Surf music

Astronauts, The

Atlantics, The

Rock Historian Glenn A Baker has called The Atlantics "one of the most extraordinarily talented rock groups Australia has ever produced". The band's sound encompassed surf instrumentals and sneering garage-punk and, as well as issuing 18 singles under its own name, the band also backed Aussie rocker Johnny Rebb for a series of fine singles between 1964(...)

Beach Boys, The

Spent the last 55 years with a lost tribe in the Amazon? In that case, here's a band you should know about... Brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson joined forces with their cousin Mike Love, and David Marks, in the summer of 1961, releasing the first single, Surfin'. A minor hit, it was overshadowed the following(...)

Beach Movies

The rise of Surf Music in the early 60s, coupled with the general surfing craze that was sweeping the USA, inevitably began to spawn movies, with Beach Party (1963) starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello doing particularly well. Four more films followed in quick succession, utilising the same stars, crew and concept:  Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), Beach(...)

Chantays, The

Bob Spickard Lead guitar Brian Carman Guitar, saxophone Bob Marshall Piano Warren Waters Bass Bob WelshDrums Steve Khan Drums

Dick Dale

Dick Dale was the first real surfer to actually make surf music, attempting to recreate the experience of riding the waves through a choppy playing style and breakneck pace. When the surf hits dried up, Dale released two hot rod-themed albums, Checkered Flag and Mr Eliminator, gamely smearing himself in engine oil to reposition himself.

Fireballs, The

They were acclaimed as pioneers of the surf sound alongside Dick Dale, Link Wray and The Ventures, but The Fireballs (from Raton, New Mexico) - who enjoyed a US chart-topper with Sugar Shack in 1963 - had no idea what the term actually meant. Nevertheless, their signature melodic instrumentals Torquay and Bulldog, anchored by George Tomsco's guitar - replete with(...)

Golden Boy Jan Berry, 62, Overcame a Strange Twist Of Fate

Golden Boy Jan Berry, 62, Overcame a Strange Twist Of Fate

If Brian Wilson was the king of the California dream regime, Jan & Dean were the crown princes - and the jesters. Composer/producer/lead singer Jan Berry and partner Dean Torrence manufactured enticing, comically exaggerated myths of the West Coast surf and hot rod lifestyle of the early 60s. Surf City, Drag City, Ride The Wild Surf, Sidewalk Surfin' and Dead Man's Curve form the soundtrack(...)

Hondells, The

The 1964 single Little Honda was written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson who decided not to release a version they had recorded with The Beach Boys as a single although it did appear on the album, All Summer Long. The Hondells were a studio group formed to make this record comprising of drummer Hal Blaine,(...)

Jan & Dean

Jan Berry and Dean Torrence made it big in 1963 on the crest of a surf music wave created by The Beach Boys. They celebrated Californian beach and hot rod lifestyle in a series of slick records including Surf City (which Berry co-wrote with his friend Brian Wilson and which contained the memorable line "two girls for every(...)

Mar-Kets, The (The Marketts)

The Mar-Kets' Surfer's Stomp (1962) - produced by Joe Saraceno (who would later work with The Ventures) - was one of the first surf music instrumentals featuring a five-man Californian group. In fact, they were not really a group but a fluid collection of Los Angeles session musicians, working under the direction of Saraceno. Michael Gordon wrote(...)

Pyramids, The

Bona fide Long Beach surfers, The Pyramids reacted against the mop-topped British Invasion by shaving their heads! It was a futile gesture as the surf music craze was consigned to the bargain bins soon afterwards. Their moment of glory was appearing in the film Bikini Beach (1964) pumping out the instrumental number Bikini Drag, mostly buried underneath crucial dialogue(...)

Rip Chords, The

Phil Stewart Vocals (studio/touring) Arnie Marcus Vocals (touring) Rich Rotkin Vocals (touring) Terry Melcher Vocals (studio) Ernie Bringas Vocals (studio) Bruce Johnston Vocals (studio)

Ronny & The Daytonas

This Nashville-based combo was led by John 'Bucky' Wilkin, son of country songwriter Marijohn Wilkin (Cut Across Shorty, The Long Black Veil). The group's first album, GTO (1964), featured a rockin' surf sound but, for the 1966 follow-up, Sandy, Wilkin worked closely with songwriter Buzz Carson, arranger Bergen White and producer Bill Justis to craft an LP of introspective, Brian(...)

Sunrays, The

Californian surf band The Sunrays began life as The Renegades - and had also recorded as The Snowmen and The Rangers - before being picked up in 1964 by manager Murry Wilson (who was already managing his sons' group, The Beach Boys). The Sunrays signed to the new Capitol subsidiary, Tower, and soon issued their debut(...)

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