March 3, 2017 – Jim Fuller, co-founding member and lead guitarist of the Surfaris, was born on June 27, 1947. In 1962, Bob Berryhill (15), Jim Fuller (15), Pat Connolly (15) and Ron Wilson (17) from Glendora, California formed The Surfaris.
It was the year that the surf music craze was just emerging and “Wipe Out” was written that winter. Saxophonist, Jim Pash, joined the band after “Wipe Out” was recorded.
Initially catapulted by the California surf culture, The Surfaris transcended the local scene into international stardom with their hit song “Wipe Out.” On a cold December night that same year, these four young teenagers wrote Wipe Out in the studio after recording Surfer Joe. With the help of manager Dale Smallin (Wipe Out laugh intro) and recording engineer Paul Buff, The Surfaris recorded the 1963 hit version of Wipe Out and Surfer Joe. Continue reading Jim Fuller 3/2017
June 14, 2009 – Bob Bogle (The Ventures) was born on Jan 16, 1934 near Wagoner, Oklahoma. After leaving school at 15 he worked as a bricklayer in California.
In 1958, while working on different construction sites he met up with fellow mason worker Don Wilson in Seattle, the two formed a band called The Versatones. The duo played small clubs, beer bars, and private parties throughout the Pacific Northwest. They recruited bassist Nokie Edwards, Skip Moore on drums and changed their name to the Ventures.
March 26, 2004 – Jan William Berry (Jan and Dean) was born April 3rd 1941 in Los Angeles California. His mother was born in Norway and his dad was the project engineer for Howard Hughes “Spruce Goose”, the largest flying boat ever built, with a wing span of one inch short of 320 feet. He flew on the plane’s only flight with Howard Hughes.
Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence , both born in Los Angeles, California, met while students at Emerson Junior High School in Westwood, Los Angeles, and both were on the school’s football team. By 1957, they were students in the Vagabond Class of 1958 at the nearby University High School, where again they were on the school’s football team, the Warriors. Berry and Torrence had adjoining lockers, and after football practice, they began harmonizing together in the showers with several other football players, including future actor James Brolin.
April 19, 1993 – Steve Douglas Kreisman was born September 24, 1938 and grew up in Los Angeles, where he studied trumpet, trombone and violin and taught himself to play the saxophone at age 15. After serving briefly in the Navy in the Drum and Bugle Corps, Douglas began his musical career recording and touring with Duane Eddy in the ’50s.
His first job as a session saxophonist was with Phil Spector as one of “Phil’s Regulars,” a group that included Sonny Bono on percussion, Glen Campbell on guitar and Leon Russell on keyboard.
He played the blues with Duane Eddy and the Rebels at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1958, and with Elvis Presley on the set of the film “Girls, Girls, Girls!” in the early 1960’s.
Douglas played on albums by the Beach Boys and toured with Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. He was one of the most sort after session musicians in L.A, a member of The Wrecking Crew, who worked with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. He can be heard on records by Duane Eddy, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, BB King, Ike & Tina Turner, Bobby Darin and so many others.
Over the years, he played with Sam Cooke, B. B. King, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder. He also worked on the soundtracks for such movies as “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The ’70s and ’80s saw Douglas performing with Bob Dylan, Mink Deville, Mickey Hart, Ry Cooder, and even the Ramones on the Phil Spector production End of the Century.
Anyone who has listened to classic rock radio has heard the sax playing of Steve Douglas. As a result of his contributions, Steve Douglas was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Douglas died of heart failure on Monday April 19, 1993 at a Hollywood recording studio during a recording session with Ry Cooder.
May 7, 1989 – Ronald Lee “Ron” Wilson was born on June 26, 1944 in Los Angeles.
Wilson played Drums for a high school band Charter Oak Lancers in Covina, California in 1962. The members of the outfit were inspired by Boston born surf guitarist Dick Dale, but it was drummer Ron Wilson who inspired the biggest hit of the Surf Music genre.
As one of the original members of The Surfaris, an early surf rock group formed in Glendora, California in 1962, he introduced a vigorous cadence-laced drumming style which made their music much more energetic than other surf bands.
Wilson said he had dreamed of a surfer and with the others wrote a song called “Surfer Joe”, sung by Wilson. It was recorded at Pal Studios in Cucamonga, California in January 1963.
The band needed a B-side and Wilson played a drummer’s practice exercise called a paradiddle. Wilson added stresses to what had been a rhythm he played in his school marching band, and the guitarists followed. According to band member Bob Berryhill, “Ronnie loved Scottish marches and played with our high school Tartan marching band. That came into play coupled with my suggestion of bongo rock-type breaks for an arrangement, a drum-solo type of song with a simple guitar melody. Ronnie started playing the famous Wipe Out solo and in about ten minutes we had the song together.”
His energetic drum solo made ‘Wipe Out’ the best-remembered instrumental of the period. The band toured in various forms for many years and at times invited members of the audience to attempt Wilson’s drum riff while the guitarists played the melody.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Wilson was the drummer with the Monica Dupont band, which included Mel Brown, Johnny Heartsman, Bobby Forte’ and from time to time Bard Dupont. They recorded Honky Tonk live at the Stony Inn, in Sacramento, California available as a free download at www.peaceintheworld.us
He was only 44 when he died of a brain aneurysm on May 7, 1989