Folk Rock Music
The song “The John B. Sails” hails from the Bahamas. Richard Le Gallienne published a transcription in 1916. Carl Sandburg included it in his 1927 collection of folks songs titled The American Songbag. Alan Lomax had the song in his 1935 Deep River of Song collection. As with many folk songs, there are variations on the title, and there were a number of recordings in the 1950s and 1960s. The Kingston trio recorded “(The Wreck of the )”John B” in 1958. Johnny Cash did “I Want to Go Home” in 1959. Jimmie Rodgers did “Wreck of the John B” in 1960. Dick Dale did “Sloop John B” in 1962. And these were just a few.
Brian Wilson sang, produced, and arranged the recording for The Beach Boys. It is a fine example of Sixties folk rock. They released it first as a single, and it rose quickly to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #2 in the U.K. , Ireland, and Canada. Chart in 1966. It became an international hit, going to#1 in Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South Africa, and New Zealand. The Beach Boys included the song on their award-winning Pet Sounds album, which was released a few months later in 1966.
The Beach boys formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. They explored many genres, from surf rock to folk rock to psychedelic rock to pop ballads. The beautifully produced and arranged album showcased their vocal harmonies. The Beach Boys for the track were Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson.