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Jan & Dean
Topic Started: Jan 27 2018, 11:25 AM (368 Views)
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Yeah, they were never gonna get the respect that I think they deserve; most people think their songs are by the Beach Boys. Young people today.

Domenic Priore, author of some of my fave books and magazines on 1960s rock 'n' roll, recently opened a can of worms by claiming that J&D's "Ride the Wild Surf" album was better than anything the Beach Boys had done to that time (mid-1964) and since Brian Wilson was all over that record it seems a little silly to argue about, but you know us music fans, and there have been numerous posts, arguments, tweets, rocks thrown through cyberwindows, all that stuff. Crazy world, eh? I've bought J&D albums since the '70s and CDs as long as that format's been around (I had to import most of their canon).

For those of you still paying attention, they had more top 40 hits than almost anybody you can name of that era (beginning with "Jennie Lee", a song about a stripper's boobs, recorded as Jan & Arnie since Dean was in the service), and their albums go like so:

The Jan & Dean Sound (1960): Featuring the big hit Baby Talk, plus Clementine and We Go Together- -
Jan & Dean Take Linda Surfin' (1963) with their smash version of Linda and covers of two early Beach Boys songs
Surf City (and Other Swingin' Cities) (1963) with Surf City (their only #1) and the hit Honolulu Lulu
Drag City (1963) with the titular hit (yet another B. Wilson song) and Dead Man's Curve, plus the hilarious Schlock Rod (parts 1 & 2)
Dead Man's Curve / The New Girl In School (1964) No, just one album, featuring two big hits
Ride the Wild Surf (1964) Theme from the movie, plus 11 other beach songs, many by that B. Wilson guy
The Little Old Lady from Pasadena (1964) with Sidewalk Surfin', Easy as 1-2-3 and The Anaheim Azusa & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review & Timing Association
Command Performance - Live in Person (1965) with the theme from the T.A.M.I. Show, which they hosted
Folk 'N Roll (1965) with I Found a Girl and covers of current hits
Jan & Dean meet Batman (1966) a comedy record with songs about Batman and his villains.

After Jan's near-fatal auto accident in April, 1966, Liberty Records took the previously rejected comedy record Filet of Soul and took all the comedy out of it, leaving what Dean called "a bunch of lame songs." That was followed by the compilation album Popsicle, which featured their last hit, the title song, originally featured on their Drag City LP. Additional attempts to release music, by Dean or the recovering Jan, were blocked by the record company, and it was many years before Dean's 1967 "Jan & Dean" followup (with the single Yellow Balloon) called Save for a Rainy Day was released. Last year, the original comedy version of Filet of Soul was finally released, too. Jan died in 2004 and Dean is still with us, a very cranky old Right-Winger, my friends tell me. My son got his autograph for me on a J&D Greatest Hits album.

You can watch their unreleased 1966 TV pilot HERE. It's not bad at all (notice the guest stars and who directed the darn thing).

So, any thoughts on Mr. Barry and Mr. Torrence, or is it just me?
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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mort bakaprevski
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Ahhh, Jan B(E)rry. I was terribly envious of him in my yoot. He looked like some sort of Greek god &, of course, was good at sports. Evidently, he also had an IQ bordering on the genius level as he was going to med school while producing records. It was also rumored that he had perfect pitch (which I found hard to believe given the out-of-tune nature of Jan & Dean records).

The early J&D records (on the Dore label) introduced me to two men who had significant careers in the pop music business (“Produced by (Herb) Alpert & (Lou) Adler”).
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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mort bakaprevski
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Now here's a curio. Only turns out it isn't Jan & Dean at all. It's Tom Bahler & (maybe) Thurl Ravenscroft. Tom & his brother were regular members of the Ron Hicklin Singers (the vocal equivalent of The Wrecking Crew) & I assume everyone knows who Thurl was:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOB5N6gwGco
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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mort bakaprevski
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Brian Wilson talks about Jan Berry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTf2MehizWI
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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