Ventures' #8, outcharted them to reach the Top 10 on other UK charts, such as that of the NME.
The Ventures' version is believed to be one of the first surfing songs to make the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #2 and reaching #3 on the Cash Box magazine chart for five weeks in August and September 1960.
The band's original drummer, George T. Babbitt, Jr., who would later retire as a four-star Air Force general, left the band before "Walk, Don't Run" was released. The Ventures' website lists "[t]he drummer on Walk, Don't Run [as] Skip Moore, not Howie Johnson as many assume. Skip was given the choice of $25 or 1/4 of the money the record would make for playing on the session. He took the $25. The Ventures made an updated cover version of the song in 1964 called "Walk, Don't Run '64" (which has a guitar riff similar to "Misirlou"),...