Jan and Dean

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Jan Berry (April 3, 1941, Los Angeles -- March 26, 2004) and Dean Torrence (born March 10, 1940, Los Angeles) were a rock and roll duo briefly popular in the early 1960s as part of the "surf music" craze inspired by The Beach Boys.

They began singing together after football practice at University High School in Los Angeles. Primitive recording sessions followed soon after, in a makeshift studio in Jan's garage. They first performed on stage as The Barons at a high school dance. Their first commercial success was Jennie Lee (1958), an ode to a local burlesque performer which they recorded along with pal Arnie Ginsberg. After Dean returned from an army stint and Arnie went off to other pursuits (by 1962, he was a hugely successful rock and roll deejay in Boston), the two began to make music again as Jan and Dean.

With the help of friend Herb Alpert and producer Lou Adler, they scored a modest hit with Baby Talk (1959), and then entered a long dry spell. Playing local venues, they met and performed with the Beach Boys, and discovered the appeal of the latter's "surf sound".With considerable help from Brian Wilson, they eventually scored a number one national hit with "Surf City" (1963). Subsequent hits included "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" (1964) and the eerily portentous "Dead Man's Curve" (1964).

Early in 1966 Jan was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, resulting in severe head injuries. As a result, the group did not perform again until 1973, and made an official comeback in 1978 on tour with the Beach Boys. The group continued to tour until Berry's death in March, 2004, with 1960s nostalgia providing them with a ready audience.


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The group continued to tour until Berry's death in March, 2004, with 1960s nostalgia providing them with a ready audience. As a result, the group did not perform again until 1973, and made an official comeback in 1978 on tour with the Beach Boys. Early in 1966 Jan was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, resulting in severe head injuries. Subsequent hits included "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" (1964) and the eerily portentous "Dead Man's Curve" (1964).

Playing local venues, they met and performed with the Beach Boys, and discovered the appeal of the latter's "surf sound".With considerable help from Brian Wilson, they eventually scored a number one national hit with "Surf City" (1963). With the help of friend Herb Alpert and producer Lou Adler, they scored a modest hit with Baby Talk (1959), and then entered a long dry spell. After Dean returned from an army stint and Arnie went off to other pursuits (by 1962, he was a hugely successful rock and roll deejay in Boston), the two began to make music again as Jan and Dean. Their first commercial success was Jennie Lee (1958), an ode to a local burlesque performer which they recorded along with pal Arnie Ginsberg.

They first performed on stage as The Barons at a high school dance. Primitive recording sessions followed soon after, in a makeshift studio in Jan's garage. They began singing together after football practice at University High School in Los Angeles. Jan Berry (April 3, 1941, Los Angeles -- March 26, 2004) and Dean Torrence (born March 10, 1940, Los Angeles) were a rock and roll duo briefly popular in the early 1960s as part of the "surf music" craze inspired by The Beach Boys.

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