When I get to Surf City I'll be shootin' the curl
- 03 October 2016 | Surfing
You might not know, but Huntington Beach owes its nickname - Surf City USA - to Jan and Dean, a surf music duo that conquered American radio in the 1960s.
When the group recorded and released "Surf City," they certainly didn't imagine their dream would last for 40 years. William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence were both born in Los Angeles, and they pioneered the introduction of surf-themed lyrics in radio airplay.
Jan & Dean's "Surf City" is widely regarded as the world's first surf music hit. Interestingly, the catchy tune was co-written by Brian Wilson - The Beach Boys mastermind - and Jan Berry.
Jan & Dean had an incredible, multifaceted artistic career, and their story has now been poured into a delicious book, full of memories, humor, details, photos, and hidden secrets. It's like getting back to the 1960s and living the surfer's dream in sunny Southern California.
"Surf City: The Jan and Dean Story" is authored by Dean Torrence himself, and includes a surprising foreword from Mike Love, one of the co-founders of The Beach Boys.
"Jan and Dean, believe it or not, had a hand in the origins of The Beach Boys. When we heard them on the radio in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it encouraged my cousins and I to record "Surfin'," because we figured if they had made it, anybody could make it," writes Love.
In 1991, after moving to Huntington Beach, Dean Torrence convinced the local authorities to use the designation "Surf City" as the town's nickname. The suggestion was well received, and the name was officially adopted.
The autobiographical book shares all the intensity lived by the rock duo during their long career. William Jan Berry is no longer with us, but Dean Torrence continues his legacy and is an active musician in his band, The Surf City Allstars.