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Many different music styles emerged during the early 1960's. One of these music styles that was perhaps the most prominent music style to ever come out of Southern California was Surf Music.

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Introduction

Collier 1 Many different music styles emerged during the early 1960's. One of these music styles that was perhaps the most prominent music style to ever come out of Southern California was Surf Music. Surf music was a short-lived phenomenon that occurred from 1961 to 1965 (Nostalgia, 2002). Along with the surf music craze, Hollywood also started producing numerous movies about surfing, including Gidget, and Endless Summer (St. James Encyclopedia, 2003 and Nostalgia, 2002). These movies had some amazing soundtracks that helped popularize the surf music phenomenon. There are two different forms of surf music; instrumental and vocal (Holm, 1998 and St. James Encyclopedia, 2003). The instrumental groups included Dick Dale and the Del-tones, The Ventures, The Chantays, and The Surfaris, and their bands generally consisted of one or two guitar players, a bass player, a drummer, and sometimes a keyboard, sax, or horns (Holm, 1998 and St. James Encyclopedia, 2003). Their music is characterized by a simple song structure (usually based around three chords), reverbed guitars, and rolling, wave-like instrumentals (Wikipedia, 2003). Generally, the devoted fans of these groups were surfers themselves (Nostalgia, 2002). The vocal groups included The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean (Holm, 1998 and St. James Encyclopedia, 2003). Rather than having that wave-like, surf sound to their instrumental music, these groups generally used harmonic vocals to sing about the surfing experience, cars, and girls (Nostalgia, 2002). They generally had a more mainstream pop-rock type fan base (Nostalgia, 2002). ...read more.

Middle

The Surfaris formed in Glendora, California in 1962 after the group saw Dick Dale play at Harmony Park (Holm, 1998 and The Surfaris History, www.jimfacey.com, 2002). The original group included Jim Pash, Jim Fuller, Pat Connolly, Bob Berryhill, and Ron Wilson (Holm, 1998 and The Surfaris History, www.jimfacey.com, 2002). At first, they didn't have enough money to buy the needed equipment, so they sold a few 45's with a song they dreamed up called, "Surfer Joe," and sold them around their high school (Holm, 1998 and The Surfaris History, www.jimfacey.com, 2002). They needed another song to put on the 'B' side of the 45, so they wrote "Wipeout" in about fifteen minutes to fill in that space, and ironically, "Wipeout" became an instant hit (reaching number two on the charts by 1963) (Holm, 1998). "Wipeout" has been used in numerous commercials over the years, including Nissan, Pepsi, Kodak, Pringles, and Wendy's Restaurant, and in movies, such as Dirty Dancing, The Vanishing, and The Sandlot (The Surfaris History, www.jimfacey.com, 2002). The band broke up in 1966 after their recording contract expired, but every few years they perform at reunion concerts. Jim Fuller and Jim Pash continued with the band (Holm, 1998 and The Surfaris History, www.jimfacey.com, 2002). Many lineup changes have occurred over the years. Some of the many replacement band members included: Paul Johnson, David Raven, Jay Traux, and Rob Watson (Holm, 1998 and The Surfaris History, www.jimfacey.com, 2002). ...read more.

Conclusion

They released their first surf album called Jan and Dean Take Linda Surfing, which included such hits as "Surf City," "Ride the Wild Surf," "Sidewalk Surfin'," "Little Old Lady From Pasadena," and "Dead Man's Curve" (Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm and Wikipedia, 2003). In between making records and touring, both Jan and Dean went to college just in case their music careers didn't work out (Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm). Dean majored in arts, and Jan went pre-med (Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm). Their music careers were put on hold after Jan was in a catastrophic car crash in April, 1966 (Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm and Wikipedia, 2003). Jan was in a coma for months, and awoke unable to walk or speak (Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm). Jan and Dean did not play together again for ten years. During this time, a made-for-T.V. movie about Jan and Dean's career called Dead Man's Curve aired on C.B.S. in 1978 (Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm). In 1978, Jan and Dean reunited to tour with the Beach Boys(Surf Vocal Groups, www.history-of-rock.com/jan_and_dean.htm and Wikipedia, 2003). Currently, they still tour on occasion. The influence that surf music has had on rock and roll music is absolutely remarkable. Dick Dale's guitar style influenced guitarist such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. The Ventures influenced such artists as George Harrison, and such groups as Collier 10 The Ramones and Dire Straits. The Chantays and The Surfaris both influenced The Ventures. And finally, The Beach Boys influenced The Beatles recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is apparent that surf music is an important part of music history. ...read more.

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