Jan and Dean Surf City

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Jan and Dean Surf City

Jan and Dean Surf City

Vocal Surf Rock

People wanted to be Californians once they heard Jan Berry and Dean Torrence sing this classic song about heading to the beach — and girls. “Surf City” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart in 1963. The song was written by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and Jan Berry. (The line in the lyric “Two girls for every boy” is typical of Wilson’s work at the time — as are the chords and harmonies.) Evidently, the story goes, Murray Wilson, Brian’s father and group manager for The Beach Boys, was angry that the song went to Jan and Dean.  At the time, The Beach Boys had not yet had a #1 hit in the U.S. (Surfin’ Safari had been #1 in Sweden but rose to #14 in America.) Brian continued to work with the duo anyway. He sang on their first album; Dean sang lead vocals along with Brian on The Beach Boys’s cover of  “Barbara Ann.” Murray had nothing to worry about, as The Beach Boys, of course, went on to a sparkling career of many mega hits.

“Surf City” is one of the Jan and Dean songs that used the group of studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. On the track are Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, Bill Pitman, Ray Pohlman, and Billy Strange. There have been numerous covers of the song, including versions by The Delltones, The Rip Chords, The Meteors, Ramones, and The Go-Go’s, to name a few.

Here are the lyrics to “Surf City” by Jan and Dean:

“Two girls for every boy

I got a ’34 wagon
And we call it a Woody
Surf City here we come

You know it’s not very cherry
It’s an oldie but a goodie
Surf City here we come

Well, it ain’t got a back seat
Or a rear window
But it still gets me
Where I want to go

Yeah, we’re  gonna Surf City
Cause it’s two to one
You know we’re gonna Surf City
Gonna have some fun
You know we’re gonna Surf City
Where it’s two to one
You know we’re gonna Surf City
Gonna have some fun now
Two girls for every boy

They say they never roam the streets
‘Cause there’s always something goin’
Surf City here we come

You know they’re either out surfin’
Or they got a party growin’
Surf City here we come

Well, there’s two swingin’
Honeys for every guy
And all you gotta do
Is just wink your eye

And I’m going to Surf City

Gonna have some fun now
Goin’ to Surf City
‘Cause it’s two to one
You know we’re gonna Surf City

Gonna have some fun now

You know we’re gonna Surf City

‘Cause it’s two to one now
Two girls for every boy
And if my Woody breaks down
On me somewhere on the surf route
Surf City here we come

I’ll strap my board to my back
And hitch a ride in my wet suit
Surf City here we come

And when I get to Surf City
I’ll be shootin’ the curl
And checkin’ out the parties
For a surfer girl

And I’m going to Surf City
‘Cause it’s two to one yeah
You know we’re gonna Surf City
Gonna have some fun
Well, I’m going to Surf City
‘Cause it’s two to one
You know I’m gonna Surf City
Gonna have some fun now
Two girls for every
Two girls for every boy”

For more songs by Jan and Dean: “Dead Man’s Curve” and “Little Old Lady from Pasadena.

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “Surf City” by Jan and Dean.

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