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This Day in Pop Culture for July 20

Jean and Dean

1963: ‘Surf City’ Becomes First Surf Song to Reach #1

The story goes like this: Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, better known together as Jan and Dean, were at a party with fellow surfer, Brian Wilson where Wilson played for them his new song, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” The duo suggested that they all record the song, but Wilson said no, since he had intended it to for The Beach Boys. However, he also shared with them Surf City and suggested that Jan and Dean record that instead since he himself had lost interest in the song. Berry and Torrence added to the lyrics, recorded the song, released it in May of ’63 and on this day, it became the first “surf” song to make it to #1 on national record charts. While Wilson’s father, who was the manager of The Beach Boys, was upset that Brian “wasted” a song that should have been The Beach Boys, Wilson said that he was happy that another group had a hit song and that he was a part of it.

Birthdays

  • 1938: Diana Rigg (actress)
  • 1938: Natalie Wood (actress)
  • 1945: Kim Carnes (singer)
  • 1964: Chris Cornell (singer)
  • 1969: Josh Holloway (actor)
  • 1975: Judy Greer (actress)
  • 1988: Julianne Hough (dancer)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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