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If Everybody Had A Notion...

Classic surf music and the artists who created it

By

The Lively Ones

The Lively Ones. From the official website.

Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the streets. That is, unless you live near water. You don't have to be a surfer to enjoy surf music: its propulsive rhythms and angular chords have inspired landlocked rock, instrumental, metal and punk bands for decades now. Better still, the tradition continues today, as countless surf and surflike rock groups spread the gospel to gremmies and hodaddies across the nation. Whether you prefer the gonzo theatrics of a Dick Dale or the mellower, Chuck Berry-inspired licks of classic early Beach Boys, surf music has something for everyone.

The following list is my no means exhaustive: it's merely supposed to serve as a starting point for those interested in surf music. It deals only with the better-known oldies surf artists, although this category will remain on oldies.about.com as a permanent resource, expanding over time. This is also not a resource for surfers, only surf music. Check out About.com's guide to surfing (listed on the right) to get some tips on how to shoot the curl.

Next week: Hot Rod Music!

  • Surf With The Tornadoes This band scored the first instrumental surf hit in the US, called "Bustin' Surfboards." They're still active today, and this is their official website.
  • The Chantays Responsible for the classic hit "Pipeline." This page is mainly for booking purposes, but there's some info here on the band.
  • Dick Dale's Offical World Wide Website Surf music's greatest guitarist is still going strong. This is the offical website for the "Misirlou" legend. Featuring info on new Dale CDs and 2003 tour dates!
  • The Lively Ones Not very well known to the general public, this quartet is legendary amongst surf music cognoscenti. This is the official site, although there's not much info here. 
  • The Surfaris The group that gave the world "Wipeout." They still perform today! This official site contains tour dates and a lengthy bio
  • The Ventures! Not merely the greatest surf band of all time, but the greatest instrumental rock band, period, responsible for hits like "Walk, Don't Run" and the "Hawaii Five-O" theme. This official site contains loads of facts, merchandise, and Ventures news!
  • The Official Web Site for Jan Berry Everyone knows the Beach Boys as the most popular and influential surf vocal group, but the "Dead Man's Curve" was nearly as influential in some ways. This brand new site features a wealth of information about the two.
  • Reverb Central A great resource featuring articles about surf music and its origins, reviews of surf CDs past and present, concert events, and a surf bibliography!
  • Cowabunga! A Surf Music FAQ that contains a wealth of information about surf music, it's origins, and where to get it.
  • Surfmusic.com: Radio Stations The most comprehensive list of surf music available anywhere, including broadcast radio stations, mp3 sites, net radio, and live surf shows! 

 

 

 

 

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