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The first non-Japanese rock band honored by the Emperor of Japan is...

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The Ventures. Wonder if this is better than the Rock Hall, which they made in 2008:

The Ventures have made history by becoming the only non-Japanese pop-rock act ever to be honored by the Emperor of Japan.

The five members of the veteran Tacoma, Washington-based instrumental band have received Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette medals for "their contribution to the development and enrichment of music culture in Japan, as well as to the promotion of cordial relations between Japan and the United States,” according to a press release issued by the Japanese Consulate in Seattle.

The band, best known for Walk, Don't Run and often categorized as surf rock, formed in 1958. The Ventures visited Japan for the first time in 1962 as an opening act and have toured their nearly every year for a total of over 2,400 performances. The band also has several songs dedicated specifically to Japan, where they have a hard core of devoted fans. Seventy-seven-year-old Don Wilson is the only surviving original Venture.

Since the Ventures won’t be able to make to Japan to receive the medals from the Emperor himself, the consulate is planning a presentation ceremony for the band in late June to accompany a to-be-announced performance at a Seattle-area venue.


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The Ventures are also known for doing the Hawaii 5-0 theme song. (For those of us old enough to remember that show.)

No, the "Hawaii 5-0 Theme" song was by someone else. I think it was Lalo Schifrin.

Lemme look it up.

Nope. Morton Stevens And His Orchestra:


How about Alphaville? They sang "Big In Japan." I guess not big enough to get awarded the honour :cool:

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