May 19, 2024

JAN & DEAN – Jan Berry Official Site

Life can have a higher meaning in a Carnival of Sound

Jan Berry Fiji Printing Music Score Publications.

YouTube Channel and Hal Leonard Highlight Publication of Jan Berry’s Original Music Scores from the 1960s

Jan Berry’s music archive from the 1960s remains largely intact—one of the largest surviving collections of original music manuscripts used by Wrecking Crew studio musicians in Hollywood’s finest recording studios. Jan was the main songwriter, music arranger, and record producer for the legendary Jan & Dean.

Some of Jan’s best music arrangements for Jan & Dean (and other artists) are being transcribed and published to get them on the public record, and to invite further study of the music. These publications provide jazz ensembles, orchestras, and other combos with the authentic parts to some of the most iconic music of the early to mid-1960s.

The music score publication project is an extension of author Mark A. Moore’s books The Jan & Dean Record (McFarland 2016) and Dead Man’s Curve: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Jan Berry (McFarland 2021), which chronicle Jan’s ordinal recording sessions and life story.

The published transcriptions of Jan’s music arrangements are available for purchase online (via the Fiji Printing imprint) through Hal Leonard’s ArrangeMe service at Sheet Music Direct, Sheet Music Plus, and at thousands of music shops across North America through Hal Leonard’s In-Store Digital Retailer Program.

The Fiji Printing YouTube Channel hosts videos with audio samples that allow potential customers to preview sound font playback of the arrangements. The videos appear on the publication pages at Sheet Music Direct and Sheet Music Plus.

More publications and video previews will be added as they come online.

Each Jan Berry music score publication includes:

  1. Illustrated cover page.
  2. Introductory text with commentary on the music and the Wrecking Crew musicians who performed it.
  3. Song chronology with recording session details.
  4. Full music score (with all parts for rhythm section, brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion).
  5. Individual charts for each part in the music score.
  6. Illustrations, including images from Jan Berry’s music archive from the 1960s.
  7. End page.
The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)

[Pop Symphony] was novel. It was unique, and it was wonderful . . . But that was Jan, and Jan was a visionary.

Hal Blaine
Wrecking Crew drummer and performer on Pop Symphony and
numerous other Jan Berry productions for Jan & Dean and other artists

“When I first met Jan Berry, he was a medical student. He was a brilliant, brilliant guy—very handsome, very self-assured—almost stern. He was a little strict, actually. And he knew exactly what he wanted. He was the engine . . . He was a really good arranger, and he would bring in these scores that he had written, and everything was very carefully done. This was not like, stand in the room and say ‘Okay, hey guitar, try this, [sings a part] bum-ba-bum-ba-bum.’ Or ‘Drums, you do this, thump-thump.’ This stuff was very carefully done. It was copied out by a copyist. Jan was really meticulous about it . . . We also used two drummers a lot of the time. Earl “the Pearl” Palmer and Hal Blaine. So this was quite amazing stuff for me, because I was fairly new on the thing. I had been on the road with Ray Charles as a guitarist, and I had never been in this kind of recording session, with two drummers, and all this hot music and it was very exciting.

Don Peake
Wrecking Crew guitarist and longtime friend, from an interview with Mark A. Moore

Jan was a young hotshot Bel-Air kid who had all the advantages of growing up on the West Side of L.A. He had a pretty girlfriend and a hot car. He looked like he just stepped out of one of those movies, and he lived his life like he did . . . I thought Jan made really powerful records. He wanted to make records that were really powerful, in terms of sound, and he would try all kinds of different things to make the tracks strong . . . He was constantly thinking about, ‘How do I make the records better?’ . . . And I never had the sense that he was above criticism . . . And I was working so much with him that I knew what he was looking for . . . It was never done until it was done. But he was extremely headstrong and I think had a pretty good sense of what he wanted the record to sound like when it was over. With Jan, it was like, ‘Okay, we’ve done this. Now let’s do that.’ And he was not big on asking for suggestions, except about how to do it technically, from an engineering standpoint.

Bones Howe
Recording engineer who worked on many of Jan Berry’s productions, from interviews with Mark A. Moore

“Jan was a good producer. A lot of times it took quite a while to get what he really felt that he wanted. A lot of times we would try things. We’d just play around, and do it over, and over, and over again until he finally got what he liked. Or we’d do something and he would take a ‘ref ’ [reference dub] home. And then after listening to it, or sleeping for a few hours, or overnight; why, then he’d decide he didn’t like it, or he liked it. He knew when it was right, but sometimes it took a while to get there. And he didn’t think much about money, either. He didn’t care if he was running up the bill. In fact, the union contract, when we got paid overtime, they would charge the client $25.00 an hour for overtime. And under the union contract, at time-and-a-half, we were only getting about ten dollars an hour. So a lot of times, Jan would pay us under the table, rather than put it on the bill that was going to Liberty Records or Screen Gems.

Lanky Linstrot
Recording engineer who tag-teamed many of Jan Berry’s productions with Bones Howe,
from an interview with Mark A. Moore

Jan was one of the finer arrangers in the business . . . truly incredible. What was on record and what was in the man’s soul and heart was something that always astounded me, because of the way he could arrange and put all those notes together. It looked like a rat running across a piece of paper with ink on his tail, to me . . . But it was a pleasure . . . Jan wrote everything out for us, and he’d put my part down in front of me with a chord chart . . . and then you would hear the finished product and it was just awesome. It was the most fun period I think that I’ve ever been through as a musician, because I felt like I was in on the creative end of some really lasting stuff.

Glen Campbell
Wrecking Crew guitarist and legendary solo artist

Jan wrote what he heard in his head and hired the best guns in town to realize what was gloriously swimming in there. He was a beacon to the acts that he inspired.

Tom Bahler
Composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer
Vocalist on Jan Berry’s Carnival of Sound sessions, 1968

The score [for ‘Anaheim, Azusa…’] provides an insight into not only the inventive orchestration but the production techniques and studio methods of a historic time in pop music on the West Coast.

Paul Von Mertens
Multi-instrumentalist and musical director for Brian Wilson’s band

If you were a musician on a Jan & Dean session date in 1964, you knew to look hard at the part in front of you before the red recording light came on, which chart would be filled with multiple key center shifts, time signature changes and unexpected turns of harmony—the act had come a long way from “Baby Talk” or “Jennie Lee”. (“Ride the Wild Surf” has 19 different chords in it.) In the case of [“Anaheim”] Jan may have based some of his melodies on Bach’s version of the hymn “Lobt Gott…”, but to even the classically trained ear . . . the main tip of the cap is in the mid-verse instrumental breaks, which almost any listener can tell you is an homage to the Beach Boys’ then-recent hit “I Get Around”. Upon inspecting the score, I see that the rhythm and downward swoop of the first note is another. Jan’s sophisticated arrangement is full of sly humor, like the oboe, bassoon and harpsichord gamely attempting to convince the listener that the grannies are stereotypically prim and proper and would be likely listening to square, stuffy baroque music. There is even a self-reference at the end with “Go Grannies Go,” as though the infamous Little Old Lady had sisters. It is instructive to see how much Jan borrowed from Phil Spector—the unusual number of guitars/basses (six), the rather large ensemble playing live in one room. Here we see Jan Berry at perhaps his finest arrangement/production hour, at the peak of his game, age a mere 23, giving Brian Wilson a run for his money. He was also smart enough to realize that at live shows, a beefier sound was called for, and a standard Big Band winds section replaced the more orchestral instruments in the alternative live arrangement. For my money, I think the song might have benefitted from having less background vocals, since the instrumental parts are so dense and lively and deserve to be better heard. (I note there were numerous vocal overdub sessions). Conceptually, [“Anaheim”] was a triumph, which regrettably was not reflected in its sales, peaking at only #77 in the Billboard charts. Modern connoisseurs of baroque pop would do well to study this outstanding piece of work by Jan Berry.

Probyn Gregory
Multi-instrumentalist and member of Brian Wilson’s band
Pop Symphony, Jan & Dean, music score sample
A portion of the transcription of Jan Berry and George Tipton’s original music score for the “Pop Symphony” version of “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena),” 1965.
From Jan Berry’s original music score cover page for “Dead Man’s Curve,” 1964.
A portion Jan Berry’s original 12-String Guitar chart for “Anaheim, Azusa …,” 1964. The Danelectro Bellzouki 12-String.

Follow in Social Media: