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Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” hits #1


Two girls for every boy!” went the immortal opening line from Jan and Dean’s “Surf City,” the song that reached the top of the U.S. pop charts on July 20, 1963. It was a claim that wasn’t actually supported by the facts, but it helped create a popular image of California as a paradise of sun and sand and endless summers.

To anyone with just a passing familiarity with 1960s pop music, “Surf City” might easily be mistaken for a Beach Boys record, though in fact, the Beach Boys had yet to have a #1 of their own when Jan and Dean scored theirs on this day in 1963. Still, “Surf City” owes its existence directly to the Beach Boys and their resident genius Brian Wilson.

High-school classmates Jan Berry and Dean Torrence earned a pair of minor hits while still in their teens, including one — “Baby Talk” (#10 1959)— that Beach Boy Mike Love would later credit as an inspiration for his group’s 1961 debut single, “Surfin’.” But by 1962, the direction of influence between the two groups had shifted. Jan and Dean’s doo-wop flavored sound was passing out of fashion, and when the duo met the Beach Boys while appearing on the same bill at a Los Angeles record hop, they heard the sound that would reinvigorate their career. They became good friends with the Beach Boys and with Brian Wilson in particular, and when they asked Wilson if they could record one of his songs, he declined to give Jan and Dean their first choice, the then-unrecorded “Surfin’ Safari,” but he did give them the instrumental track and opening line to “Surf City.”

In a year that also saw the debut of the Annette Funicello-Frankie Avalon Beach Party movie franchise, “Surf City” became the first chart-topping surf song ever. Jan and Dean would go on to have four more significant surf hits in their career:: “Honolulu Lulu” (#11, 1963); “Drag City” (#10, 1963); “Dead Man’s Curve” (#8, 1964); and “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)” (#3, 1964).


Jan Berry -- half of '60s pop duo

** FILE ** Jan Berry, left, is shown with his longtime musical partner Dean Torrence in this 1959 file photo. Berry, one-half of the duo Jan & Dean that had the 1960s surf-music hits "Deadman's Curve" and "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena," among others, has died. He was 62. Berry had a seizure and stopped breathing Friday at his Los Angeles home. He was pronounced dead that evening at a hospital, said his wife, Gertie Berry. He had been in poor health recently from the lingering effects of braindamage from a 1966 car crash. (AP Photo/jananddean-janberry.com) 1959 FILE PHOTO, PHOTO PROVIDED BY JANANDDEAN-JANBERRY.COM, BLACK AND WHITE ONLY, Jan Berry Jan Berry

2004-03-28 04:00:00 PDT Los Angeles -- Jan Berry, half of the 1960s pop music duo Jan and Dean, who recorded hits including their No. 1 "Surf City" and Mr. Berry's favorite, "Dead Man's Curve," has died. He was 62.

Mr. Berry died Friday at the UCLA Medical Center after suffering a seizure at his home nearby, his wife, Gertrude Filip Berry, said Saturday. His health had been precarious since he suffered brain damage and partial paralysis in a 1966 automobile accident.

Along with his teenage friend Dean Torrence, Mr. Berry had half a dozen hits in the Top 10, including 1959's "Baby Talk" and five in 1963 and 1964 alone -- "Surf City," "Honolulu Lulu," "Drag City," "Dead Man's Curve" and "Little Old Lady From Pasadena." They collected 13 gold records and sold more than 10 million records.

Torrence could not be reached Saturday for comment.

Steeped in the surf, sun and sand culture of Southern California youth of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. Berry delighted in spinning lyrics about a hot rod-racing grandma in "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" or driving a "woody" to "Surf City" where he envisioned "two girls for every boy." He joined Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys to co-write the lyrics for several Jan and Dean hits including "Dead Man's Curve," "Drag City," "Surf City" and "New Girl in School."

"Jan and Brian influenced each other so much they had one of the most important friendships in popular music, particularly in developing the West Coast Sound," said Mark Moore, who is writing a biography of Mr. Berry, his music and overcoming physical handicap. He said Wilson learned about producing records from Mr. Berry, who gained insight on harmony from Wilson.

The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean performed on each other's records, according to the "New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll," until their record companies objected. Jan and Dean's meteoric career might have soared higher but for the April 12, 1966, accident in which Mr. Berry's silver Corvette Sting Ray hit a parked truck at 90 mph in Beverly Hills after he came off Sunset Boulevard only a few blocks from the "Dead Man's Curve" of their song. Mr. Berry was severely injured.


The Number Ones: The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around”

During the session where the Beach Boys were recording “I Get Around,” Murry Wilson was acting like an asshole. This was nothing new. Murry was the overbearing father of Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, and he was also, in the early years, the band’s manager. During the session, Murry was ranting about how untalented his sons were and how shitty the song was, threatening to shut the session down. In the middle of the session, Brian fired him. Brian Wilson didn’t make too many power-plays like this, but there was too much at stake.

“I Get Around” was the first thing that the Beach Boys recorded after the rise of the Beatles. Brian Wilson didn’t even like the early Beatles in his mind, his competition was Phil Spector, with his dazzling orchestral layers. Later on, the Beatles and the Beach Boys, along with bands like the Rolling Stones, would launch into an insanely productive rivalry, with everyone trying to outdo everyone else. But in 1964, the Beatles represented a clear and present threat to the Beach Boys.

The Beach Boys had been making hits for a couple of years by 1964, but they rode in on a particular sound, and that sound was on its way out. The Beach Boys were the prototypical group of the surf-music boom. Brian Wilson had written most of Jan And Dean’s “Surf City,” which had gotten to #1 the previous year, but the Beach Boys had never made it to the summit themselves. (Murry was furious that Brian had given away a #1 single.) And the Beatles had come to eclipse surf music completely. So the Beach Boys had to come up with something new.

“I Get Around” sounds a lot like the group’s early surf-music singles, but it’s a progression, too. The lyrics aren’t surf-specific. Instead, they’re a timeless flex. “I Get Around” is a song about being really fucking good at being a teenager: “We always take my car cuz it’s never been beat / And we’ve never missed yet with the girls we meet.” It’s also thicker, lusher, more indebted to what Spector was doing. The harmonies pile all over each other with dizzy aplomb, and there’s real momentum in that twanged-out guitar and those feverish handclaps. The hooks are, of course, ridiculous. (Mike Love later sued Brian for a co-writer credit, and if he really did come up with the round round getaround part, he deserved it.)

“I Get Around” is a beginning, not an endpoint, and it’s nowhere near the heights the band would later reach. (“Don’t Worry Baby,” the B-side to “I Get Around,” is a lot closer it might be the Beach Boys’ first masterpiece.) But “I Get Around” was still enough to get them to #1 during a ridiculously competitive era. Two decades later, when Brian Wilson was out of the picture, the Beach Boys still had enough juice to score a fluke #1. That doesn’t happen without “I Get Around.”

BONUS BEATS: Here’s Lil B’s “Beach Boy Brandon,” a deeply zonked-out a cappella “I Get Around” quasi-cover from 2011:


The Jan and Dean Sound 1960

𠇌lementine” (charted #65 in 1959) You know the story. Boy loves girl with big feet then she falls into the lake and drowns. Yes, that Clementine. They took an old song and put a rock &aposn roll beat behind it and made it pretty damn catchy.

�y Talk” (charted #10 in 1959) A quirky song about a little boy who loves a little girl and knows that someday they will be married. Lots of bomps in this one.

Bonus track: “Jeanette” About a girl in school they would love to date, only her hair is a mess making her undatable.


Hal Blaine: A Tribute

L egendary drummer and Wrecking Crew member Hal Blaine passed away on March 11, 2019, at the age of 90.

Hal was one of the most popular, and most recorded, drummers of all time. The list of artists he worked for, and the hit records he performed on, is staggering. From Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” groups to the Beach Boys and countless other examples—the biggest names in the business—Hal’s career as a studio musician was unparalleled.

What a legacy, and what a life.

This one hits close to home. Beginning in late 1962 with the sessions for “Linda,” Hal played on all of producer Jan Berry’s sessions for Jan & Dean through early 1966. Beginning with the “Surf City” sessions in March 1963, Jan instructed Hal and the great Earl Palmer to play in tandem—in unison—in the studio. All of their parts were written out note for note, and Jan’s original charts and scores still exist. These pioneering dual drum sessions produced a fat, driving sound that became one of the hallmarks of Jan’s productions.

In producing the Wrecking Crew in the studio, Jan kept up a constant back-and-forth dialog with Hal. Beginning with Dead Man’s Curve / The New Girl in School in 1964, Jan & Dean’s albums featured the liner credit, “Orchestra Conducted by Hal Blaine.”

Hal also served as contractor for Jan’s sessions, and often backed the duo in live performances with other Wrecking Crew musicians.

Notable live performances with Hal included shows recorded in Sacramento, California, on October 24, 1964, which became the basis for the hit album Command Performance (1965). Performances for the legendary concert film The TAMI Show followed on October 28-29, 1964 (with a theatrical release in 1965).

In November 1965, concerts with Hal and the Wrecking Crew, conducted by George Tipton, were filmed in San Diego for Jan & Dean’s 1966 television pilot On the Run (Ashmont Productions / 20th Century-Fox). This classic concert footage featured Hal playing his famous blue double-bass Ludwig kit with caricatures of Jan & Dean on the outer bass drum heads.

Legendary Drummer HAL BLAINE Backing JAN & DEAN at the Hollywood Bowl

Hal’s character in the pilot was “Clobber,” the drummer in Jan & Dean’s road band. His gag was, “Have I got the music?! . . . I forgot the music.” “He’s a good drummer,” joked fictional manager George Fennenbock. Clobber is seen with bongos strapped around his neck in segments shot at the San Diego Zoo. Hal had a wicked sense of humor and was fond of off-color jokes—a perfect fit for Jan & Dean. The duo’s comedy series On the Run was slated to debut on the ABC network in the fall of 󈨆—but Jan’s life-changing automobile accident in April ended everything.

HAL BLAINE — “Drums! Drums! A Go Go” LP Cover, 1965

Hal and Jan were close personal friends who often socialized together outside of the studio. Hal was 12 years his senior and very much like an older brother to Jan. Hal was devastated by Jan’s car accident. He spent a lot of time at Jan’s bedside, and played on all of Jan’s post-accident recordings in the 󈨀s and 󈨊s, beginning with the first Carnival of Sound related sessions in April 1967.

JAN BERRY with close friend and drummer HAL BLAINE, 1967 JAN BERRY with Friend and Drummer HAL BLAINE at Park Lane Circle, Circa 1969-70

I am grateful that I got a chance to interview Hal. He was always gracious and loved to talk about his time with Jan, and Jan’s influence on his career. Hal called me after receiving a copy of my book The Jan & Dean Record, and I was truly thankful for his enthusiastic support of the project.

Thanks for the music, Hal. Rest easy, my friend. You had a long and productive life, and we are all the richer for it.

Mark A. Moore
Author of The Jan & Dean Record


Surf City: The Jan and Dean Story

It was time to complete my surf music trifecta of autobiographies – after Mike Love and Brian Wilson came “Surf City – the Jan & Dean Story”. Back in the early 1960s Jan & Dean more than held their own with the Beach Boys with a string of surfing/car hotrodding singles. Their career came to an abrupt end after the horrific crash by Jan Berry in his Stingray. Dean Torrance takes us back to those days with his own story. He writes in a very straightforward fashion and does not try to re-open old g It was time to complete my surf music trifecta of autobiographies – after Mike Love and Brian Wilson came “Surf City – the Jan & Dean Story”. Back in the early 1960s Jan & Dean more than held their own with the Beach Boys with a string of surfing/car hotrodding singles. Their career came to an abrupt end after the horrific crash by Jan Berry in his Stingray. Dean Torrance takes us back to those days with his own story. He writes in a very straightforward fashion and does not try to re-open old grudges or stir up any new controversies. More than the Beach Boys – Jan & Dean lived the surfer/hot rod lifestyle. They were both very good athletes and spent just as much time in the garage as on the beach. Dean relates the funny anecdote where they help Brian Wilson with lyrics as he really didn’t know much about cars. Another interesting tidbit that I found fascinating was that both Jan & Dean were attending college while recording and touring. This idyllic life came to a crashing stop in 1966 when Jan Berry is badly hurt in a car crash.

The second half of the book covers Dean’s career change as he becomes a successful art designer for other artists. This is followed by a reunion of Jan & Dean that lasted almost until Jan Berry passed away in 2004. I did see them perform in Michigan in the early 1980s – Jan was visibly impaired but the show was great fun. The book paints a much different picture as Jan Berry had suffered severe neurological injuries and this reunion was a difficult challenge. I would have liked to read more about Jan’s recovery – in the book Dean Torrence abruptly jumps from the car crash to his own personal career and does not mention Jan again till they reunite years later. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable book to read and makes you wish that you were in southern California on a beach somewhere listening to “Surf City”.
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California in the early 1960&aposs developed it&aposs own unique rock and roll sound focusing on surfing, hot rods, teenage innocence and two of the bands that personified that sound were The Beach Boys and Jan & Dean. This is Dean&aposs story of those years - from their high school years harmonizing in the showers through Dean&aposs stint in the U.S. Reserve their success as singers to Jan&aposs devastating accident which required Dean to move on even as he kept their presence on the music scene with the hope tha California in the early 1960's developed it's own unique rock and roll sound focusing on surfing, hot rods, teenage innocence and two of the bands that personified that sound were The Beach Boys and Jan & Dean. This is Dean's story of those years - from their high school years harmonizing in the showers through Dean's stint in the U.S. Reserve their success as singers to Jan's devastating accident which required Dean to move on even as he kept their presence on the music scene with the hope that Jan would eventually heal and return to studio. Dean's personal career in designing group logos and album covers - he was nominated several times for Grammys best album cover and actually won one. The later reunion tours, Jan's cocaine addiction and his eventual death.

Overall, it's an interesting read. Dean seems quite flippant no matter what is happening but then he is looking back decades. The drag races, the mischief, drunkenness, petty larceny are all treated with a teasing playfulness. But this also gives personal insights into the early years of American rock-and-roll music industry which was very obviously in its infancy.

The only negative is that even though the title says that it's the Jan and Dean story, one Jan Berry had his accident, the following chapters were all about Dean Torrence and his business ventures before Jan finally reappears for the reunion tours. There really isn't anything about Jan's struggle with brain damage and partial paralysis.

Dean Torrence, of the surf music duo Jan and Dean, tells the history of this influential early rock/pop band of the 60s in a lively voice. He brings growing up in Southern California in that era to life in a way you wish you could have been there.

The story of his evolution from a teenage pop artist to a Grammy-award winning album cover designer and back again is interesting, even inspiring. My complaint is that given the quick (short) read, his story-telling prioritization was off rather acutel Dean Torrence, of the surf music duo Jan and Dean, tells the history of this influential early rock/pop band of the 60s in a lively voice. He brings growing up in Southern California in that era to life in a way you wish you could have been there.

The story of his evolution from a teenage pop artist to a Grammy-award winning album cover designer and back again is interesting, even inspiring. My complaint is that given the quick (short) read, his story-telling prioritization was off rather acutely. An entire chapter is devoted to a pick-up game of football at a city park, replete with descriptions of plays and pass routes and pass coverages, when the only point is that Elvis was on the opposing team. Meanwhile, the story of Jan's tragic car accident gets fairly short shrift. Dean glosses over what sounded like an interesting episode where they were witnesses in a kidnapping trial involving Frank Sinatra, Jr., telling readers we can go elsewhere to read about it, but spends several pages unfolding a story about robbing their tour manager, only to end it saying he made it all up.

Setting that aside, this is Dean's honest first-person version of a compelling story of triumph and tragedy in the pop music world. . more

I grew up in the era of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Jan and Dean. I picked up the book mostly out of curiosity. I knew the history of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and many other groups. I knew who Jan and Dean were, and some of their songs , but really not much about them.

The book was not really what I expected. These guys were REALLY smart. And outside of Jan&aposs drug addiction after his accident, really clean, conservative guys. Not what you usually find in a R & R book. The book is simply a I grew up in the era of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Jan and Dean. I picked up the book mostly out of curiosity. I knew the history of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and many other groups. I knew who Jan and Dean were, and some of their songs , but really not much about them.

The book was not really what I expected. These guys were REALLY smart. And outside of Jan's drug addiction after his accident, really clean, conservative guys. Not what you usually find in a R & R book. The book is simply a written explanation of their rise to fame and the aftermath.

The story encompasses family and friendships, including their connection to The Beach Boys. It talks about the college degrees they pursued during the most popular years of the 60's. And the ability to be able to hate and love someone at the same time. Dean mentions a near escape from the Manson family and a football game with Elvis.

Once I started this book I did not want to put it down. I just kept shaking my head and going, "really"?. And then I had to read more. And more. And more.

And Dean..if you read this. Please bring your band to Portland, Or. I would love to hear you all play!

I actually thought I liked Dean before reading this. You’d think an editor may point out that the book makes him look like a racist, sexist, name-dropping a-hole before he published it. Apparently they didn’t.

I mean come on. There’s a train wreck that almost killed his singing partner and he is LAUGHING as he runs to the scene of the serious wreck because he’s so glad he got off the train when everyone else didn’t. This type of thing happens multiple times. What a jerk.

It turns out he wasn’t r I actually thought I liked Dean before reading this. You’d think an editor may point out that the book makes him look like a racist, sexist, name-dropping a-hole before he published it. Apparently they didn’t.

I mean come on. There’s a train wreck that almost killed his singing partner and he is LAUGHING as he runs to the scene of the serious wreck because he’s so glad he got off the train when everyone else didn’t. This type of thing happens multiple times. What a jerk.

It turns out he wasn’t really responsible for much of anything that Jan and Dean accomplished either. And his list of credits after being a singer is a list of “that epic project ALMOST worked out…but not quite”.

He’s also best pals with Mike Love. That explains a lot. . more

The book had some interesting tidbits, but was in no way as insightful as the autobiographies by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys. Also this is mostly "The Dean Story," not the "JAN and Dean Story." As the book was written by Dean, you&aposd expect it to be a bit slanted in his favor, but he went way overboard documenting "his" history.

It was ok. The book had some interesting tidbits, but was in no way as insightful as the autobiographies by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys. Also this is mostly "The Dean Story," not the "JAN and Dean Story." As the book was written by Dean, you'd expect it to be a bit slanted in his favor, but he went way overboard documenting "his" history.

Inspirational Read

I thought that this was an inspirational read because of Deans compassion toward his close bandmate. I have met Jan myself, getting his autograph numerous times. I even have a picture of him that was taken with my camera. I even have a camera shot of Dean, no autographs though. Thank You for writing this book.

Book was fragmented at best. Problems with Jan then learn they performed snother twenty years.
I would recommend this book for the background on how jan and dean got started.

Open and honest

Jan hit all the high ( and low ) points. It was a great time in America. Beautifully told. Great read.

I have never been to California and I have never touched a surf board, but I do own a dusty copy of the Rip chords&apos "Hey Little Cobra" on vinyl. The relevance of that is the fact that The Rip Chords were contemporaries of Jan and Dean and on one of their albums covered "Surf City," the song from which Dean Torrence has borrowed the title for this memoir. The Rip Chords also worked with some of the same people that Jan and Dean did, including Terry Melcher and The Beach Boys. And I always liked J I have never been to California and I have never touched a surf board, but I do own a dusty copy of the Rip chords' "Hey Little Cobra" on vinyl. The relevance of that is the fact that The Rip Chords were contemporaries of Jan and Dean and on one of their albums covered "Surf City," the song from which Dean Torrence has borrowed the title for this memoir. The Rip Chords also worked with some of the same people that Jan and Dean did, including Terry Melcher and The Beach Boys. And I always liked Jan and Dean's songs, especially "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Surf City" so I was tickled pink to win a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Dean begins the story by painting a glowing picture of his life as a high school football player and amateur surfer in sun-soaked southern California. You can almost feel the warm sand under your feet and hear the throaty rumble of hot rod engines as he describes his beach excursions. Dean met Jan Berry in the football locker room and soon was invited to Jan's house, where the pair's singing careers were soon to be born. In the chapters that follow Dean recounts their rise to rock and roll stardom, the ups and downs of their music experiences, the joys and sorrows of their lives. Along the way the reader gains insight into the music industry, learns trivia about the California music scene and the records it produced, and meets some very interesting people, including the Beach Boys. In fact, Mike Love wrote the book's foreword.

Anyone who grew up in the 50s or 60s and still loves the music of their early years, as the author clearly does, will enjoy this look back at a bygone time. It is written in a conversational style that violates some basic rules of exposition- tenses slip back and forth like the California surf, sometimes changing mid-sentence, but that's OK. It's like sitting on a beach in the sun and listening to Dean tell the story. It's fun.

The book includes twenty photos from various stages of Jan and Dean's careers. More would be welcome, of course, especially some of the album covers Dean worked on. (Did you know that he. No, I won't spoil the surprise.) The book lacks a discography, which of course can be easily found online, and an index would have been nice. I'm sure there were anecdotes that Dean could have included but, for whatever reasons, chose not to. Perhaps an expanded edition will be published some day, but if not, that's fine. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Thanks, Dean! . more


Jan & Dean

Jan & Dean oli pop/rockduo, jonka suurin suosio ajoittui 1950-luvun loppuun ja 1960-luvun alkupuoliskolle. Duon jäsenet olivat Jan Berry (3. huhtikuuta 1941 – 26. maaliskuuta 2004) ja Dean Torrence (s. 10. maaliskuuta 1940). [1] Duo oli surfmusiikin pioneereja. Heidän menestynein kappaleensa oli Berryn ja Brian Wilsonin kirjoittama ”Surf City”, joka nousi sekä Billboardin että Cashboxin listaykköseksi vuonna 1963. [2] Muita yhtyeen top ten -hittejä olivat ”Drag City” (1963), ”The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” (1964) ja ”Dead Man's Curve” (1964).

Suurimpien surf-menestysvuosien 1963–1964 jälkeen duo etsi musiikillista suuntaansa ja saavutti pikkuhittejä kuten ”You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy” ja ”I Found a Girl”. Aktiivinen musiikinteko duona päättyi Jan Berryn auto-onnettomuuteen 12. huhtikuuta 1966. Yhtye palasi lavoille 1970-luvun alussa ja keikkaili aina vuoteen 2004, jolloin Jan Berry kuoli.


Honolulu Lulu

"Honolulu Lulu" was Jan & Dean's follow-up to "Surf City" and did reasonably well, making number 11. It's been rather forgotten by oldies radio, though, perhaps because it was a bit too similar to "Surf City," though it's not a total rewrite. Like "Surf City," though, "Honolulu Lulu" starts with a brief harmonized chorus that makes a pleasing sweep through unpredictable melodic shifts and keys, ending with the same emphatic stuttering rhythm that the chorus to "Surf City" ends with. The verses, too, had the same kind of observational flair of "Surf City," relaying the activities of the singer's Honolulu girlfriend with enough zest that they seem important rather than mundane (as they most likely would in conversation). All parties involved did their level best to dress up the formula with interesting production bits, though, including expert ticky-tock drums, cymbal washes to emulate crashing waves (perhaps inspired by similar percussive devices on the Beach Boys' "Catch a Wave"), the repeated harmonized anointing of the Honolulu Lulu as the queen of the surfer girls, good Beach Boys-like harmonies, and Hawaiian steel guitar in the instrumental break (which mutates into a more standard Chuck Berry-type lick partway through). The last repetition of the chorus goes into some particularly spiraling upwards key changes. Like "Surf City," the lyrics might seem quite over-the-top in their enthusiasm for a beach bunny nowadays, but in 1963, they were appropriate, as it would have been the epitome of cool to have a Hawaiian girlfriend who could surf well. The "Spunky" in the songwriting credits, incidentally, was a pseudonym for producer Lou Adler.


Music Review: Jan & Dean – Surf City: The Best Of Jan & Dean

I have just finished shoveling 12 inches of snow, the temperature has dropped into the teens, and now Jan & Dean are blasting out of my speakers.

Jan and Dean were responsible for some poor to average albums, an inability to reproduce their sound in concert, and some of the best surf and car singles of the mid 1960s this side of the Beach Boys. When all was said and done, Jan & Dean would rank a solid second behind the Beach Boys in terms of vocal surf sounds.

The 22 former singles contained on The Legendary Master Series release, Surf City: The Best Of Jan and Dean present them at their best, as their legacy is essentially that of a singles band. While they would produce over a dozen studio albums, this compilation, or one like it, is all you really need.

Jan Berry did not have the musical vision of Brian Wilson, but he was savvy enough to transform Jan and Dean from the producers of lite pop into multi-million-selling artists of the 60s. Like Wilson, Berry also had the ability to layer sound and, while his voice and that of partner Dean Torrence were not as strong as any of the Beach Boys, by the time Berry finished a song in the studio it sounded like a virtual choir.

Brian Wilson and Jan Berry developed a business relationship that brought them together. This enabled Wilson to find an additional outlet for his songs and Berry to find great music to record. For a five-year period, the songs kept coming and selling. Brian Wilson co-wrote such songs as “Surf City,” “Drag City,” “Dead Man&rsquos Curve,” “New Girl In School,” “Ride The Wild Surf” and “Sidewalk Surfin&rsquo.” Combine these with “Linda”, “Honolulu Lulu,” “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena),” “Popsicle” and more and you have a strong catalogue of catchy music that reflected the California eternal dream and summer.

“Surf City&rsquos&rdquo opening line “two girls for every boy” and the play on the word “Linda” from the song of the same name are memorable. “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)” is still fun and is probably the best Jan and Dean example of layered sound. “Ride The Wild Surf,” “Dead Man&rsquos Curve” and “Drag City” all represent the 1960s California sound well.

The musical careers of Jan and Dean essentially ended in April of 1966 when Jan Berry&rsquos Stingray hit a parked truck. Berry had to learn to talk again, such were his brain injuries. While they would tour again with a multitude of backup singers and remain popular on the oldies circuit until Berry&rsquos death, their impact upon the recording and music industry was over. Dean Torrence would go on to form a successful company that developed album covers.

I think that music history has treated Jan and Dean fairly. The music is not essential but it is fun, and although much of it is dated, it’s worth hearing, especially on a cold winter night. Surf City: The Best Of Jan and Dean presents them at their best.


“Bandstand Performers” 1963


Dick Clark on the "American Bandstand" TV show from Philadelphia, appears with teens around him as he reads mail. AP photo.

During 1963, there were more than 200 guest appearances on American Bandstand, with a number of artists making their national television debuts. Among some of the more notable performers appearing in 1963 with one or more hit songs were: Dionne Warwick, Paul & Paula, the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, Peter Paul & Mary, Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, The Chiffons, Dion, Bobby Rydell, Skeeter Davis, Nancy Sinatra, Lesley Gore, Frankie Avalon, Gene Pitney, Dee Dee Sharp, Jan & Dean, Neil Sedaka, Darlene Love, Bobby Vinton, Link Wray, and others.

Warwick would follow this hit with others, including, “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” released in December 1963 and “Walk On By” in April 1964, a major international hit and million seller.

Dionne Warwick went on to stardom and a long career of many hits, including those in collaboration with the writer/producer team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David during the 1962 -1971 period. Warwick, in fact, would put 56 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1962 and 1998, making her one of the that era’s leading female recording stars.


Lesley Gore, shown at 1964 TAMI concert, appeared on Bandstand, May 1963, singing “It’s My Party.” Click for 'Best of' CD.

But by June 1, 1963, after Gore made her national TV debut on Bandstand performing “It’s My Party,” the song shot to No. 1 on the pop charts, remaining there for two weeks. Gore would also have big subsequent follow-up hits, including “Judy’s Turn To Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me.” And years, later, she would also be nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1980 song, “Out Here On My Own” from the movie Fame.

The Righteous Brothers appeared on Bandstand in June 1963, but this was before their major stardom, coming at a time when they worked with a small recording company and then using the Moonglow label. Under that label, they produced two moderate hits: “Little Latin Lupe Lu” and “My Babe.” Their big hit – “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” produced with studio wizard Phil Spector – would not come until 1965.

In the latter part of 1963, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand had a contingent of “girl group” recording artists on the show– i.e., groups that were girl-led, all-girl composed, or had a “girl group” sound. Among these were the Jaynetts, the Chiffons, Darlene Love, Dee Dee Sharp, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and the Ronettes. Clark also gave local groups continued opportunity on his show such as The Dreamlovers, a Philadelphia doo-wop group that once backed Chubby Checker on “The Twist” and other songs. This group appeared several times on Bandstand in 1963.


Dick Clark interviewing a young Little Richard on American Bandstand sometime in 1963 or 1964. Click for 'Best Of' CD.

The 1963 season, in any case, was the last year that American Bandstand would be broadcast from Philadelphia. In early 1963, the live broadcasts were replaced by previously-taped shows, though still running five days a week. In August, Bandstand ended its weekday broadcasts and instead, went to a Saturdays-only show for one hour, ending its years in Philadelphia with its final broadcasts in December 1963. By February 1964, the show resumed broadcasting from Los Angeles, California, near Hollywood. Clark by then had also been serving as a game show host, a part of his career that would grow in the years ahead. At the time of Bandstand’s move west, Dick Clark was still a young man at age 34.

It was “where the action was,” as Clark would later explain. “Everything was going on there. The surfing craze was high on everybody’s list of things to do, whether you lived near water or not. Everybody wanted to have bleached-blonde straight hair… So I figured I’d better get out [there].”

Still, the 1963-1964 period became something of dividing line for Bandstand and the nation. With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, America fell into a period of mourning and national soul-searching. And with the turn of the new year in 1964, the music began to change as well. In February 1964, after the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, “Beatlemania” swept the country. Plain Vanilla rock ‘n roll was heading into some new territory, not the least of which would be drug and psychedelic influences.


1962: Top left to right - Martha Reeves, Annette Beard, Mary Wells & Dick Clark. Click for Martha & The Vandellas story.

What follows below is a listing of artists who appeared on American Bandstand in 1963 – the final Philadelphia year — along with a few Bandstand “top ten” lists from that year. Artists appearing on Bandstand are listed by date, and in some cases, with the song each performed. Other Bandstand-related stories at this website include, “At the Hop, 1957-1958,” “Bandstand Performers, 1957,” and “American Bandstand, 1956-2007,” a general history of the show, Dick Clark, and his related businesses. Thanks for visiting — and if you like what you find here, please make a donation to help support this website. Thank you. – Jack Doyle.

“American Bandstand”
Selected Guests & Performers
1963


Skeeter Davis appeared twice on Bandstand in 1963, performing her song “The End of the World” in February. Click for her story.


Surfing music was popular in the early 1960s, and Jan & Dean had a hit with “Surf City,” appearing on ‘Bandstand’ in March 1963. Click for this CD.


Bobby Vinton performed “Blue on Blue” when he appeared on Bandstand, June 14, 1963. Click for Greatest Hits CD.

January 1963

Jan 2: D. Warwick- “Don’t Make Me Over”
Jan 4: Johnny Thunder- “Loop de Loop”
Jan 10: B. Lynn- “You’re Gonna Need Me”
Jan 11: Freddy Cannon- “Four Letter Man”
Jan 15: The Dreamlovers
Jan 17: Dion – “Ruby Baby”
Jan 18: Paul & Paula- “Hey Paula”
Jan 22: Barbara Lynn
Jan 23: J. Mathis- “What Will Mary Say?”
Jan 28: Steve Alaimo
Jan 29: Conway Twitty- “The Pickup”
Jan 31: Bobby Comstock & The Counts

February 1963

Feb 1: The Dreamlovers
Feb 4: Bobby Rydell- “Love is Blind”
Feb 6: J. Darren- “Pin A Medal on Joey”
Feb 8: Lou Christie- “The Gypsy Cried”
Feb 12: Sandy Stewart
Feb 14: S. Davis- “End Of The World”
Feb 19: J. Ray- “Look Out, Chattanooga”
Feb 20: Lou Christie- “The Gypsy Cried”
Feb 21: Nancy Sinatra
Feb 22: Four Seasons- “Walk Like A Man”
Feb 24: N. Sedaka- “Alice in Wonderland”
Feb 25: J. Tillotson-“Out of My Mind”
Feb 27: Marcie Blaine
Feb 28: Marcie Blane- “Bobby’s Girl”

Mar 1: Four Seasons- “Walk Like a Man”
Mar 5: Bobby Comstock- “Let’s Stomp”
Mar 6: Connie Francis- “Follow the Boys”
Mar 8: Nancy Sinatra- “Like I Do”
Mar 12: Johnny Thunder
Mar 14: Jo Ann Campbell- “Mother…”
Mar 18: Anita Bryant- “Our Winter Love”
Mar 19: Timi Yuro- “Insult to Injury”
Mar 22: Wayne Newton
Mar 26: The Dreamlovers
Mar 28: Wayne Newton- “Heart…”
Mar 29: Jan & Dean- “Linda”

Apr 2: B. Vinton- “Over the Mountain”
Apr 12: J. Soul- “If You Wanna Be…”
Apr 17: S. Alaimo- “Lifetime of…”
Apr 18: Al Martino- “I Love You Because”
Apr 19: Johnny Cymbal- “Mr Bass Man”
Apr 23: Bobby Lewis- “Intermission”
Apr 25: Freddy Cannon- “Patty Baby”
Apr 26: Frankie Avalon

May 1: Mickey Callan
May 2: Peter, Paul & Mary- “Puff…”
May 3: Jimmy Clanton
May 7: N. Sedaka- “Let’s Go Steady…”
May 8: D. Love- “Today I Met Boy…”
May 14: Rockin’ Rebels
May 24: S. Davis- “…Saving My Love”
May 30: Lesley Gore- “It’s My Party”
May 31: B. Hyland- “…Afraid to Go Home”

Jun 5: The Righteous Brothers
Jun 6: Dee Dee Sharp
Jun 7: Essex – “Easier Said Than Done”
Jun 10: Ray Stevens- “Harry The Ape”
Jun 11: Frankie Avalon
Jun 12: Chubby Checker- “Black Cloud”
Jun 13: T. Yuro- “Make the World…”
Jun 14: Bobby Vinton- “Blue on Blue”
Jun 17: Miami Beach Show
Jun 18: Nancy Sinatra- “One Way”
Jun 19: Steve Alaimo
Jun 20: Bill Anderson- “Still”
Jun 21: Guest info unavailable
Jun 26: James Brown- “Prisoner of Love”
Jun 27: Barbara Lewis- “Hello Stranger”
Jun 28: Paul & Paula- “First Quarrel”

Jul 3: Dean Randolph- “False Love”
Jul 4: Joey Dee- “Dance, Dance, Dance”
Jul 5: Dee Dee Sharp- “…Cradle of Love”
Jul 8: Stevie Wonder – “Fingertips, Pt 2”
Jul 10: Link Wray- “Jack the Ripper”
Jul 11: Doris Troy
Jul 17: Freddy Cannon
Jul 22: Bobby Vinton
Jul 23: F. Cannon- “Everybody Monkey”
Jul 24: Roy Orbison- “Falling”
Jul 25: B. Hyland- “Afraid to Go Home”
Jul 26: Jimmy Clanton
Jul 29: Patty Duke (Patty Duke Show)
Jul 30: Mel Carter- “When a Boy…”
Jul 31: Frankie Avalon

August 1963

Aug 1: The Dovells- “Betty in Bermudas”
Aug 2: Freddie Scott- “Hey Girl”
Aug 5: Eddie Hodges- “Halfway”
Aug 6: D. D. Sharp- “Rock Me in The…”
Aug 7: Jo Ann Campbell
Aug 8: Wayne Newton- “Danke Schoen”
Aug 9: Steve Alaimo- “Don’t Let Sun…”
Aug 12: Al Martino- “Painted, Tainted…”
Aug 13: Roy Clark- “Tips of My Fingers”
Aug 14: Dick & Dee Dee- “Love is…”
Aug 15: Bandstand Fans Special
Aug 19: Duane Eddy- “… Lonely Guitar”
Aug 22: Dick & Dee Dee
Aug 23: B. Lynn- “…Laura’s Wedding”
Aug 29: Fats Domino- “Red Sails in Sunset”
Aug 30: Final Daily Show- Dick Clark


Bandstand “Top Ten” List
(30 August 1963)

1. “My Boyfriend’s Back!”- The Angels
2. “Hello Mudduh…”- Allan Sherman
3. “Fingertips”- Little Stevie Wonder
4. “Candy Girl”- The 4 Seasons
5. “Blowin’ in Wind”- Peter, Paul & Mary
6. “If I Had A Hammer”- Trini Lopez
7. “Judy’s Turn to Cry”- Lesley Gore
8. “Mockingbird”- Inez & Charlie Foxx
9. “More”- Kai Winding
10.”Denise”- Randy & The Rainbows

September 1963
(Saturday shows begin)

Sep 7: Neil Sedaka- “The Dreamer”
Sep 7: The Jaynetts- “Sally Go…Roses”
Sep 14: Dion- “Donna the Prima Donna”
Sep 14: Major Lance- “Monkey Time”
Sep 21: Skt. Davis- “Can’t Stay Mad…”
Sep 21: Garnett Mimms- “Cry Baby”
Sep 28: B. Rydell- “Let’s Make Love…”
Sep 28: The Ronettes- “Be My Baby”

October 1963

Oct 5: Dee Dee Sharp- “Wild”
Oct 5: Linda Scott- “Let’s Fall in Love”
Oct 12: The Chiffons– “A Love So Fine”
Oct 19: Peggy March- “…Follow Him”
Oct 19: Bill Anderson- 𔄠 x 10”
Oct 26: The Busters- “Bust Out”
Oct 26: Freddy Cannon- “That’s What…”


Bandstand “Top Ten” List
(12 October 1963)


November 1963

Nov 2: Dale & Grace- “…Up to You”
Nov 2: Wayne Newton- “Shirl Girl”
Nov 9: Gene Pitney- 󈬈 Hrs From Tulsa”
Nov 9: Sunny & Sunglows- “Talk to Me”
Nov 16: Bobby Bare- � Miles…”
Nov 16: Brian Hyland- “Let Us Make…”
Nov 30: Dick Clark’s Celebrity Party


December 1963

Dec 7: Neil Sedaka – “Bad Girl”
Dec 7: Vito & Salutations- “Unchained…”
Dec 7: Chubby Checker- “Hooka Tooka”
Dec 21: Chubby Checker- “Lody Lo”
Dec 21: Donald Jenkins- “Adios”
Dec 28: Bobby Vinton- “Blue Velvet”
Dec 28: Patty Duke- Dick Clark interview


Bandstand “Top Ten” List
(21 December 1963)

1. “Dominique”- The Singing Nun
2. “Louie Louie”- The Kingsmen
3. “Don’t Have to Be a…” – Caravelles
4. “There! I Said it Again”- Bobby Vinton
5. “Since I Fell for You”- Lenny Welch
6. “Be True to Your School”- Beach Boys
7. “Drip Drop”- Dion
8. “…Leaving it Up to You” – Dale & Grace
9. “Everybody” – Tommy Roe
10. “Popsicles & Icicles” – The Murmaids

Note: This is not a complete list of all
1963 American Bandstand guests, as some
dates, artists and/or songs are missing.
Available sources have incomplete,
conflicting, or uncertain information.

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Date Posted: 30 April 2012
Last Update: 13 April 2019
Comments to: [email protected]

Article Citation:
Jack Doyle, “Bandstand Performers: 1963,”
PopHistoryDig.com, April 30, 2012.

Sources, Links & Additional Information


Roy Orbison appeared on “American Bandstand” June 24, 1963 performing “Falling.” Click for 'Ultimate Collection' CD.

John A. Jackson, American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Empire, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Associated Press, “‘American Bandstand’ Honored for Its Age,” New York Times, September 16, 1987.

Hank Bordowitz, Turning Points in Rock and Roll, Citadel Press, 2004.

“Dionne Warwick,” in Holly George-Warren and Patricia Romanowski (eds), The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Rolling Stone Press, New York, 3rd Edition, 2001, pp. 1046-1047.

“The Four Seasons,” in Holly George-Warren and Patricia Romanowski (eds), The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Rolling Stone Press, New York, 3rd Edition, 2001, pp. 346-347.

“May 30, 1963: Lesley Gore Sings ‘It’s My Party’ on Bandstand,” History.com.

American Bandstand articles at New York Daily News.

“Dick Clark Interview with Bobby Darin, 1963,” BobbyDarin.net.

“American Bandstand – Season 6 Episode Guide,” TV.com.


Among dance shows that Dick Clark did in 1963 was the one photographed above – a “Dick Clark Parade of Stars” show undertaken with CHUM radio in Toronto, Canada on July 19, 1963 at the Maple Leaf Gardens.


Watch the video: American Bandstand 1967 -1967 Dance Contest Finalists- You Got To Me, Neil Diamond (November 2021).