Jan and Dean

Jan and Dean

Synopsis of Pop Music

"Two girls for every boy..."

Jan and Dean stood side by side with the Beach Boys as the most popular purveyors of the ‘California Dream.’ This duo’s songs of surf, drag racing, and ‘two girls for every boy’ captured the imagination of teens all over the world during the mid-60's. In response, these listeners turned Jan and Dean into serious hit-makers.

Jan Berry and Dean Torrance’s singing careers began in the high school shower room. After football practice, the two would harmonize with their teammates when they discovered the shower room had nice acoustics. Jan moved these experiments to his garage, where he would tape himself and Dean singing with other friends on doo-wop favorites. While Dean served in the Army Reserves, Jan shopped a tape of theirs to a local record company. They issued the song “Jennie Lee” as a single, and the result was a #8 hit.

When Dean returned home, he and Jan seriously began to pursue their singing career. Over the next few years they scored hits with modernized, harmony-rich doo-wop songs like “Baby Talk,” “Heart and Soul” and “Linda.” After doing a few concerts with the Beach Boys, the duo decided to try surf music. They covered a few early Beach Boys songs and inspired that group's leader, Brian Wilson, to give them an unfinished song of his in 1963. Berry finished the song, added lyrics, and the result was “Surf City,” which shot to #1 on the pop charts and stayed there for two weeks.

Berry, the duo’s main writer and producer, got the hang of the new craze pretty fast and followed “Surf City” with another hit, “Honolulu Lulu.” They collaborated with Brian Wilson again for their next hit, the racing-themed “Drag City.” A string of surf- and car-themed hits followed, including “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena,” “Ride The Wild Surf,” “Sidewalk Surfin’” and the chilling cautionary tale “Deadman’s Curve.” The B-sides of these singles were usually quite good and frequently became chart successes, most notably “The New Girl In School.”

The duo experienced a shock when Jan was in a serious car accident in 1966. He emerged from a lengthy coma paralyzed and suffering form minor brain damage. However, Jan was determined to make a comeback and underwent physical therapy so he could walk and talk again. The next year, he returned to recording with Dean and they continued to record into the 70’s both as a duo and as solo acts.

In 1978, Jan and Dean’s life stories were turned into an acclaimed made-for-television film called Deadman’s Curve. Its success inspired the two to begin touring again. Jan and Dean still tour today and remain a popular attraction with the fans who were raised on their pop classics. They perform at least 50 dates a year, bringing their vision of sun and fun to pop fans across the globe.

Artist Release History

1960 - Jan & Dean
1963 - Surf City
1963 - Jan & Dean Take Linda Surfin'
1964 - Dead Man's Curve-New Girl in School
1964 - The Little Old Lady from Pasadena
1964 - Ride the Wild Surf
1964 - Drag City
1965 - Command Performance
1966 - Popsicle
1966 - Folk 'n Roll
1966 - Filet of Soul
1966 - Pop Symphony, No. 1
1967 - Save for a Rainy Day
1968 - Jan & Dean (1968)
1973 - Remember
1973 - Gotta Take That One Last Ride
2000 - Center Stage: Live

Pop Sub Categories


Essential Music Albums

Gotta Take That One Last Ride (One Way)

Band Members

Jan Berry vocals
Dean Torrance vocals

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