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Messages - Kentucky Surfer

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ALBUMS / Re: 1965 Folk 'n Roll
« on: July 07, 2014, 07:33:09 PM »
Thanks, jdman.

And then, over the weekend, I heard the Grass Roots' version of "Where Were You When I Needed You?"    I think Jan & Dean's version is much better.  It has more drive and a better vocal arrangement.  I think this would have been a great single, especially coupled with "It's A Shame To Say Goodbye".

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan & Dean Playlists/Personal CDs
« on: July 06, 2014, 01:17:23 PM »
It would be difficult for me to span the years from 1958 to 2004 with just two CDs.  The three playlists / CDs I envision just go through 1967-68, and that will still be a challenge.

I think a box set is the right answer, but I don't know if it will ever happen...

ALBUMS / Re: 1963 Drag City
« on: July 06, 2014, 05:54:09 AM »
I think my favorite cut on the album is "Surfin' Hearse".  This combines Jan & Dean's California Doo-Wop with  surf-style background vocals.  In addition, the Jan & Dean sense of humor is evident in the lyrics.

ALBUMS / Re: 1965 Folk 'n Roll
« on: July 05, 2014, 06:25:40 AM »
I was listening to this album this week, and then I happened to hear Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" on the local oldies station.  The backing track sounds identical.   Given Jan's working relationship with P.F. Sloan, did Jan have a role in McGuire's record?  Or did Jan & Dean just use the original arrangement note for note?   That would be uncharacteristic of Jan, given his love of music and his skill with producing and arranging songs.  Perhaps he was simply pressed for time.  Any thoughts?

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Jan & Dean Playlists/Personal CDs
« on: July 04, 2014, 02:41:20 PM »
I have been thinking about compiling three Jan & Dean CDs for the player in my car.   The themes I envision are:

(1) California Doo-Wop (The Early Years)  -- This would start with "There In The Night" and continue through "The New Girl In School"

(2) The Clown Princes of Summer (Surf / Drag / Summer)--"Surf City", "Drag City", "Deadman's Curve", "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena"...

(3) Changing Times (Folk Rock and Beyond...) -- "When It's Over", "You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy",...all the way through "Save For A Rainy Day" and "Carnival Of Sound" 

I would like the opinion of others for about 20 good songs for each list.  So dig out those albums (CDs) and let me know what you think should be on each...

« on: July 04, 2014, 02:24:49 PM »
Some will disagree with this...but here goes.

There always seemed to be a lot of tension in Jan & Dean's relationship due to Jan's role as producer of the music.  To be fair to Jan, the results of his work are still here for all of us to hear in Jan & Dean's timeless recordings.  With regard to studio recordings, he seemed (to me) to regard Dean Torrence's voice as another musical instrument.  It appeared that Jan was always willing to find another vocalist to sing Dean's parts if Dean was not available to come to the studio at whatever hour that Jan was recording.

On "Folk & Roll", it seemed (to my ears) that Jan accomplished the album with very limited participation by Dean.  It sounded like most of Side 1 (other than "Hang On Sloopy" ) was recorded with assistance from P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri (a/k/a "The Fantastic Baggies").  Dean recorded the solo vocal on "Yesterday" and performed with Jan on "Turn Turn Turn".  The latter song confimed to me that Jan & Dean still harmonized very well.  However, it may have been during the recording of "A Beginning From An End" that Jan threw Dean out of the studio after Dean's complaints about the song.   It also appears that Dean was not a fan of "The Universal Coward" and, perhaps, did not want his name on the record.
As a result, two songs from Folk & Roll ("I Can't Wait To Love You" and "The Universal Coward") were released as a Jan Berry solo recording. 

This would seem to imply that a split was imminent.


The follow-on project, "Jan & Dean Meet Batman" featured heavy involvement from Dean.  Throughout their career, it seemed (to me) that Dean played a greater role in Jan & Dean's comedic persona than he did in their recording career.  The "Batman" album gave Dean a chance to shine, and perhaps the hours he and Jan spent on this album healed some of the rift that may have existed between them.  The next album, "Filet of Soul", featured more comedy and also seemed to be more of a collaboration between Jan & Dean.

 There is no way of knowing whether "On the Run" would have been picked up by ABC.  While the pilot that many of us have seen on youTube features the typical Jan & Dean humor, the dialogue seems a little tentative.  I am not convinced that ABC would have taken this show seriously except as a summer replacement show.  However, William Asher (who produced his wife, Elizabeth Montgomery, in Bewitched on ABC) may have been able to exert some influence to get the show on the air, and Dick Clark might have even put in a good word for his friends Jan & Dean. 

So, assuming that On The Run was accepted for at least a short run, it would have afforded Jan & Dean a new platform for promoting their music.  One could reasonably assume that a soundtrack album would have been issued in the wake of the show, featuring some of the silly songs like "Time And Space" as well as a few "serious" Jan & Dean songs that Jan would have produced.  Dean would have no doubt been a participant especially if the songs were used in the show.

At the same time, Jan would have been continuing his studio experiments with "Norwegian Wood" and "Louisiana Man" along with some of the tracks that are now part of "Carousel of Sound".  Liberty Records, who initially resisted "Norwegian Wood", might have changed their mind if the song had received exposure on the TV show and recieved a favorable public response.  This would have given Jan an improved bargaining position with Liberty or another prospective label.  Perhaps that would have opened the door for Jan to produce other artists.

The increased exposure that resulted from a TV show would have no doubt led to more touring opportunities for Jan & Dean.  This would have, most likely, extended their career for a couple of years.  Dean would have played a prominent role in the comedic part of the stage shows, and the talk of a split between the two would have died down.

The true test would have been whether Jan's continued musical vision would have remained commercially viable.   For a while, at least, the TV show might have assured a favorable audience for Jan & Dean's recordings.   However,  we will never know how Jan might have responded musically to The Summer of Love and Woodstock.  Carnival of Sound would have no doubt evolved from what we ultimately heard.   Would Dean have suggested any of the songs he recorded for Save For A Rainy Day?  Would Jan have listened to Dean's suggestions or ignored them?  A combination of the two albums might have been a viable release.

As the sixties wrapped up, the first signs of a rock and roll revival would have emerged.  If Jan & Dean's Top 40 career had started to stall by this point, Dean might have suggested embracing the nostalgia phase as a sound business move.  Jan, on the other hand, might have rejected such a move, preferring to focus his efforts on producing other artists and releasing singles as a solo artist.

And all of this might have been academic had Jan been inducted into the Army.  The TV shows and the tours would have been shelved, and Jan might have had to rely on Dean to keep things going. (But that is another parallel path through history...)

I guess the truth is we will never know how things would have been different had Jan not been severely injured in April 1966.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Jan & Dean Coca-Cola Commercials
« on: June 07, 2014, 08:38:47 AM »
In the mid 60s  Jan & Dean, along with many other artists, recorded commercials for Coca-Cola.  The commercials would reflect the artist's "sound", but would segue into the standard "Things Go Better With Coca-Cola..." slogan.

I always enjoyed Jan & Dean's commercial, which seemed to be adapted from "Surfin WIld".  Does anyone (i.e., Mark A Moore) know anything about these spots?  Specifically:

(1) Approximately when were they recorded? 

(2) It sounds very much like a Jan Berry production.  Is that true?

(3) Did Jan (perhaps with some help from his cadre of cowriters) write the lyrics?

(4) Who does the voiceover on the intro?  It sounds like Gary Owens.

In any event, it's a neat little jingle and a nice addition to Jan & Dean's recorded legacy.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan & Dean Book Contract Signed
« on: June 07, 2014, 08:26:21 AM »
Great news!  I'll be one of the first in line to order it.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Dean's big 75th!
« on: March 10, 2014, 05:29:42 AM »
Happy 74th Birthday to Dean! 

I bought a K-Tel LP entitled "The Jan & Dean Story" in the early 1980s.  Side 1 was the 1977 re-recordings, and Side 2 was a selection of Dore recordings.  The liner notes clearly stated that they were rerecordings.  Over the years, I think I listened to Side 1 less than half a dozen times.  I always thought the 1977 recordings sounded "chirpy".  Of course, what they were missing was Jan's voice.  On the other hand, Side 2 was great, and I got to hear "Gee" and "There's A Girl" for the first time.

I agree with the overall consensus that the 1977 recordings should have been marketed as Dean only.  I cannot stand to hear these versions misrepresented as originals.

Mark, thanks for your reply. 

I'm actually surprised that the Beach Boys' musical assistance on "Surfin" and "Surfin Safari" was documented.  However, if one thinks back to early 1963, the Beach Boys were still an up and coming group and it probably paid pretty well (better than a local dance) to play on a session. 

I agree with jdman that Jan had Glen Campbell and Billy Strange playing on the sessions for the "Surf City" LP, as documented on the back cover, and probably didn't ask David Marks to play.

Of course, as I recall, "Surf City" led to hard feelings toward Jan Berry by Murry Wilson, who accused Jan of pirating "Surf City" from his boys.  That is probably why any possible involvement the Beach Boys may have had with J&D's recording of "Little Deuce Coupe" was under the radar.

Thanks again for your responses.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Audio Magazine
« on: May 27, 2012, 08:50:19 PM »
In this recent release to promote the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour, David Marks claims that he played guitar on Jan & Dean's recording of "Surf City".

First I've heard of that one...

Mark, is there any documentation to either support or refute this claim?

I do recall , according to Dean's liner notes for the Anthology Album, that the Beach Boys provided some uncredited assistance on "Surfin", "Surfin' Safari", and "Little Deuce Coupe".

Any thoughts, anyone?

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Question about original Liberty LPs
« on: February 10, 2012, 07:15:39 AM »
I had a great day as a Jan & Dean record collector yesterday!  I found a picture sleeve for "Deadman's Curve/The New Girl In School", a nice 45 of "Heart & Soul", and an original stereo "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" LP.  I hadn't been so excited since I found my original copy of "Folk & Roll" way back in 1979.

This is a question for the fans who bought the original LPs.  Were the records in a clear plastic inner sleeve?  The LP I bought yesterday, along with my original "Folk & Roll" LP, were packaged that way.

Any recollections/thoughts on this?

An interesting interview.

As one of the "nut jobs" with no money to buy any of the memorabilia from the website, I think I would still find a way to buy a well put-together box set on Jan & Dean.  The singles set from Collector's Choice and the One-Way double CD sets of the original albums (with the original stereo mixes) are my go-to discs for listening to Jan & Dean.

I am a second generation J&D fan, and I literally built my collection from flea markets and yard sales in the pre-CD era.  I had the pleasure of seeing Jan & Dean in concert in Kentucky in the 1980s, and that was a great moment as  a fan.

I truly enjoy any new piece of information on J&D, whether it be the long-awaited "Carnival of Sound", the 1996 issue of "Save For A Rainy Day", or the great DVD of "The TAMI Show".  And I will definitiely enjoy the "forthcoming sessionography" ;)

It is unfortunate that there is tension between Admin and Dean Torrence.  Interestingly enough, both of them referred to 1958-1966 as the important era in Jan & Dean's career.  Both Dean and Admin would love to see a box set.  Both Dean and Admin see themselves as custodians of the legacy of Jan & Dean.

So why the rub?

I feel that Dean considers it his legacy because he was THERE!  Dean had made a comment in several interviews that the friendship between he and Jan transcended the music.  That comment always strikes me as being a very sincere observation on the relationship between J&D.  So I think Dean is protective of that legacy.

I feel that Admin is trying to speak for Jan, who could only speak for himself with great difficulty after April 1966, and now cannot speak for himself at all.  That, too, is an important legacy

It would be great for the sake of the fans, who now cannot see J&D in concert and have only their recordings, if a well thought-out and well documented box set was developed and released.  I think Dean's first-hand accounts are essential to such a project.  The Admin has worked hard on a sessionography, which is also essential to a viable box set.   Everyone would benefit by working together.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Horace the Swingin' School Bus Driver
« on: February 10, 2012, 06:09:10 AM »
One of my favorite J&D recordings in many respects.  The vocal and instrumental arrangements are great, and the Jan & Dean irreverence that marked many of their recordings is here in full force.

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