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The Chantays are an American surf rock band from Orange County, California, known for the hit instrumental, "Pipeline" (1963). Their music combines electronic keyboards and surf guitar, creating a unique ghostly sound.
The Chantays were formed in 1961 when five high-school friends decided to start their own band. Bob Spickard, Brian Carman (co-writers of "Pipeline"), Bob Welch, Warren Waters and Rob Marshall were all students at Santa Ana High School in California, when a local group called the Rhythm Rockers inspired the five to form the Chantays. In December 1962, the group recorded and released "Pipeline", which eventually peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1963. The track also peaked in the UK Singles Chart in 1963 at No. 16. The Chantays recorded their first album in 1963, also titled Pipeline, which included "Blunderbus" and "El Conquistador". Their follow-up album was Two Sides of the Chantays in 1964.
"Pipeline" (published as sheet music in 1962 by Downey Music Publishing) has become one of several surf rock hits. The tune has since been covered by Bruce Johnston, Welk (on the Dot album Scarlet O'Hara), Al Caiola (on the United Artists album Greasy Kid Stuff), the Ventures, Agent Orange, Hank Marvin, Lively Ones, Pat Metheny, Dick Dale with the help of Stevie Ray Vaughan (Grammy Nominated), by the thrash metal band Anthrax, Bad Manners, and Johnny Thunders. "Pipeline" has also been featured in many films, television programs and commercials. It also appears on numerous compilation albums.
The Chantays have been honored for their contributions to music. Some of the highlights include being honored on April 12, 1996 by Hollywood's Rock Walk, that was founded to honor individuals and bands that have made lasting and important contributions to music. "Pipeline" is listed as one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Along with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and Diane Keaton, the Chantays were honored by the City of Santa Ana, California, and Santa Ana High School when they named a street after them, Chantays Way. OC Weekly Magazine also named the Chantays as one of the Best Orange County Bands.
Today, the Chantays are still playing. The band's original members Bob Spickard, Brian Carman and Bob Welch are joined by longtime members Gil Orr, Ricky Lewis and Brian Nussle. More recent albums include The Next Set (live recording) and Waiting for the Tide. Some of the tracks are new songs "Crystal T" and "Killer Dana", along with remakes of "Pipeline", "El Conquistador" and "Blunderbus".