Category Archives: Articles

Pop Symphony

Jan & Dean’s Pop Symphony No. 1 (In 12 Hit Movements)

The Bel-Aire Pops Orchestra
Arranged and Conducted by Jan Berry and George Tipton

Pop Symphony

Jan Berry describes the project . . . 

This album fulfills a dream and also answers a question that has been on my mind for the six years that Dean and I have been recording. The question: Is it possible to take contemporary popular music and state it and develop it symphonically? The dream: To be able to do it. I guess that’s one of the things that inspired me to attend Music Theory classes at U.C.L.A.

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Jan Berry 101: A Study in Composition

Jan Berry 101: A Study in Composition — With Bach, Old Ladies, and Bats
By Mark A. Moore, author of The Jan & Dean Record

ESQ, Summer 2004

Between 1958 and the beginning of 1963, Jan Berry’s talents blossomed as a songwriter, arranger, and producer. During that period, Jan (with successive partners Arnie Ginsburg and Dean Torrence) scored two Top 10 hits, one Top 30 single, and seven additional chart records in the Top 100. There had also been two albums featuring six original compositions co-authored by Berry (in addition to the sides he co-wrote for Jan & Arnie).

By the end of 1962, Jan had fully taken over the reins from producer Lou Adler. “Early on,” recalls Lou, “it was evident that at some point Jan was going to be able to produce himself. On the early Jan & Dean records, a lot of the parts were done by Jan. And so when that first happened I continued to produce, and then I just sort of started to supervise, and then I started to consult. And it just evolved into that.” Jan was 21 years old; and from that point forward he assumed full control in the studio (as well as control over the creative direction for the act).

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MYSTERIOUS FINANCIER: Dean Torrence and the Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr.

MYSTERIOUS FINANCIER: Dean Torrence and the Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr.
By Mark A. Moore, author of The Jan & Dean Record

The Perfect Crime

Barry Keenan

By October 1963, Barry Keenan was only 23 years old, but was down and feeling sorry for himself. The University High School graduate was from a broken home, already divorced, a failed salesman, and had dabbled in the stock market without sustained success. Keenan also had a criminal record, with previous arrests for burglary and petty theft. On top of everything else, he was abusing prescription medication, and saw himself as facing financial ruin. He began to feel desperate, allowing his drug-addled mind to hatch a wild scheme to kidnap the son and namesake of Hollywood royalty — Frank Sinatra Jr.

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