Surf City (song)

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"Surf City"
Single by Jan and Dean
from the album Surf City
B-side"She's My Summer Girl"
ReleasedJune 1963
Format7-inch single
Recorded20 March 1963
Western Recorders
Hollywood, California
GenreSurf rock, pop
Length2:42
LabelLiberty Records (#55580)
Writer(s)Brian Wilson, Jan Berry
ProducerJan Berry for Screen Gems, Inc.
 
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"Surf City"
Single by Jan and Dean
from the album Surf City
B-side"She's My Summer Girl"
ReleasedJune 1963
Format7-inch single
Recorded20 March 1963
Western Recorders
Hollywood, California
GenreSurf rock, pop
Length2:42
LabelLiberty Records (#55580)
Writer(s)Brian Wilson, Jan Berry
ProducerJan Berry for Screen Gems, Inc.

"Surf City" is a surf song written by Jan Berry and Brian Wilson, which, as recorded by Jan and Dean, was a #1 hit record in July 1963 for two weeks.

The first draft of the song, with the working title "Goody Connie Won't You Come Back Home", was written by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. He gave it to Jan Berry and Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean who finished writing and recording it with Wilson in the early 1960s.[citation needed] Although Torrence contributed several phrases to the song, he never insisted that he be given writing credit.[citation needed] "Surf City" became the first surf song to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.[1] The song also crossed to #3 on Billboard's R&B charts.

(A song by the name of "Surf City USA" also exists, written by Shirley Orlando and was featured in a musical by that name too, performed at the Huntington Beach Playhouse  on August 13, 2006.)

"Surf City" is one of a handful of Jan and Dean songs that used the group of leading studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. According to the American Federation of Musicians contract, these included:

Two drummers was a sound preference of arranger Billy Strange.[2]

In 1991, after moving to Huntington Beach, California, Torrence helped convince elected officials that the town be officially nicknamed "Surf City".[1] As of 2009, more than 65 businesses in the city included "Surf City" as part of their name.

The Ramones covered "Surf City" on their album Acid Eaters. The Go-Go's sang a cover version at An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson (2001). They substituted the lyrics "Two girls for every boy" with "Two boys for every girl". The Meteors sang a cover version as well. The Beach Boys have also covered the song in their live concerts.[3]

A rare Japanese language version, recorded by Danny Iida and the Paradise Kings, was released by Toshiba Records later in the same year the original came out.[4]


Preceded by
"Easier Said Than Done" by The Essex
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
July 20, 1963 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"So Much in Love" by The Tymes

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Huntington Beach, California". Surf City USA web site. Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Phonograph Recording Contract" (PDF). The Wrecking Crew. American Federation of Musicians. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Eric Aniversario's Home Page". Tripod.com. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Jan Berry official web site - Covering Jan & Dean

External links[edit]