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Remembering Nokie Edwards, Rock Hall of Fame guitarist and Lane County resident

Nokie Edwards in 2008 in Veneta, Ore. (SBG/File)

EUGENE, Ore. - Nokie Edwards, the guitarist for the band behind "Wipe Out" and the "Hawaii 5-O" theme song, has died.

He was 82.

Edwards lived in the Elmira area when The Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

"We have been advised this morning that Nokie Edwards passed away today after several months battling an infection after hip surgery this past December," according to a statement on The Ventures website.

The Ventures family feels this loss very deeply: Nokie has been part of the Ventures’ history for almost 6 decades and helped to shape the early Ventures’ sound and the success of their career. 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. Born in Lahoma, Oklahoma with Cherokee roots, he found his way to Washington State where he met Bob Bogle and Don Wilson and began playing and recording with The Ventures, initially on bass (because Bob was playing lead) but eventually taking over as lead guitarist for the group. Nokie’s many accomplishments include composing and his song, Ginza Lights (Futari No Ginza) was one of the first of the Ventures’ Japanese hits – and is still a standard in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nokie’s wife, Judy, and all family members, friends and fans. His music will live on.

Born Nole Edwards in 1935 in Oklahamo, Edwards learned to play guitar at age 5 and turned professional at age 12, according to his bio on his website.

"ALL of My Thoughts and Prayers are Going Out To Nokie's Wife, JUDY and all His & Hers Family," local musician Paul Biondi wrote. "I LOVED PLAYING MUSIC WITH HIM. PLEASE SHOW RESPECT BY READING THIS SMALL AMOUNT ON HOW MUCH HE DID and HOW SO MANY GREAT GUITARIST STARTED TO PLAY GUITAR BECAUSE OF NOKIE EDWARDS."

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