Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll

This installment celebrates the complete hit singles history of an act whose trademark tunes are indelibly associated with songs about surfing and fast cars. But there’s much more to their musical achievements.


They were innovative composers, singers, and producers. Long before their songs about riding the waves and racing dragsters, their early hits were mostly creative remakes of pop standards and other people’s records.


Eventually, some of their best-known material resulted from working with the Beach Boys. And while they were doing all that, this duo attended college so they could expand their career horizons. One studied graphic design and went on to create the artwork for best-selling rock and roll albums. The other was in medical school until a tragic auto accident ended that endeavor.


Their names are William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence: Jan and Dean.


We’ll trace their trajectory from an early hit about an exotic dancer to their permanent place in the pantheon of performers who exemplified the California rock and roll sound of the 1960s.

See Jan & Dean's complete hit singles discography on the "Musicology" page.