the beach boys

the beach boys

Jan and Dean - Baby Talk (Sha Na Na TV Show - Season 2, Episode 17)

16h ago
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Description

Jan and Dean were a rock and roll duo, popular from the late 1950s through the mid 1960s, consisting of William Jan Berry (April 3, 1941 -- March 26, 2004) and Dean Ormsby Torrence (born March 10, 1940). They became associated with the vocal "surf music" craze that was later popularised by The Beach Boys. Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, both born in Los Angeles, California, began singing together as a duo after football practice at University High School. Primitive recording sessions followed soon after, in a makeshift studio in Berry's garage. They first performed onstage as "The Barons" at a high school dance. With the Barons, Jan Berry was experimenting with multi-part vocal arrangements five years before he started working professionally with Brian Wilson. Their first commercial success was "Jennie Lee" (1958), an ode to a local, Hollywood burlesque performer, that Jan Berry recorded with fellow Baron Arnie Ginsburg and which reached #8 on the charts. "Jan & Arnie" released three singles in all. After Dean Torrence returned from a stint in the army reserves, Berry and Torrence began to make music as "Jan and Dean." With the help of record producers Herb Alpert and Lou Adler, Jan and Dean scored a #10 hit with "Baby Talk" (1959), and then scored a series of hits over the next couple of years. Playing local venues, they met and performed with the Beach Boys, and discovered the appeal of the latter's "surf sound". By this time, Berry was co-writing, arranging, and producing all of Jan and Dean's original material. Berry signed a series of contracts with Screen Gems to write and produce music for Jan and Dean, as well as other artists such as Judy & Jill (which included Berry's girlfriend Jill Gibson and Dean Torrence's girlfriend Judy Lovejoy), The Matadors, and Pixie (a young female solo singer). During this time, Berry co-wrote and/or arranged and produced songs for artists outside of Jan and Dean, including The Angels ("I Adore Him", Top 30), the Gents, the Matadors (Sinners), Judy & Jill, Pixie (unreleased), Jill Gibson, Shelley Fabares, Deane Hawley, The Rip Chords ("Three Window Coupe", Top 30), and Johnny Crawford, among others. Unlike most other rock 'n roll acts of the period, Jan and Dean did not give music their full-time attention. Jan and Dean were college students, maintaining their studies while writing and recording music and making public appearances on the side. Torrence majored in advertising design in the school of architecture at USC. Berry took science and music classes at UCLA, and entered the California College of Medicine (now the UC Irvine School of Medicine) in 1963. By the time of his 1966 auto accident, Berry had completed two years of medical school. Jan and Dean reached their commercial peak in 1963 and 1964. The duo scored an impressive sixteen Top 40 hits on the Billboard and Cash Box magazine charts, with a total of twenty-six chart hits over an eight-year period (1958--1966). Jan and Brian Wilson collaborated on roughly a dozen hits and album cuts for Jan and Dean, including the number one national hit "Surf City" in 1963. [4] Subsequent top 10 hits included "Drag City" (#10, 1963), "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" (#3, 1964), and the eerily portentous "Dead Man's Curve" (#8, 1964). In 1964, at the height of their fame, Jan and Dean hosted and performed at The T.A.M.I. Show, a historic concert film directed by Steve Binder. The film also featured such acts as The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Gerry & the Pacemakers, James Brown, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Lesley Gore, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, and The Beach Boys (whose sequence was later cut from the film, due to contract issues). Also in 1964, the duo performed the title track for the Columbia Pictures film Ride the Wild Surf, starring Fabian, Tab Hunter, Peter Brown, Shelley Fabares, and Barbara Eden. The song, penned by Jan Berry, Brian Wilson, and Roger Christian, was a Top 20 national hit....