Photo of the Day

PatGall: Surfybear metal settings
259 days ago

Pyronauts: Happy Tanks-Kicking!
237 days ago

midwestsurfguy: Merry Christmas!
206 days ago

sysmalakian: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
199 days ago

SabedLeepski: Surfin‘ Europe, for surf (related) gigs and events in Europe Big Razz https://sunb...
160 days ago

SHADOWNIGHT5150: I like big reverb and i cannot lie
93 days ago

SHADOWNIGHT5150: Bank accounts are a scam created by a shadow government
93 days ago

sysmalakian: TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!
80 days ago

dp: dude
61 days ago

Bango_Rilla: Shout Bananas!!
16 days ago

Please login or register to shout.

Current Polls

No polls at this time. Check out our past polls.

Current Contests

No contests at this time. Check out our past contests.


Help us meet our monthly goal:



Donate Now

Cake July Birthdays Cake
SG101 Banner

SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline – Surf’s First Wave

New Topic
Goto Page: 1 2 Next

Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline – Surf’s First Wave

I created this timeline to help me understand the history of the first wave of instrumental surf music within the context of early Rock ‘n Roll, including early instrumental rock, as well as pop culture as influenced by the baby-boomers coming of age.

I also wanted to see a timeline of the release of key surf tracks. I used the December 2016 SurfGuitar101 / North Sea Surf Radio Classic Surf Top 101 poll to identify the surf tracks that I would include in the timeline and Billboard’s Year End Top 100 to identify non-surf tracks. I was interested in the order in which tracks entered the public consciousness to determine how they were influencing each other.

If you see that I’ve included something you think is odd, well, I was probably pursuing some theory or chain of thought. If you think I’ve missed or misstated something, please share your thoughts in the thread. (Please only copy relevant sections, as needed, for replys, not the whole timeline. It’s long.) I hope you enjoy this timeline, or at least find it interesting, and SurfGuitar101 is definitely the right home for it.

  • Tim (SilverFlash)

Guide to code keys:
[POP] – Popular culture reference - Events that may have influenced the development of surf music.
[VOCAL SURF] – Vocal Surf Music – Included for historical context regarding the public perception of “Surf Music” and its popularity. Includes some Hot Rod songs as well. Despite a purists view of “Instrumental” surf music, being REAL surf, and The Beach Boys being “Beach” music, in the general publics’ mind they are the same thing.
[Vocal] – Non-surf vocal, but significant in the history of Rock ’n Roll
[BillboardYE100/xx] – Top Position on National Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Charts
[BillboardTop10/x] – Top position on weekly National Billboard Top 10.
[NorthSeaSurf101/xx] – Position in the SurfGuitar101/North Sea Surf Radio Top 101 in the December 2016 vote.
[Proto-Surf] – Instrumentals that pre-date the generally accepted “Let’s Go Trippin’” & “Mr. Moto” Birth of Surf in late 1961, or Non-surf instrumentals that are a significant influence and/or sometimes included in surf band repertoire.
[NOT SURF] - Non-surf instrumental receiving significant air-play. Provided to show contrast with other popular instrumental music.
MM/YY – Month and Year of single release. If not available, it’s the date of the album release.*

[[ 1950 ]] – Early Rock history. Bear with me. We will get to the Surf Music, I promise.

[POP] Guitar: Fender Telecaster Autumn 1950 The world's first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. Its simple yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in electric guitar manufacturing and popular music. Introduced for national distribution as the Broadcaster in the autumn of 1950, it was the first guitar of its kind manufactured on a substantial scale and has been in continuous production in one form or another since its first incarnation.

[[ 1951 ]] - Rock & Roll is born, or maybe it was two years earlier…

”Rocket 88” – Credited to Jackie Brenston (Ike Turner’s saxophonist) and his Delta Cats,[Vocal] the band was actually 19-year-old Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm band.

The record reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. Many music writers acknowledge its importance in the development of rock and roll music, with several considering it to be the first rock and roll record (although "Rock Awhile" – Goree Carter, released 2 years earlier, is often cited as a better candidate).

Writing in 1984, Nick Tosches, though rejecting the idea that it (Rocket 88) could be described as the first rock'n'roll record "any more than there is any first modern novel – the fact remains that the record in question was possessed of a sound and a fury the sheer, utter newness of which set it apart from what had come before.
Other contenders for earliest Rock and Roll song include:
“Good Rockin’ Tonight” – Wynonie Harris, 1948
“We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll” – Wild Bill Moore, 1948
“That’s All Right, Mama” – Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, 1946
“Blues, Part 2” – Illinois Jacquet, 1944
“Strange Things Happening Every Day” – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1944

[[ 1954 ]]

”Shake, Rattle and Roll” – Bill Haley & His Comets [Vocal, BillboardYE100/7]

"Shake, Rattle and Roll" is a twelve bar blues-form song, written in 1954 by Jesse Stone under his songwriting pseudonym of Charles E. Calhoun. It was originally recorded by Big Joe Turner and most successfully by Bill Haley & His Comets. The song as sung by Big Joe Turner is ranked #127 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Both recordings are considered classics.[7] Haley's version is peppier and brighter.[citation needed] It fits the definition of rock and roll as a merger of country music and rhythm and blues. Haley had started his career in country music while Turner was a blues shouter.

[POP] Fender Stratocaster 1954 The Fender Stratocaster was the first guitar to feature three pickups and a spring tension vibrato system, as well as being the first Fender with a contoured body. The Stratocaster's sleek, contoured body shape (officially referred to by Fender as the "Comfort Contour Body") differed from the flat, slab-like design of the Telecaster. The Stratocaster's double cutaways allowed players easier access to higher positions on the neck.

[POP] First commercially produced transistor radio The Regency TR-1 was announced on October 18, 1954 by the Regency Division of I.D.E.A., was put on sale in November 1954, and was the first practical transistor radio made in any significant numbers.

Chrysler and Philco announced that they had developed and produced the world's first all-transistor car radio in the April 28th 1955 edition of the Wall Street Journal. Chrysler made the all-transistor car radio, Mopar model 914HR, available as an "option" in fall 1955 for its new line of 1956 Chrysler and Imperial cars, which hit the showroom floor on October 21, 1955. The all-transistor car radio was a $150 option.

[[ 1955 ]] - Billboard only listed 30 tracks for the 1955 Year-End list. Only one was Rock ‘n Roll. What a difference one year will make.

”Rock Around the Clock” – Bill Haley & His Comets [Vocal, BillboardYE100/2] This is the only “Rock” song in the top 30.

[POP] Movie “Blackboard Jungle” released, March 20, 1955 a social commentary film about teachers in an interracial inner-city school, based on the novel The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter and adapted for the screen and directed by Richard Brooks. It is remembered for its innovative use of rock and roll in its soundtrack and for the unusual breakout role of a black cast member, future Oscar winner and star Sidney Poitier as a rebellious, yet musically talented student.

The film marked the rock and roll revolution by featuring Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock", initially a B-side, over the film's opening credits (with a lengthy drum solo introduction, unlike the originally released single), as well as in the first scene, in an instrumental version in the middle of the film, and at the close of the movie, establishing that song as an instant hit. The record had been released the previous year, gaining only limited sales. But, popularized by its use in the film, "Rock Around the Clock" reached number one on the Billboard charts, and remained there for eight weeks. In some theaters, when the film was in first release, the song was not heard at all at the beginning of the film because rock and roll was considered a bad influence. Despite this, other instances of the song were not cut. This film is also the source of the slang term "Daddy-O". When the teacher, Mr Dadier (Glenn Ford), writes his name on the blackboard early in the film, one of the students throws a baseball and knocks a hole in the blackboard at the end of his name, Dadier becomes Dadi-O and the class erupts in laughter and calls him "Daddy-O".

The music led to a large teenage audience for the film, and their exuberant response to it sometimes overflowed into violence and vandalism at screenings. In this sense, the film has been seen as marking the start of a period of visible teenage rebellion in the latter half of the 20th century. The film was banned in Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia, with the Atlanta Review Board claiming that it was "immoral, obscene, licentious and will adversely affect the peace, health, morals and good order of the city."

[POP] The Space Race – 8/55 [The Space Race began on August 2, 1955, when the Soviet Union responded to the US announcement four days earlier of intent to launch artificial satellites for the International Geophysical Year, by declaring they would also launch a satellite "in the near future". The Soviet Union beat the US to the first successful launch, with the October 4, 1957, orbiting of Sputnik 1, and later beat the US to have the first human in earth orbit, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961. ]

[[ 1956 ]] - Elvis!! There are too many Rock/Rockabilly songs to list all here, but ’56 marked a sea change in music.

Hearthbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley [Vocal, BillboardYE100/1]
Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley [Vocal, BillboardYE100/2]
Hound Dog – Elvis Presley [Vocal, BillboardYE100/8]
All Shook up – Elvis Presley [Vocal, BillboardYE100/15]
Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins [Vocal, BillboardYE100/18]
Be-Bop-A-Lula – Gene Vincent [Vocal, BillboardYE100/27]
Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino [Vocal, BillboardYE100/41]

[[ 1957 ]]

”Raunchy” – Bill Justis 9/57 [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/55] This Alabama sax man convinced Sam Phillips to make him Sun Records' music director. It was during this tenure that Bill wrote and recorded the #2 1957 smash. Raunchy is one of first to use the twangy lead guitar effect, which was later developed by others and became a staple for the next few years. Soon after the hit, guitarist Duane Eddy and producer Lee Hazlewood took it upon themselves to develop that style to an ultimate degree. They greatly enhanced the reverberation in their recordings, creating a far from light lead guitar sound.

[POP] Shock Theater - 10/57 Shock Theater (marketed as Shock!) was a package of 52 pre-1948 classic horror films from Universal Studios released for television syndicationin October 1957 by Screen Gems, the television subsidiary of Columbia Pictures. The Shock Theater package included Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man as well as a few non-horror spy and mystery films. A second package, Son of Shock, was released for television by Screen Gems in 1958, with 20 horror films from both Universal and Columbia.]

[[ 1958 ]]

"Rumble" - Link Wray 3/58 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#67]

This is the earliest “Surf” track awarded a place in the North Sea Surf Radio / SurfGuitar101 Classic Top 101 Surf Music Poll.

”Tequila” – The Champs [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/8]

“Sweet Little Sixteen” – Chuck Berry [Vocal, BillboardYE100/29] Tune used for The Beach Boys’ Surfin’ U.S.A., Berry given writing credit.

“Topsy Part 2 / Topsy Part 1” – Cozy Cole [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/30]

“Rebel Rouser” – Duane Eddy [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/46] Duane Eddy’s influence on the birth of Surf Music is cited by many surf guitarists.

Duane Eddy (born April 26, 1938) is an American guitarist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he had a string of hit records produced by Lee Hazlewood which were noted for their characteristically "twangy" sound, including "Rebel Rouser", "Peter Gunn", and "Because They're Young". He had sold 12 million records by 1963.
Eddy devised a technique of playing lead on his guitar's bass strings to produce a low, reverberant "twangy" sound. In November 1957, Eddy recorded an instrumental, "Movin' n' Groovin'", co-written by Eddy and Hazlewood. As the Phoenix studio had no echo chamber, Hazlewood bought a 2,000-gallon (7570-litre) water storage tank which he used as an echo chamber to accentuate the "twangy" guitar sound.

“The Stroll” – The Diamonds [Vocal, BillboardYE100/48] This track was the inspiration for Link Wray’s Rumble.
At a live gig in Fredericksburg, Virginia, attempting to work up a backing for The Diamonds' "The Stroll," Link Wray & His Ray Men came up with the instrumental "Rumble", which they originally called "Oddball". It was an instant hit with the live audience, which demanded four repeats that night.

“Johnny B. Goode” – Chuck Berry {Vocal, BillboardYE100/73]

[POP] Famous Monsters of Filmland – Issue #1 Published 2/58

[[ 1959 ]]

"Bulldog" - The Fireballs 1/59 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#101]

Dick Clark's American Bandstand show, January 4, 1960, featured them performing "Bulldog". Little did the Fireballs know by now that their guitar instrumental music was one of the foundational influences of the Surf music culture that was starting to make big waves. Later, coupled with a new vocalist, the Fireballs savored success in a new dimension. "Sugar Shack", a vocal released in 1963 on DOT records, was a #1 hit and the largest selling single of that year. More vocal singles and albums followed. It was a very unique transition in the music business for an 'instrumental guitar band' to become 'vocal' and retain prestige in both fields.

“Sleep Walk” – Santo & Johnny [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/11]

“The Happy Organ” – Dave “Baby” Cortez [NOT SURF, BillboardYE10022]

“Red River Rock” – Johnny & The Hurricanes [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/31]

“Guitar Boogie Shuffle” – The Virtues [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/35]

“Teen Beat” – Sandy Nelson [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/36]

“Forty Miles of Bad Road” – Duane Eddy [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/59]

“The Peter Gunn Theme” – Ray Anthony [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/67]

“Bongo Rock” – Preston Epps [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/96]

[POP] Movie “Gidget” Gidget is a 1959 Columbia Pictures CinemaScope feature film. It stars Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, and James Darren in a story about a teenager's initiation into the California surf culture and her romance with a young surfer. The film, which received one award nomination, not only inspired various sequel films, a television series, and television films, but is also considered the beginning of the entire "beach party film" genre. Gidget is credited by numerous sources (Stoked! A History of Surf Culture by Drew Kampion; The Encyclopedia of Surfing by Matt Warshaw; and Riding Giants a documentary film by Stacy Peralta – to name just three) as the single biggest factor in the mainstreaming of surfing culture in the United States.

[POP] The Twilight Zone First episode aired 10/59

[POP] Guitar: Fender Jazzmaster 1959
First introduced at the 1959 NAMM Show, it was initially marketed to jazz guitarists, but found favor among surf rock guitarists in the early 1960s.

[[ 1960 ]]

“Because They’re Young” – Duane Eddy [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/37]

“Apache” – The Shadows 6/60 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#90] Number 1 in Britain, 7/60. What The Ventures did for guitar-based instrumental bands in the U.S., The Shadows’ Apache did in England. In 1961, Danish jazz guitarist Jørgen Ingmann's cover of "Apache" (which he recorded in the fall of 1960) went to No. 2 in the US and No. 2 in Canada.

A 1973 version by the Incredible Bongo Band has been called "hip-hop’s national anthem". Although this version was not a hit on release, its long percussion break has been sampled countless times on hip hop and dance tracks since the 1980s.]

”Walk Don’t Run” – The Ventures 12/60 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#23, BillboardYE100/25] Personal note: Purist don’t consider this to be surf music, but I do. This was the blueprint for what was to come and launched a thousand garage bands.

”Although not considered a surf band, their influence and inspiration strongly affected every surf instrumental band that followed. They are the number one instrumental rock band in pop music history” (J. Blair)

"Moon Dawg!" - The Gamblers ?/60 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#82] Predates the earliest surf instrumentals, but influential to the surf music genre.

“Beatnik Fly” – Johnny and The Hurricanes [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/90]

[POP] Fender Showman 1960 introduced in 1960 and was discontinued in 1993. The Fender Showman is often associated with surf guitarist Dick Dale

[[ 1961 ]] - There was no shortage of Billboard Hot 100 instrumental music in ’61. That would change by ’65, but with Rock & Roll on the ropes with Elvis in the army and the death of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, the rise of the solo Singer, and with the public very accepting of instrumental music, the stage was set for a new sound of rock in the form of surf music.

“Wheels” – String-a-longs [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/8] Released in 1960, the tune peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the #8 single of the year.

”Underwater” – the Frogmen 4/61 [Proto-Surf]

The April 17, 1961 issue of Billboard touted the song as a breakout single in Seattle and Los Angeles. It peaked at #44 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100. “Underwater” is considered by some to be the first surfing instrumental, predating Dick Dale's influential “Let's Go Trippin'” and The Marketts’ “Surfer's Stomp” by several months.

In a June 1992 interview with author Stephen McParland, Jack Andrews, the writer of the song, said that The Frogmen were a four-piece band from Culver City (called The Corsairs, J. Blair) that he met at a party. He took them into American Recording and cut "Underwater." (The tune was originally called "The Happy Frog, J. Blair) Andrews told McParland, "I shopped it to every record company in town and got booted every [one]. Then my friend Joe Saraceno told me I should overdub something on it to make it more interesting, so I went back in the studio. H.B. Barnum had just done a session and he had a bunch of percussion stuff around. [Engineer Frank DeLuna] happened to pick up a guiro [pronounced "wee-ro," this is a Spanish percussion instrument typically consisting of a long-necked gourd that is sounded by scraping a stick over ridges cut into its surface] and he began making this croaking sound [with it] as we were playing the tape. I said, 'Hey, can you do that on mike?' and he said, 'Yeah, but who's gonna engineer it?' and I said, 'I will.' So, he went out and played and I engineered. Then I took it out and shopped it again."

Saraceno worked for Candix Records and helped get the record released on that label, but was not involved in the recording, itself. According to Andrews, Saraceno also came up with the name Frogmen. Little is known about the band because the members were all under 18 years old at the time "Underwater" was recorded. They were basically a high school band that recorded a few singles and then broke up.

"Jack the Ripper" - Link Wray 7/61 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#21]

“Apache” – Jorgen Ingmann 7/60 [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/35] It was Ingmann, not The Shadows, that scored a hit with “Apache” in the United States. In 1961, Danish jazz guitarist Jørgen Ingmann's cover of "Apache" (which he recorded in the fall of 1960) went to No. 2 in the US and No. 2 in Canada.

[[ Ground Zero – The Birth of Surf - September 1961 ]]

"Let's Go Trippin'" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 9/61 recorded 8/23/61 [NorthSeaSurf101#94]

It is often regarded as the first surf rock instrumental and is credited for launching the surf music craze. First played in public in 1960 at the Rendezvous ballroom in Balboa, CA, it quickly reached #4 on influential Los Angeles station KFWB, and later reached #60 on the national charts.

Dick Dale (May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019) was a pioneer of surf music, drawing on Middle Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. Dale was known as "The King of the Surf Guitar" and worked closely with the manufacturer Fender to produce custom-made amplifiers including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier.

Dale's performances at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa in mid to late 1961 are credited with the creation of the surf music phenomenon. Dale successfully asked for permission to use the 3,000 person capacity ballroom for surfer dances after overcrowding at a local ice cream parlor where he performed made him seek other venues. The Rendezvous ownership and the city of Newport Beach agreed to Dale's request on the condition that he prohibit alcohol sales and implement a dress code. Dale's events at the ballrooms, called "stomps," quickly became legendary, and the events routinely sold out.

"Mr. Moto" - The Belairs ?/61 (exact date unknown, August or September, 1961) [NorthSeaSurf101#7]

The Bel-Airs were still in high school at the time. They were best known for their 1961 hit "Mr. Moto", an instrumental surf rock song, written by guitarist Paul Johnson, that featured a flamenco-inspired intro and contained a melodic piano interlude. Their potential was cited by many, but it was an argument about use of the then new Fender reverb unit that led to their breakup. The Bel-Airs were originally formed by two guitarists, Eddie Bertrand and Paul Johnson, both 16 years old at the time they recorded "Mr. Moto". In early 1963, Eddie Bertrand heard Dick Dale using the Fender reverb unit and wanted to start incorporating heavy reverb into The Bel-Airs songs. He felt reverb was the sound that would come to define surf music. Even at 17, Johnson was something of an independent thinker and told Bertrand that The Bel-Airs had done quite well without reverb and he didn't see any reason at all to begin using it. The argument escalated until Bertrand finally left the band which then broke up for good shortly after. Johnson confirmed this story in the liner notes he contributed to The Bel-Airs reunion album released in 1986.

Upon splitting up, guitarist Eddie Bertrand formed Eddie & the Showmen in 1964. Original Bel-Airs drummer Dick Dodd joined Bertrand in Eddie & the Showmen, and later joined the Standells, playing drums and singing lead on their major 1966 hit, "Dirty Water". Richard Delvy replaced Dick Dodd on drums and went on to found the surf group the Challengers. From

"Bedlam" - The Belairs ?/61 [NorthSeaSurf101#45]

"Intoxica" - The Revels ?/61 [Proto-Surf, NorthSeaSurf101#80]

[POP] Fender Reverb 1961 The Fender Reverb Unit (6G15) was a vacuum tube, spring reverb-equipped effects unit made by Fender. The Reverb Unit was originally introduced in 1961.

1961 – Non-Surf Instrumentals
”Calcutta” – Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra [NOT SURF, BillboardYE10011]
“Last Night” – The Mar-keys [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/15]
“Exodus” – Ferrante and Teicher [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/17]
“On the Rebound” – Floyd Cramer [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/29]
“Asia Minor” – Kokomo [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/44]
“Yellow Bird” – Arthur Lyman [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/47]
“Mexico” – Bob Moore [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/55]
“Wonderland By Night” – Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/72]
“San Antonio Rose” – Floyd Cramer [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/88]
“Take Five” – The Dave Brubeck Quartet [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/95]

[[ 1962 ]] - The Surf Craze – High gear period of instrumental surf music.

"Paradise Cove" - The Surfmen 1/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#88] The Surfmen changed their name to The Lively Ones in late 1962.

"Latin’ia" - The Sentinels 5/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#6]

“Surfin’ Safari” – The Beach Boys 6/62 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/100]

"Misirlou" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 9/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#1]

"Bustin’ Surfboards" - The Tornadoes 6/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#93] Sometimes called The Hollywood Tornadoes to avoid confusion with the British “Telstar” Tornadoes.

[POP] Telstar 1 - satellite Launch 7/62
Telstar 1 launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. It successfully relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, and telegraph images, and provided the first live transatlantic television feed.

"El Toro" - The Surfmen 9/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#96]

”Green Onions” – Booker T and The MG’s 9/62 [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/53]

[POP] First three albums with the word “Surf” in the title are released “Surf Beat”, The Challengers and “Surfin’ Safari”, The Beach Boys in October 1962, and “Surfers’ Choice”, Dick Dale & His Del-Tones in November 1962.

"Take it off" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 11/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#72]

"Surfbeat" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 11/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#99]

”Surfin’” – The Beach Boys 11/62 [VOCAL SURF] “Surfin’”, the Beach Boys’ debut release, was a regional hit.

"Pipeline" - The Chantays 12/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#2, BillboardYE100/27 for 1963] Hit Top 10 on Billboard. First surf record to achieve a chart position in England, #16 in 6/63.

The Chantays were formed in 1961 by five high-school friends. 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 them to form the Chantays. In December 1962, the group recorded and released "Pipeline", which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1963.

"Boss" - The Rumblers ?/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#91] Charted at #87 (Billboard) in 1963. The Rumblers, named for Link Wray's Rumble, came from Norwalk, CA. Like a number of bands now revered as one of the original surf bands, they always considered themselves to be playing R&B and making a few nods to this surf fad thing that had come along.

"Comanche" - The Revels ?/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#92]

“The Mexican” - The Fentones ?/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#81]

"X-L3" - The Phantoms ?/62 [NorthSeaSurf101#89]

[POP] James Bond Movie "Dr. No" Released 10/62 This movie kicked of the ‘60s Spy-craze and introduced the “James Bond theme 10/62 [Proto-Surf]” instrumental. The "James Bond Theme" is the main signature theme of the James Bond films and has featured in every Eon Productions Bond film since Dr. No, released in 1962. The piece has been used as an accompanying fanfare to the gun barrel sequence in almost every James Bond film. The electric guitar riff heard in the original recording of the theme was played by Vic Flick.

Telstar – The Tornados 12/62 [Proto-Surf] a 1962 instrumental written and produced by Joe Meek for the English band the Tornados. The track reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1962]

[POP] Fender Jaguar 1962
Introduced in 1962 as Fender's feature-laden top-of-the-line model, designed to lure players from Gibson. During its initial 13-year production run, the Jaguar did not sell as well as the less expensive Stratocaster and Telecaster, and achieved its most noticeable popularity in the surf music scene. After the Jaguar was taken out of production in 1975, vintage Jaguars became popular first with American punk rock players, and then more so during the alternative rock, shoegazing and indie rock movements of the 1980s and 1990s.

1962 – Non-Surf Instrumentals”
”The Stripper” – David Rose [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/5]
”Alley Cat” – Bent Fabric [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/37]
”Tuff” – Ace Cannon [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/40]
”Rinky Dink” – Dave “Baby” Cortez [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/59]
”A Swingin’ Safari” – Billy Vaughn [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/83]
”Percolator (Twist)” – Billy Joe and The Checkmates [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/87]
”Soul Twist” – King Curtis & The Noble Knights [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/92]

[[ 1963 ]]

"Wipe Out" - The Surfaris 1/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#25, BillboardYE100/20]

"Surf Rider" - The Lively Ones 2/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#8]

"Bullwinkle Pt. II" - The Centurions 2/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#27]

“Intoxica” - The Centurions 2/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#53]

"Big Surf" - The Sentinals 2/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#100]

”Surfin’ U.S.A.” – The Beach Boys 3/63 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/1]

"Bombora" - The Original Surfaris 3 or 8/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#19]

"Surfari" - The Original Surfaris 3 or 8/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#26]

"Toes on the Nose" - Eddie & The Showmen 4/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#69]

"Baja" - The Astronauts 5/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#5] reached # 94 on the BillboardHot 100 for just one week. From Boulder, Colorado, they have been described as being, "along with...(the) Trashmen, the premier landlocked Midwestern surf group of the '60s." Their first single on RCA was "Baja", an instrumental written by Lee Hazlewood.

“Pintor” - The Pharos 5/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#20]

"Monsoon" - The Chantays 5/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#84]

[POP] The Chantays perform “Pipeline” on the Lawerence Welk Show, May 18, 1963. The Chantays have the distinction of being the only rock and roll band to perform on The Lawrence Welk Show.

"High Tide (Tranquilizer)" - The Lively Ones 6/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#22]

"Hava Nagila" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 6/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#57]

"Movin" - The Astronauts 7/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#9]

"Squad Car" - Eddie & The Showmen 7/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#11]

"Hot Doggin'" - The Astronauts 7/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#42]

"Scratch" - Eddie & The Showmen 7/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#64]

"The Lonely Surfer" - Jack Nitzsche 7/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#75]

"Fiberglass Jungle" - The Crossfires 8/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#40]

“Surfer Girl” – The Beach Boys 9/63 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/36]

"Point Panic" - The Surfaris 9/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#37]

"The Hearse" - Al Casey with the K-C-ettes 9/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#48]

[POP] The Outer Limits First episode aired 9/63

"Bombora" - The Atlantics 10/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#16]

"Russian Roulette" - The Nevegans 10/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#83] This band was actually The Teenbeats from Las Vegas, Nevada. “Nevegans” is the combination of “Nevada” and “Vegas”.

[POP] Dick Dale’s first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, October 6, 1963. Dale looked pretty damn punk rock, with his greased-up hair, wearing a black T-shirt—every other rock act at the time, most famously The Beatles, wore suits and ties for the Sullivan show—and as soon as the camera hits him, Dale rears back on one foot and shimmies and cuts loose with a devilish little chuckle. For half a minute, he plays "Surfin' and A-Swingin'," an upbeat throwaway B-side single that got a bit of radio play that summer. Then with a growl he speed-shifts into a minor key and we get two full guitar-shredding minutes of "Misirlou," thank God.

And just for contrast, the line-up for that show: Guests: --Dick Dale - ""Swingin' & Surfin'"" (with some ""Miserlou"") --Totie Fields (comedian) - boasts about her diet, sings, and then flirts with men in the audience. --Sonny Liston (heavyweight champion of the world) - skips rope to ""Night Train"" recording. --The Page Seven (featuring Page Cavanaugh at the piano) - ""Preacher"" (instrumental song) --The Three Stooges (Larry, Moe and Curly Joe) - sketch with Curly Joe as the Rajah --Audience bow: Eileen Brennan --The Clark Brothers (tap dancers) --Kate Smith - medley of WWII songs: ""Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree,"" ""The White Cliffs of Dover,"" ""On a Wing and a Prayer"" and ""God Bless America."" --Alan Gale (comedian) - jokes about politics, sports, modern conviences, supermarkets, banks --Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara (comedy team) - a couple starts arguing following their dinner party. --The Angels - ""My Boyfriend's Back""

"Penetration" - The Pyramids 11/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#10]

"The Wedge" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 11/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#12]

"El Gato" - The Chandelles 11/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#49]

"Run Chicken Run" - Link Wray 11/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#65]

"Ghost Wave" - The Vistas 11/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#76]

"Surf Party" - The Astronauts 12/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#18]

"Mr. Rebel" - Eddie & The Showmen - 12/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#36]

"The Quiet Surf" - Richie Allan & the Pacific Surfers ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#34] Richie Podolor

"Cat On A Hot Foam Board" - The New Dimensions ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#39]

"Failsafe" - The New Dimensions ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#47]

"Failsafe" - The Original Surfaris ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#51]

"Exotic" - The Original Surfaris ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#15]

Between October 1962 and through January 1963, they recorded in the studio of producer Tony Hilder a number of songs written by Larry Weed, such as "Moment of Truth" and "Delano Soul Beat", also recording covers of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Pipeline." The tracks "Moment of Truth" and "Delano Soul Beat" were released on Hilder's own Impact label, as part of a surf music compilation album titled Shake, Shout and Soul. These tracks subsequently appeared on various compilation albums, such as Wheels (Diplomat Records LP 2309); The World of Surfin' (Almor LP 108); Surf's Up at Banzai Pipeline (Northridge Records LP 101); and others.

After some months, the band again went into the studio with Hilder producing and recorded a number of tracks intended to be released on the Impact label, as their first full-length LP. Two of the tracks, "Bombora" and "Surfari" were leased to Del-Fi Records, which sent them out as a single. But the record, even though it started selling well in the state had to be pulled from the stores because of a lawsuit.
It was in early 1963 that, while the band were on the road, the surf instrumental "Wipe Out" came out and broke big nationwide. It was written and performed by a Glendora, California band who also called themselves The Surfaris. The Glendora group's management sued for the exclusive use of the name and, in the trial that followed, the judge awarded them sole use of "The Surfaris." However, the judge also allowed the Fullerton band to carry on under the name The Original Surfaris, although they continued to be billed in the various venues they played as "The Surfaris."

They rose and peaked at a very young age: One night in 1962, the band were playing in a hotel bar and they got arrested by the police because they were all under 18 years old. Another surf music group from Los Angeles named themselves The Bomboras inspired by the instrumental track.
The Original Surfaris allegedly never received any money for the tracks they recorded with Tony Hilder, since they had signed all their publishing rights away for one dollar per song.
In 1995, the album Bombora after being shelved for over thirty years, was finally released on the Sundazed label.

"Exotic" - The Sentinals ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#41]

"Deep Surf" - Jerry Cole & His Spacemen ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#56]

Raised in Chicago, Cole first entered the pop music scene as one of The Champs along with Glen Campbell. Campbell and Cole formed the Gee Cee's after they left the Champs and released one single called "Buzzsaw Twist". Cole increased his income and recordings by playing for various budget albums with a variety of credits.[1] In an interview with Psychotronic Video issue #31, Cole explained his dealings with Crown Records. Crown would request five surf albums, five country and western albums and five easy listening albums. Cole would write nine different songs for each album to back one cover version of a hit of the time, organize a band, arrange and record the music for master tapes that he would deliver to Crown in about three weeks’ time; doing an album or two in a day.[2] Impressed by his playing as a session musician, Bobby Darin recommended him to Capitol Records where he led an instrumental surf guitar group called "Jerry Cole and his Spacemen". Capitol tried Cole as a vocalist but found his voice wasn't strong enough.
Throughout the 1960s, Cole was a highly sought-after session player, working with The Byrds ("Mr. Tambourine Man" / "I Knew I'd Want You"), Nancy Sinatra ("These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"), The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds LP) and Paul Revere & the Raiders("Kicks") among others. He recorded as one of "The Wrecking Crew" and as a writer, arranger and conductor for numerous pop groups and performers and performed on many American television shows of the time. He led the pit bands of the teenage music shows Hullabaloo and Shindig!.

"Baha Ree Bah" - The Trademarks ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#60]

This is Butch Rillera formerly with the Trademarks. I just saw your question about our song. Our sax player, Larry Gillette, had a "fake book", and for fun, started playing songs backwards. He played a song called "Fascination" and that's how Baha-Reeba came about.

"Moment of Truth" - Dave Myers & His Surftones ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#52]

"Moment of Truth" - The Surf Teens ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#78]

"Wayward Nile" - The Chantays ?/63 [NorthSeaSurf101#95]

“Wild Weekend” – The Rockin’ Rebels [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/22] Released in 1961, Originally a vocal song, it was written by Tom Shannon and Phil Todaro as a theme song for Shannon’s radio show. The Buffalo Rebels, or Rebels, asked Shannon to play at a record hop and also asked if they could play his theme song. They did and Shannon and Todaro thought there was something to it. They moved the group to a recording studio in the same building where they had a production office. The record came out locally and was a hit, but since it wasn't on a major label, the song just stopped. In 1963 the track was re-issued on Swan Records (Swan 4125) and reached #8 on the national charts. To avoid confusion with Duane Eddy and his Rebels, the Rebels became the Rockin' Rebels. Swan pressings can be found with either name.

[POP] Movie "Beach Party" 8/63 Gary Usher and Roger Christian wrote three songs that appear in the film: the title track, performed by Avalon and Funicello; and "Swingin' and a-Surfin'" and "Secret Surfing Spot", both performed by Dick Dale and the Del Tones.

1963 – Non-Surf Instrumentals – There is a sharp decline in instrumentals on the Billboard Year End chart.

”Fingertips, Pt. 2” - Little Stevie Wonder [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/8] Performed by 12 year old Stevie Wonder, this was the first live recording to hit #1 in the US.

”Memphis” – Lonnie Mack 3/63 [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/58] As recorded in 1963, "Memphis" featured a brisk melodic blues solo within a rockabilly framework, augmented by a rock drum-beat. It represented a quantum leap in rock guitar virtuosity, beyond both the chords-and-riffs standard of the 1950s (epitomized by Chuck Berry) and early rock's "inherently simple" melodic guitar solos (epitomized by Link Wray and Duane Eddy). From <>

[[ 1964 ]] - The Beatles appear on Ed Sullivan. They have 9 Billboard Top 100 year-end hits. The British Invasion begins. Hot Rod music (esp. Vocal) kicks in.

[POP] Beatles on Ed Sullivan - Sunday Feb. 9, 1964.

"The Victor" - Dick Dale & his Del-Tones 2/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#17]

"Journey to the Stars" - The Ventures 2/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#58]

"Sound of Mecca" - The Blazers 2/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#85]

"High Wall" - The Debonairs 3/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#86]

[POP] Movie "Muscle Beach Party" 3/64
Roger Christian, Gary Usher and Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys) wrote six songs for the film:
"My First Love" and "Muscle Beach Party", both performed by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones;
"Muscle Bustle" performed by Donna Loren with Dick Dale and His Del-Tones; and
"Surfin' Woodie" performed a cappella by Dick Dale with the cast.

"The Hearse" - The Astronauts 4/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#79]

"Far Away Places" - Eddie & The Showmen 5/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#77]

”K-39” - Challengers 5/64 [Personal note: “K-39” never made the NorthSeaSurf101 list, but is included here just because…, SilverFlash ]

The band was formed out of the pioneer surf band called The Bel-Airs. The year before The Bel-Airs breakup, Richard Delvy left The Bel-Airs to form a new band called The Challengers. The only band member he brought from The Bel-Airs was keyboardist Jim Roberts. Delvy then recruited Randy Nauert (bass guitar), Glenn Grey (lead guitar), Don Landis (rhythm guitar) and Nick Hefner (saxophone). They played at many high schools and many local dances and clubs. They eventually earned enough money to rent a recording studio "World Pacific" to start recording. In about three and a half hours, they had an album titled "Surfbeat".

In 1964, they released their hit album K-39. The title track became a big hit and is one of their best known songs. The group continued their successful career, recording several albums a year, shocking by today's "one album every two years" pattern. They also had their own TV show called "Surf's Up" hosted by Stan Richards in '65-66 and appeared frequently on another dance show called "Hollywood A Go-Go" hosted by Sam Riddle in '65-66. From

According to Randy Nauert,” When the album "Surfbeat" came out and sold 200,000 copies in the first two months, the record biz guys needed a term to describe what it was... not Jazz, not Classical, not Spoken Word or Pop... it was called "Surfbeat" so they called it "Surf Music". The album cover was by Bruce Brown. That's where the term came from.”

"Pressure" - The Pyramids 6/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#98]

[POP] Movie "Bikini Beach" 7/64
Hemric and Styner also wrote two songs that featured The Pyramids doing back up:
"How About That?", - sung as a duet by Avalon; and
"Happy Feelin’ (Dance and Shout)" - sung by Little Stevie Wonder.
The Pyramids performed two additional songs – both which were written by Gary Usher and Roger Christian for the film:
“Record Run”
"Bikini Drag" – Instrumental
The Potato Bug character is a not-so-subtle reference to The Beatles. The character is a permutation of John Lennon, albeit with a persona based on British stereotypes as perceived by Americans.

"Mar Gaya" - The Fender IV 8/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#4]

"Gear" - Dave Myers & The Surftones 8/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#46]

"Our Favorite Martian" - Bobby Fuller & the Fanatics ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#24]

"Out of Limits" - The Marketts ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#35, BillboardYE100/60] it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964. Joe Saraceno/Studio Group

"The Jester" - Jim Messina & his Jesters ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#30]

Jim Messina was, later, a member of the folk rock group Buffalo Springfield, a founding member of the country rock pioneer Poco, and half of the soft rock duo Loggins and Messina with Kenny Loggins.

"Haulin' Honda" - The Hondells ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#31] Gary Usher/Studio Group

"Crash!" - The Creations ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#32]

"Bikini Drag" - The Pyramids ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#54]
written by Gary Usher and Roger Christian


"Midnight Run" - The Super Stocks ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#55]

The Super Stocks were a California studio band created by Gary Usher in 1964 to capitalize on the popularity of surf music and hot rods. Usher's bands distinguished themselves from other studio creations by the quality of the session musicians - the Super Stocks made use of Wrecking Crew session musicians, including guitarist Glen Campbell. The band produced three albums on Capitol From

“Tally Ho!” - PJ and the Galaxies ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#59] Self-penned and self-produced by Paul Johnson, who wrote “Mr. Moto” & “Squad Car”.

"Morpheus" - The Toads ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#61] Out of Lawrenceville, New Jersey

"Storm Surf" - The Surfaris ?/6? (1964 is a guess as far as time of composition, it was not released as a single, SilverFlash.) [NorthSeaSurf101#62]

"Third Star To The Left" - The Nocturnes ?/6? (1964 is a guess, SilverFlash.) [NorthSeaSurf101#63]

The Nocturnes Began in Anaheim California in 1961 as the Vi-Counts playing various Jr. High and High School dances and with a personnel change in 1963, they became the Nocturnes. Bruce McCoy and Paul Floodman remember their first show in 1963 was at the Glacier Falls Ice Skating Rink and the boys remember that show as being very cold! They went on to play Supermarket openings, Rendesvous Ballroom in Balboa, Retail Clerks Ballroom in Buena Park where they backed Eddie and the Showman, and won most of the battle of the bands contests that were happening in the area. As the Nocturnes, the group played at every high school and Jr. High in Orange County. They played regularly over 2 years at Disneyland and worked as the house band at the Revelaire Club in Redondo Beach as a result of beating the Crossfires in a battle of the bands contest. At the Revelaire Club, the Nocturnes backed Caesar & Cleo (Sonny and Cher), The Coasters, the Ventures, Round Robin and the Rivingtons and many others. After the British Invasion in 1965, the group changed their name to the Magnificent VII and continued as recording musicians at Western Studios. From <>

"Banzai Washout" - The Catalinas ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#66]

Not the North Carolina band. This is produced by Terry Melcher - features Bruce Johnston, Hal Blaine, Tom Tedesco, Billy Strange, Jerry Cole, Leon Russell, and Steve Doublas. From

"Yang Bu" - Jim Messina & his Jesters ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#68]

“Baha Ree Ba!” - The Nocturnes ?/6? (1964 is a guess, SilverFlash.) [NorthSeaSurf101#70] “Baha Ree Ba!” appears twice in the North Sea Surf Radio Top 101, but The Trademarks did it first.

"The Cossack" - Jim Messina & His Jesters ?/64 [NorthSeaSurf101#97]

“Surfin’ Bird” – The Trashmen [BillboardYE100/75] – Unknown category: Pseudo-Vocal track by a well-known instrumental surf band? Released November 13, 1963, and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is a combination of two R&B hits by the Rivingtons: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word".

“Walk Don’t Run ‘64” – The Ventures [BillboardYE100/90] The Ventures rerecorded their 1960 hit in 1964 and became the first band to score two top ten hits with two versions of the same tune. "Walk, Don't Run '64" features a guitar style more similar to that of "Misirlou", and is notable for starting with a "fade-in" (as opposed to many songs of the era that ended with a "fade out"). It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #9 on the Cash Box magazine chart in 1964.

How about a little Hot Rod music? It’s all over Billboard’s Year End Top 100
“I Get Around” – The Beach Boys 5/64 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/5]
“The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)” – Jan and Dean 6/64 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/48]
“Dead Man’s Curve” – Jan and Dean 7/64 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/28]
“G.T.O.” – Ronny and The Daytonas ?/64 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/39] The single reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 26, 1964. It was produced by Bill Justis.
“Hey Little Cobra” – The Rip Chords [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/43]
“Little Honda” – The Hondells [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/61] The Hondells were a band manufactured by Gary Usher, originally consisting of session musicians. Their hit song, "Little Honda," was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys. The song was inspired by the popularity of Honda motor bikes in Southern California during the early 1960s: In contrast to the prevailing negative stereotypes of motorcyclists in America as tough, antisocial rebels, Honda's campaign suggested that their motorcycles were made for everyone. The campaign was hugely successful; by the end of 1963 alone, Honda had sold 90,000 motorcycles.

[POP] Ford Mustang introduced 1964
Since it was introduced four months before the normal start of the 1965 production year and manufactured alongside 1964 Ford Falcons and 1964 Mercury Comets, the earliest Mustangs are widely referred to as the 1964½ model.

[POP] The Addams Family (first aired September 18, 1964) and The Munsters (aired September 24, 1964) It must have been a great week for fans of the macabre back in 1964. On Friday September 18, the first episode of the Addams Family was broadcast. Six days later, The Munsters came out of their coffins. It was also the week Bewitched was launched.

[POP] Album – Dracula’s Deuce – The Ghouls, ?/64 This was a novelty Halloween album produced, arranged, and conducted by Gary Usher, that is a mash up of seemingly every fad going in 1964: Surf, Hot Rod, and Monsters. It parodies several hits (“Little Old Lady From Transylvania”, “Be True To Your Ghoul”, and “Shake, Rattle And Rot”), but manages to have some effective instrumental surf written and performed by Richard Podolor (“Dracula’s Theme”, “Voo Doo Juice”, and “Coffin Nails”). Drums are courtesy of Hal Blaine, who drummed on a monstrous number of surf tracks for countless studio bands.

1964 – Non-Surf Instrumentals
“Java” – Al Hirt [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/12]
“Cotton Candy” – Al Hirt [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/84]

[[ 1965 ]] – The Year that Surf Music’s First Wave Ended

[POP] – January ’65, Brian Wilson announces to The Beach Boys that he will resign from touring indefinitely

"Diamond Head" - The Ventures 1/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#44]

"Malibu Run" - The Fender IV 2/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#38]

"Everybody Up!" - The Fender IV 2/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#14]

[POP] America enters Vietnam war 3/65
On March 8, 1965, the first American combat troops – the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade – waded ashore at China Beach north of Da Nang. There had already been limited U.S. naval action, and the bombing of North Vietnam had commenced. There were also 23,000 military advisors already on the ground.

“Help Me, Rhonda” – The Beach Boys 4/65 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE10011]

[POP] Movie "Beach Blanket Bingo" 4/65
Gary Usher and Roger Christian wrote:
“Cycle Set” - performed by the Hondells
“Freeway” (instrumental) - performed by the Hondells

"Ali Baba" - Dave & The Customs 6/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#13]

“California Girls” – The Beach Boys 7/65 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/49]

"Casbah" - Sandy Nelson 11/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#28]

"Black Sand Beach" - Yuzo Kayama 12/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#29]

"Malaguena" The Trashmen ?/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#3]

"Theme From The Endless Summer” - The Sandals ?/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#43]

“The Lonely Huns” - Attila & The Huns ?/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#73] From Wisconsin

"Unknown" - The Vy-Dels ?/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#74]

"Guitare jet" - Les Jaguars ?/65 [NorthSeaSurf101#87] Canadian Surf band

[POP] December ’65, The Beach Boys are voted in a readers' poll conducted by NME as the number one vocal group in the world, ahead of the Beatles with 5,373 votes to 5,272.

1965 – Non-Surf Instrumentals (The year the Billboard Year End Top 100 Instrumental died)

None, Nada, Zip

[[ 1966 ]]

"Time Bomb" - The Avengers VI 2/66 [NorthSeaSurf101#33]

“Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys 9/66 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/33]

“Secret Agent Man” – Johnny Rivers [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/53]

“Sloop John B.” – The Beach Boys 5/66 [VOCAL SURF, BillboardYE100/61]

"Blues Theme" - Davie Allan & the Arrows 7/66 (Movie) ?/67 (Single) [NorthSeaSurf101#50]

When Curb assigned soundtrack duties for biker film The Wild Angels to Allan and the Arrows, it would prove a breakthrough success. The song from the film's opening, “Blues' Theme”, an aggressive, repetitive and very catchy instrumental showcasing Allan's new fuzzed-out (heavily distorted) guitar sound became their biggest hit (it was also one of the first songs Eddie Van Halen learned to play on brother Alex's guitar). The song stayed on the Billboard charts for 17 weeks (it peaked at #37); the single, backed with “Bongo Party”, and the soundtrack album both sold well.
The Wild Angels debuted in the theaters on July 20, 1966.

"Heartbeat" - The Avengers VI ?/66 [NorthSeaSurf101#71]

“Wipe Out” – The Surfaris [BillboardYE100/63] “Wipe Out” re-appears in the Billboard Top 100.

“Barbara Ann” – The Beach Boys 12/65 [VOCAL SURF?, BillboardYE10079]

“No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” – The T-Bones [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/66]

1966 – Non-Surf Instrumentals
“Zorba the Greek” – Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass [NOT SURF, BillboardYE10098]

[[ 1967 ]] There is nothing remotely surfy in the Billboard Year-End Hot 100)

Alas, there are no Classic North Sea Surf Radio / SurfGuitar101 Top 101 tracks after 1966.

1967 – Non-Surf Instrumentals
“Soul Finger” – The Bar-Kays [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/67]
“Groovin’” – Booker T and The MG’s [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/72]

[[ 1968 ]]

“The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” – Hugo Montenegro [Proto-Surf, BillboardYE100/8] Embraced by surf musicians, the Spaghetti Western lives on as a sub-genre of instrumental surf rock. "While surf music gives you the feeling of riding the waves, spaghetti western music conjures images of riding tall in the saddle," says Ted James, owner of Deep Eddy Records in Austin, Texas, a label that specializes in surf, instrumental rock and garage.]

[POP] Hot Wheels 1968 a brand of die-cast toy cars introduced by American toy maker Mattel in 1968. The initial prototypes of the “Beach Bomb” were faithful to the shape of a real VW Type 2 "bus", and had two surfboards sticking out the back window, in a nod to the VW's perceived association with the surfing community and the slang term for a person who spends much time surfing - a 'beach bum'.

1968 – Non-Surf Instrumentals
“Tighten Up Pt. 1” – Archie Bell and The Drells [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/10]
“Grazing In the Grass” – Hugh Masekela [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/18]
“Classical Gas” – Mason Williams [NOT SURF, BillboardYE100/43]

[[ 1969 ]]

“Hawaii Five-O” – The Ventures 4/69 [BillboardTop10/4] The last surf instrumental to make the Billboard Top Ten list or the Top 100.

*Huge credit and thanks to John Blair and “The Illustrated Discography of Surf Music” for supplying most of the release dates used for my timeline. I now have a monumental appreciation for the almost unimaginable amount of research, scholarly effort, and just plain hard work Mr. Blair put into assembling this book. Wikipedia and web searches helped me fill in the rest.

My Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline
SSS Agent #777

Last edited: Nov 15, 2019 10:26:17

Coupled with a new vocalist, the Fireballs savored success in a new dimension. "Sugar Shack" on DOT records was a #1 hit and the largest selling single of the year.

In the context of the paragraph you posted on The Fireballs, this implies "Sugar Shack" was released in '59. The record entered the charts in September, 1963.

Nice list ...Yeah Elvis wiped Big Band off the charts in 1956 and when Black Board Jungle teen movie came out that year Rock Around The clock became a national hit as well being it closed the movie etc.

Surf really evolved out of a hybrid of musical elements starting off with the Lindy Beat a jazz dance drum pattern. Has Country & Western, Hawaiian music and Big Band elements all mixed up in there from what was happening in California 30 years before Surf appeared. The Rock n Roll beat is in there, but is more than that, thats why its a genre by it self. Its a hybrid of musical forms.

So many infuences in Surf its hard to cover in one statement.

Some of the detailed information and dates noted here seem to be incorrect, so be mindful.

There he tells how Joe Sarcino, A&R man for Candix Records, got his hands on a record which, in reality, had been cut by Jack Andrews, a multi-instrumentalist, who played every instrument himself and had it released on his own label, Scott 102, in 1960 b/w Beware Below.

The Scott 102 release of "Underwater" was not the first release, but a later reissue. The first issue of "Underwater" was in the spring of 1961 on the Candix label. The Scott release was in '64. Tune was originally called "The Happy Frog." Andrews did not play every instrument on that record. It was a band called The Corsairs that Andrews heard at a party.

"Underwater" was Andrews' first independent recording session apart from Saraceno, who only suggested that Andrews overdub something to make the record more interesting. Hence, the quiro. Saraceno also advised Andrews to take the master to Candix Records, but was not involved in the recording, itself.

It's a longer story, but those are the salient details. This is an ambitious post but double-check the information before taking all of it to the bank.

That's kind of like Rock Around The Clock - it came out in 1954 but wasn't really a hit song to much later in like 1957 and it was made up from two different songs (Solo from a Country & Western tune) when Bill Haley was had his Country Band with the cowboy hats a gear on in 1949 and 50, My grandfather saw them a lot at the Booth Wyne Farmers market on the weekends all the time back then. They set up in the middle of the ally way and played while people shopped in connected barns. They were using pretty loud amps for that time as well. He was really a radio DJ that played country fairs and parties on the side around that time.

Bill Halley had a lot of Country in him and even Elvis grew up in the same environment that eventually turned into what we know as Rock n Roll in the 1950's.

Basically it goes from Civil War Music (Irish) to Dixieland, Big Band to Counrty to Rock and Roll in a nut shell as far as tracing back popular music and its precurser. Irish music was really originally Gypsy music that goes back at least 800 plus years to the middle east. So its really hard to define all this to me. Hard to do. To me Surf is animal all to itself though - definitely a hybrid of forms, no doubt about it to me. So Surf has to have a label like it has to describe it being its a hybrid of many past forms.

I think the Lindy Hop beat or what we call the surfer Beat is interesting, because you wouldn't think Jazz would have any influence on Surf music just listening to it. But Jazz was big on the streets in the 40's and 50's in LA so it makes sense Surf bands would adopt the Lindy Beat as a main feature of the Genre,

Last edited: Mar 22, 2019 12:38:30

Thank you, John. I'm honored to get a response from you, the preeminent authority and historian of surf music, bar none. I appreciate the fact checking and if those are the only errors I've made, I have exceeded my expectations. I suspect, despite my proofreading and research, there will be more.

I will edit the text to correct the items you have listed, but please continue to bring any improvements I can make to my attention.

I will continue to double check and correct my facts as I find more reliable information, and I am counting on the SurfGuitar101 community to point me in the right direction when they see something that seems off base.

Hopefully my second attempt at "Underwater" is more acceptable.

”Underwater” – the Frogmen 4/61 [Proto-Surf]

The April 17, 1961 issue of Billboard touted the song as a breakout single in Seattle and Los Angeles. It peaked at #44 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100. “Underwater” is considered by some to be the first surfing instrumental, predating Dick Dale's influential “Let's Go Trippin'” and The Marketts’ “Surfer's Stomp” by several months.

In a June 1992 interview with author Stephen McParland, Jack Andrews, the writer of the song, said that The Frogmen were a four-piece band from Culver City (called The Corsairs, J. Blair) that he met at a party. He took them into American Recording and cut "Underwater." (The tune was originally called "The Happy Frog, J. Blair) Andrews told McParland, "I shopped it to every record company in town and got booted every [one]. Then my friend Joe Saraceno told me I should overdub something on it to make it more interesting, so I went back in the studio. H.B. Barnum had just done a session and he had a bunch of percussion stuff around. [Engineer Frank DeLuna] happened to pick up a guiro [pronounced "wee-ro," this is a Spanish percussion instrument typically consisting of a long-necked gourd that is sounded by scraping a stick over ridges cut into its surface] and he began making this croaking sound [with it] as we were playing the tape. I said, 'Hey, can you do that on mike?' and he said, 'Yeah, but who's gonna engineer it?' and I said, 'I will.' So, he went out and played and I engineered. Then I took it out and shopped it again."

Saraceno worked for Candix Records and helped get the record released on that label, but was not involved in the recording, itself. According to Andrews, Saraceno also came up with the name Frogmen. Little is known about the band because the members were all under 18 years old at the time "Underwater" was recorded. They were basically a high school band that recorded a few singles and then broke up.

My Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline
SSS Agent #777

What a cool undertaking. Definitely helped set a few things straight in my head

Storm Surge of Reverb: Surf & Instro Radio

Hi Surfing_Sam, Good call on the "Blackboard Jungle." Definitely a cultural and Roll & Roll milestone. I will add a [POP] citation for it.

Regarding influences on surf music, I agree that everything you have mentioned is part of it. More so for Country & Western, which I see as being channeled to surf music through Duane Eddy, and the Jazz drum pattern, Gene Krupa was a favorite of Dick Dale, and less so for Hawaiian music and Big Band in general.

I see Rock and Roll as the main trunk of the musical tree off which surf music hangs. All that you mentioned are the deep and wide roots of that tree. However, it is easier for me to picture 16-year old Paul Johnson and Eddie Bertrand dissecting a Duane Eddy instrumental (the way Clapton, Beck, Page, and Richards were dissecting the Blues of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters) than to think of them picking apart Big Band tunes a la Lawrence Welk. Rock & Roll was new and exciting. It was for and of the young. Recent popular Rock & Roll, Rockabilly, and Country & Western songs were what they were feeling and feeding from.

Dick Dale came at it from a different angle with an original love of Hank Williams and C&W, mixing with the Arabic music influence of his uncle, and a dose of Les Paul, topped off with Gene Krupa drum beats. On top of which, Dale was a true American original. He synthesized these elements together in a way that no one else could.

Surf music, like the rest of rock and roll, fed off itself. Once the Belairs and Dick Dale were established as “patient zero”. The rest of the kids with their new electric guitars started dissecting their music and adding a new element here and there. And so on, and so on.

I will agree that The Ventures and others, in time, went back to mine Big Band, as well as current pop hits, for ideas. A good tune is always worth revisiting. (I love the Tiki Phantoms’ cover of A-ha’s “Take on Me”) But, luckily, surf’s Top 101 is mainly made of originals or inspired by other surf originals.

This is from a 1988 Chicago Tribune article “THE VENTURES: 28 YEARS AND STILL NO WORDS”:

Throughout their career, the Ventures have never been reluctant to cover other artists' songs. "Walk-Don`t Run" was itself a reworked version of a song they had heard on a Chet Atkins album. They have released cover versions of tunes by Duane Eddy (“Rebel Rouser“), Jorgen Ingmann (“Apache“), the Chantay's (“Pipeline“) and the Tornadoes' ("Telstar"). They "covered" the great composers on an all-classical album titled "Joy" ("It wasn't one of our biggest-selling albums," notes Wilson).

They have even covered themselves. In 1964, the band released a “surf” version of “Walk-Don`t Run” that promptly went to No. 8 on the Billboard singles chart-the Ventures thus hitting the Top 10 twice with different versions of the same song.

“Those covers are what kept us going, actually,“ says Wilson. “We'd list the cover songs on the front of an album for title value, then we'd write the other half of the songs on the record. A lot of people don't understand how hard it is to come by good instrumentals. Usually the good ones are themes from a movie or TV show-or it's an instrumental with a wild arrangement like 'Wipe Out.' But how many 'Wipe Outs' and 'Pipelines' are there? I can count them on my fingers. They`re hard to come by, and writing an original is even harder."

Of course, Sam, these are the patterns and conclusions that my observations have led me to. You are looking through the prism of your experience, and you have given me food for thought. I just don’t give Big Band’s influence the same weight as you. At least not directly on surf music, it has already been filtered through Country & Western and Rock & Roll before it arrives at surf.

My Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline
SSS Agent #777

Most people don't see connection anyway, so its no biggie, and probably Neil LeVang won't end up in the Rock n Roll hall of fame either, so its lost to history like most events. But most ofwhat we believe in now will be lost to time as well. I was wondering if anyone will remember any of us in 60 years.

Don't forget the movies though, Surfing films were one of the biggest influences on early surf bands. I read somewhere some bands in 1963 had a films projected behind the band as they played much like Hippies did with Joshua Lights in the late 60's. I never knew they did that back then, I saw a recent band on video a few years ago in a barplaying surf with a projection TV etc, , ,but wow a film projection of surfing while the show was on in first wave bands in 63 Cool

Sam apparently missed most Jon/Nightriders' shows in the early 80's. Rear projection of Hal Jepsen surfing movies during our sets. I honestly don't know of any 60's surf bands that did this.


Last edited: Mar 22, 2019 18:51:56

This is so awesome to read! Holy cow what a post, even if some details are iffy it was all before I was born haha. (SilverFlash, I loved what you posted a million years ago listing different surf genres, too.)

Daniel Deathtide

John wrote:

Sam apparently missed most Jon/Nightriders' shows in the early 80's. Rear projection of Hal Jepsen surfing movies during our sets. I honestly don't know of any 60's surf bands that did this.

Not to go off topic but this detail triggered some wonderful memories of attending some of those J&tN's shows in the 80's. Speaking for the audience, those clips in the background were GREAT, my friends and I just dug 'em at your shows. They struck us as unique even at that time, and took a killer performance by the band right over the top. Fantastic idea.

Member in good standing, Mentone Beach Syncopation Reverberation Association

Last edited: Mar 22, 2019 20:25:34

Silverflash, great piece of work. Thanks!

If I'd stop buying old guitars to fix, I might actually learn to play.
Bringing instruments back to life since 2013.

John wrote:

Sam apparently missed most Jon/Nightriders' shows in the early 80's. Rear projection of Hal Jepsen surfing movies during our sets. I honestly don't know of any 60's surf bands that did this.


Sorry I never saw your band live...yeah I missed everything since First wave really. . .I tuned out like many did in the late 60's, Even then I was just a little kid when I saw the Pyramids on TV (Band Stand) and the surf Movies in Drve-Ins and even then many were re-run films from a few years before that even...I missed even the Pulp Fiction wave era/

I think it was Josha White that stated he saw a Surf band with a film projection while in college pre- 1965 because he went on to work in stage lighting after that. Ok maybe it was a college production then? Its on a YouTube but can't remember which one ...from what I remember it was the catalyst for the later oil plates light show idea that start in 67. Im still searching

The only video I could remember was The King on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963 that has the TV transition to a surf board but not rear projection but it could have been another camera too ??? - was this the source of the idea?

Hi ElMonstroPorFavor, DeathTide, & Idk, Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it and/or found it interesting/informative.

DeathTide, It's great that you remember my surf genre list! It's a subject I might revisit with something along the lines of 'who did it first?' and 'who did it best?' It would be fun to see others' opinions.

I suggested:

Traditional surf (Surfy surf)
Horror surf
Spy surf
Noir/Detective surf
SciFi/Space surf
Spaghetti Western surf
Hot Rod surf
Surf Punk
Middle Eastern

I would probably group Spy with Noir/Detective surf now.

JObeast put forth 'Pornosurf.' I would probably dial that back to 'Sleazy Surf', but I don't know how much of that is out there in the wild. Ariel suggested 'Gangsta Surf.' (Both, may have had their tongues firmly in their cheeks.)

My Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline
SSS Agent #777

Great timeline. Thank you so much. I just sent and bought a bunch of music.

Peace to you, not on you

Very ambitious effort! Everyone doesn't have John's book, so this is useful.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Thank you, Diggey & Noel! I appreciate the kind words. I'm glad to see the classic surf music timeline is getting some views and providing some entertainment and/or benefit.

My Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline
SSS Agent #777

What an amazing thread!

I really appreciate how you have tied it all together. The Surf Music phenomenon didn’t come about in a vacuum; it happened in the context of musical and social trends.

Without the P-Bass and the Telecaster, music would have probably developed quite differently. The guitar sound of Surf Music owes a debt to these developments, not to mention many other developments in amplification and effects.

Well, that’s just one tiny facet of the picture, but it serves to illustrate just how many moving pieces are involved in the story. I really appreciate the perspective I have gained by reading this thread.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

synchro wrote:

What an amazing thread!

I really appreciate how you have tied it all together. The Surf Music phenomenon didn’t come about in a vacuum; it happened in the context of musical and social trends.

Without the P-Bass and the Telecaster, music would have probably developed quite differently. The guitar sound of Surf Music owes a debt to these developments, not to mention many other developments in amplification and effects.

Well, that’s just one tiny facet of the picture, but it serves to illustrate just how many moving pieces are involved in the story. I really appreciate the perspective I have gained by reading this thread.

Thank you, synchro! I'm glad you grok my intention with this thread. (If anyone is not science fiction inclined, grok means "to understand profoundly and intuitively", from Robert A. Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. For more on the connection between Sci-Fi and surf music, check out the thread: What is the connection between Surf music and retro-futurism/sci-fi/ and b-movies?)

My Classic Instrumental Surf Music Timeline
SSS Agent #777

Goto Page: 1 2 Next