The Emergence of Surf Music Essays

2201 Words9 Pages
The Emergence of Surf Music

Many different music styles emerged during the early 1960's. One of these music styles that was perhaps the most prominent music style to ever come out of Southern California was Surf Music. Surf music was a short-lived phenomenon that occurred from 1961 to 1965 (Nostalgia, 2002). Along with the surf music craze, Hollywood also started producing numerous movies about surfing, including Gidget, and Endless Summer (St. James Encyclopedia, 2003 and Nostalgia, 2002). These movies had some amazing soundtracks that helped popularize the surf music phenomenon. There are two different forms of surf music; instrumental and vocal (Holm, 1998 and St. James Encyclopedia, 2003).
…show more content…
First, let's start with the innovator of surf music and the king of the surf guitar; Dick Dale. Dick was originally from Boston, but he moved to Southern California when he was seventeen (Wikipedia, 2003). While in California, he became popular for his country guitar playing. At the same time, he was spending a lot of time with the surfers on the beaches in California. He immediately became intrigued by the spirit of the surf culture, and the splendor of the ocean waves. He began experimenting with his music, trying to capture the rhythm and sounds of the ocean. He formed the group Dick Dale and the Del-tones in 1961 (Wikipedia, 2003 and Bettenville). His live performances became a huge local draw, and his double picking guitar style was admired by many (even Leo Fender who asked him to test some of his new amplifier prototypes with the notion that if his amplifiers could survive Dick Dale's playing, they could survive anything) (Bettenville). At the end of 1961, he released his first single, "Let's Go Trippin'," which is considered to be the first surf rock recording (St. James Encyclopedia, 2003). He followed that recording with a few more locally-released songs, including "Jungle Fever" and "Surf Beat"
Get Access