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'Surf City'

Date: c 1963
Overall: 310 x 310 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Record cover
Object No: 00019560
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    Surf music was popular in the United States from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. Jan and Dean were a vocal surf music duo who achieved international exposure with their first number one single, 'Surf City'. This cover for Jan and Dean's March 1963 release of the album 'Surf City' features a map of the United States with names of the tracks assigned geographical locations matching their title. A photograph of Jan and Dean holding a surfboard out the back of a wagon connects the duo to their new surf music sound. The album was recorded by Liberty records.
    SignificanceThis album demonstrates the importance of surfing in 1960s American popular culture. The title single of the album was Jan and Dean's first number one hit, and saw a major shift in the duo's sound, from Doo Wop to surf music.
    HistorySurf music was an extension of 1950s Rockabilly and Rhythm & Blues compositions, and was largely introduced by musicians that were not themselves involved in America's popular surf culture. Beginning with instrumental compositions, surf music later incorporated vocal harmonies. In their lyrics, vocal groups like the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean attempted to capture the essence of being a teenager and living in Southern California. Slightly behind developments in the United States, surf music reached Australia in 1962. The genre took hold in the form of a dance style known as The Stomp. Though there were unique elements in Australian surf music, much of it was influenced by the Californian scene.

    Jan and Dean were a Rock & Roll duo, popular from the late 1950s through to the mid 1960s, consisting of William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence. They became most famously associated with the vocal surf music craze inspired by The Beach Boys. The title single from their 'Surf City' album was a number one hit across the United States, and remained Jan and Dean's biggest selling record. A secondary single from the album, 'Honolulu Lulu', reached number ten on the charts. A majority of the remaining tracks were cover versions. The duo waned after Jan's accident at Deadman's Curve in 1996, which left him partially paralysed.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: 'Surf City'

    Primary title: JAN AND DEAN SURF CITY

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