single to make the Hot 100, a Los Angeles band called
The Gamblers gave us "Moon Dawg!," the granddaddy
of all surf instrumentals. Recorded in late 1959 and
released at the beginning of 1960, "Moon Dawg!"
is considered the earliest recording of the genre.
The Gamblers were assembled by Beach Boys
producer Nick Venet and by Derry Weaver,
the primary songwriter for the band.
On "Moon Dawg!" Weaver is credited as lead
guitarist, but at least one source claims the lead
guitar work was done by session guitarist and
future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Burton.
Other members included, on piano, Bruce Johnston,
who went on join the Beach Boys, rhythm guitarist
Elliot Ingber who later joined Frank Zappa's band
The Mothers of Invention and Captain Beefheart's
Magic Band, bass player Larry Taylor who joined
Canned Heat, and Sandy Nelson who became one
of the best known rock drummers of the early
60s. Listen now as The Gamblers shred on
"Moon Dawg! - the title inspired by DJ
Alan Freed's nickname "Moondog."
Now meet The Surfer Girls, born in the Brill Building of Manhattan and bred for success as a California style girl group. The Surfer Girls were the Staten Island duo of Lorraine Bonica on lead vocals and Janice Bartolomeo on harmony. The girls were originally part of a trio called The Durettes. In 1964, after that act dissolved, song-
writer and arranger Steve Venet,
the brother of producer Nick Venet, christened Lorraine and Janice
"The Surfer Girls" hoping they'd become a female version of the Beach Boys. The Surfer Girls made cool records but didn't catch a wave.
on a pond and steadily builds to a towering 50-footer.
for facing life's challenges and conquering them!
folk rock singer/songwriter Bob Lind scored a top 5
hit with "Elusive Butterfly," a single produced by
Jack Nitzsche. That same year Nitszche produced
and arranged Spectorian wall-of-sound recordings
for his wife, blue-eyed soul singer Gracia Ann May.
believed to be Phil Spector's Blossoms,
formed a girl group that husband Jack
named The Satisfactions. Bob Lind
wrote a song for Cher entitled "Bring
It All Down," but Bono's better half
passed on it. Nitzsche produced and
arranged a version of the song recorded
by the Satisfactions that was released
in the spring of 1966 on the B side of
the group's single "Daddy You Gotta
Let Him In." "Bring It" does just that.
Gracia Nitzsche and the Satisfactions
ooze Spectorian folk-rock splendor!
"Daddy, You Gotta Let Him In")
The Surfer Girls, the act you met earlier, here are
The Surfmen to take us home with another great
California surf rock instrumental, Waxed in the
early 60s, this one is called "The Ghost Hop."
Click to play "Ghost Hop" and