From the Land of Band Box Records

Golden Days of Forever Summer…..


(The following is gleaned from the three books illustrated above)

If Dean Torrance was the glue that held Jan & Dean together for nearly 45 years, Jan Berry was the heart and soul. The young duo hit the pop scene officially with the charting of “Baby Talk” in the summer of 1959. The song topped out at #10 nationally falling just short of the song “Jennie Lee” which Jan Berry recorded with his high school pal Arnie Ginsburg.

The two teenagers were first signed to Arwin Records in Hollywood due to the self-promotional and selling efforts of Jan. Arnie came along for the ride to soon be replaced by Dean Torrance. Jan, Arnie, Dean, along with future song composer Don Altfield, future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, and future actor Jimmy Bruderlin (would become James Brolin) all hung out together in a local “high school club” called “The Barons”.

Jan and Arnie’s May 1958 release of “Jennie Lee” soared all the way to number 8 in the nation. This would set the stage for Jan as a long time hit writer, producer and shaker in the California set of musicians who provided the teenage soundtrack for millions for years to come. Jan and Arnie would cut a handful of tracks on Arwin, then Dore and then finally on Dot Records, with only “Gas Money” denting the charts in August of 1958. Arnie’s heart wasn’t in the entertainment business and so Dean Torrance would step in – nicely complementing the talents of Jan Berry. They boys would chart often, with fun inspired songs ranging from “We Go Together” based in the sounds of the fading 1950’s rock roll years, hopping on board with surf, hot-rod and summer music over the next eight years when, in the spring of 1966, would come abruptly to an end with Jan Berry’s April 12th car crash. (Not on “Dead Man’s Curve” as often cited but not far away). Read a very thorough and interesting excerpt from “The Jan & Dean Record”.

Journalist Goes Surfin’

Bob Greene Surfin with Jan and Dean

Bob Greene Surfin with Jan and Dean

So much has been written about this duo, most recently with the publication of “Surf City – The Jan and Dean Story” by Dean Torrence, which hit the book shelves in September of this year, 2016. I have a copy on order. But the focus of this Post is a book by Chicago syndicated writer Bob Greene, a baby boomer who has maintained a steady column often paying tribute to the golden years of rock and roll. His 2008 tribute is “When We Get to Surf City… A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship and Dreams”.

This basis of this narrative comes directly from Greene’s involvement with the Jan and Dean touring band which hit the road in the early 1980’s (long after Jan’s horrific car accident in 1966). Bob had published a diary from his notes composed as a teenager titled “Be True to Your School”. To his surprise he receives a letter in 1992 postmarked from a Californian by the name of Gary Griffin. Griffin had read “Surf City” during an airplane flight, flying as a keyboard player and member of the Jan and Dean touring band for over a decade.

Bob gives him a phone call and things go well, very well. Bob is invited to “come see a show”, and then through a quantum leap in the narrative, the next thing you know Greene is meeting up with band often, being first invited to step up to the microphone to join in the harmonies and next, to get his guitar and join the band whenever he is able.

And that is exactly what he does …… for the next decade! And those experiences are the focus of Bob’s “Surf City”.

Jan and Dean toured relentlessly beginning in 1980 hitting the county fairs, amusement parks, corporate events, all over the nation, each year ending the tour with the approach of fall. Greene was along for many of the special moments and chronicles them as only he can in “Surf City”.

lp-jd-62-01-01-nc-aThere was lots of fun on these tours, but it was also serious business. As Greene points out, Jan, Dean and company all needed to work, to maintain an income. They didn’t have retirement plans from the Golden Years, probably didn’t have health insurance and most were married men with families, and so the summer tour was vital to their livelihoods. Dena Torrence was the front man – the business brains behind the operation. But more importantly, he was the life-long friend, nearly a “brother” to his high school pal and companion, Jan Berry.

Jan’s post accident condition was considerable both physically and mentally. As an example, Bob was riding with them on a flight to the next performance when he heard a Jan and Dean track being played. He glanced around and noticed Jan bent over his small cassette player, concentrating hard. Bob asked a band mate what Jan was doing, after all the song was one of Jan and Dean’s big hits. The band member replied that Jan’s memory for the lyrics was challenged and that he would have to “re-learn” the lyrics over and over again before each performance.

Jan’s state presence was another challenge, often off-balanced, and hindered by partial paralysis in his arm and leg, the band would cover for Jan constantly with inspiring comments to the audience, with on-stage theatrics and general good showmanship.

Following are a couple of extracts from “When We Get to Surf City” relating to the Jan and Dean long-time relationship:

“So there he was, a man in his fifties with a cafeteria tray in front of him, having breakfast by himself.

Dean saw him. He walked to the table and sat in the chair across from Jan. The two men talked together quietly. Then (Dean didn’t know I was observing this) something close to tender happened.

Dean reached across the table fro Jan’s tray. He picked up the miniature containers filled with jelly and butter and, with the plastic utensils, spread them on Jan’s pieces of toast. Then he cut the toast so it would be easier for Jan to eat. He slid the tray back to Jan. I saw Jan not toward Dean in gratitude.”


lp-jd-63-10-08-32-a“Do you think you could could get some information about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?” he said. “About their rules and procedures?”

He didn’t want to make the call himself. I got the impression it would have made him feel crestfallen. Jan and Dean had not been selected for induction into the Hall.

“I probably can.” I said.

“I just think it would be nice for Jan,” Dean said. “He was so much more talented than so many people who are getting in.”

I’d never heard him say such a thing so directly.

“I don’t even care if I get in.” Dean said. “Oh, I’d love it, obviously. But if they just elected Jan for his songwriting and arranging and producing, I’d be so happy for him. Because the guy deserves it, and I don’t think he’s ever going to get in it.”

He said that, because of the accident, people in the music business tended to define Jan only by that: he was the guy who had had the “Dead Man Curve” collision.

lp-jd-60-03-nc-a“But they never saw him when rose records of ours were being recorded,” Dean said. “Jan was just brilliant. He could do anything in a studio. You know how he can be so difficult now? It’s not really all that different than how he was before the accident. He went into every situation thinking he was smarter than anyone else, which was sort of hard when you were the other person. But the thing is, he was right. I don’t know what the definition of genius is, bu tI think he probably was one. I wish all you guys could have known him back then.”

“I don’t know what I’ll do with it (the information) if you get it,” Dean said. “It would just be good to have the information. It would make the guy’s whole life, to be able to walk across that stage.”

In very early 2004 Jan Berry collapsed on stage from a brain seizure. The band closed ranks around him, finding ways to keep Jan and Dean together but always knowing that Jan’s condition was worsening.

Then on March 26th, 2004 Jan again collapsed in his home sub-coming to his 50 year struggle with the after effects of his tragic car crash. The Jan and Dean band disbanded with many members reforming for a time, performing a regular gig at Disney Land. This kept the bills paid. About a year after Jan’s passing, Dean was able to put the act back together and return to the road, performing once again and delivering the great songs from the Golden Days of Summer.

Jan & Dean at Mile High Stadium – June 11th, 1994:

“There were fifty-five thousand people in Mile High Stadium” Bob Greene’s account begins, telling of his participation in the Jan & Dean Summer Tour which combined with several other “oldie” acts in Denver.  The appearance came right on the heels of a 60,000 strong audience in Pittsburgh, by far the largest audience that Bob had experienced with the famed surf and hot-rod duo to that time.

The line-up that day included The Mama & Papas, America, the Beach Boys (minus Brian Wilson) and a rather famous female quartet.  Bob relates “There weren’t enough dressing trailers for each act to have its own, so we had to share.  (We) found ourselves, in the hours before the concert, drinking beer out of bottles in our trailer, musing, with each dip, about a row of spangly gowns were hanging in the trailer’s closet.”

And lo and behold in short order in walked Motown’s Martha & the Vandellas!  The band members for Jan and Dean were politely asked to turn their heads if they weren’t leaving the trailer, while the Vandellas changed into their gowns.

Just after Jan and Dean and company completed their 30 minute set, a limo pulled up and out popped the Beach Boys who had nearly missed the concert due to an late flight in from Utah.

Greene continues, “So (the Beach Boys) talked with us by the side of the stage while their roadies arranged their instruments, and then the promoter said it was time (for the Beach Boys to go on).  I still had my guitar under my arms; as they started the stairs to sing, Al Jardine said offhandedly to me, ‘How’s the sound?’  ‘Good’, I said.

“I walked a few feet until I was alone.  I didn’t even want to attempt to tell the others what all of this was meaning to me. ‘How’s the sound?’ From Al Jardine.  I looked up at the stars in the Colorado night.  I put myself back in that car in the middle of Ohio, all those years ago (as a teen).  When much of this music was future tense, when the Beach Boys hadn’t written most of it yet, and we waited for them to think it up and somehow get it to us.  ‘How’s the sound?’

“The Sound is wonderful, thank you.”
h1>A Dean Torrance Tale


barry-keenanWhile I am on my Jan and Dean kick, thought it would be interesting to share this little story which I located in a book titled “Surf Beat – Rock’s Forgotten Revolution” by Kent Crowley (Backbeat Books, Published 2011). California musicians have been the fantasy of some very peculiar characters over the years, perhaps none more peculiar than that of Charles Manson and his brief and scary courtship of record producer/composer Terry Melcher and Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson prior to the Manson Murders. Here is another peculiar character – While the book is primarily an account of the hard core surf groups especially from the early days of Surf Music in California, this item appeared relating to Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean:

“In autumn of 1963, having regained their footing as leading pop stars, their reputation suffered when Barry Keenan, a former high school classmate who had fallen on hard times, approached (Dean) Torrence and asked him to buy into a kidnap plot.

Torrence took pity on his former classmate and interpreted the kidnapping talk as a veiled plea of desperation, since it involved the brother of yet another classmate, Nancy Sinatra. Rejecting his classmate’s original request for $5,000, Torrence slipped him $500 to get back on his feet long enough to extinguish any pathetic notions of a life of crime.

“Yet, whether the classmate disregarded or misunderstood Torrence’s kindness, he followed through on his threat to kidnap Frank Sinatra Jr. When the victim was returned home safely and the kidnapper’s identity revealed, police and the media learned of the incident and incredibly concluded that Dean – one of music’s brightest stars – actually furnished the seed money for a crime that in 1963 could carry a death penalty. The event took its toll on Jan & Dean’s reputation, especially within the tight-knit community of Hollywood’s recording industry, where a Hal Blaine, Jerry Cole, or a Glen Campbell could find themselves backing Frank Sinatra within hours or even minutes of performing on a Jan & Dean record or Beach Boys record.”

SINATRA AND SONThe kidnappers – Keenan and two others – received $240,000 from Frank Sinatra. The trio were promptly arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms but apparently only served partial terms. After serving only 4 1/2 years, Keenan became a successful real estate developer. He has written a book about the kidnapping. He told law enforcement that at the time of the kid napping he always intended to pay back the entire ransom and thus deduced that his act was not a crime. Keenan was 19 years old at the time of the kidnapping.

(It doesn’t seem that the mark on Jan and Dean’s reputation remained for long as 1963 and 1964 were burgeoning years for Jan and Dean hit records).

Jan & Dean Discography

Single Releases

45 – Arwin MM-108 – “Jennie Lee” b/w “Gotta Get a Job” – May 19th, 1958 – Charted #8

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45 – Arwin MM-111 – “Gas Money” b/w “Bonnie Lou” – August 18th, 1958 – Charted Los Angeles Top 40


45 – Arwin MM-113 – “I Love Linda” b/w “The Beat That Can’t Be Beat” – September 1st, 1959 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Dore 522 – “Baby Talk” b/w “Jeanette, Get Your Hair Done” – August 3rd, 1959 – Charted #10

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45 – Dore 531 – “There’s A Girl” b/w “My Heart Sings” – October 26th, 1959 – Charted #97

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EP – Dot DEP 1097 – “Jan & Arnie” – 1960 – Did Not Chart


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45 – Dore 539 – “Clementine” b/w “You’re On My Mind” – February 8th, 1960 – Charted #65

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45 – Dore 548 – “Cindy” b/w “White Tennis Sneakers” – March, 1963 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Dot 45-16116 – “Gas Money” b/w “Gotta Get a Date” – July, 1960 – Did Not Chart


45 – Dore 555 – “We Go Together” b/w “Rosie Lane” – August 1st, 1960 – Charted #53

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45 – Dore 576 – “Gee” b/w “Such a Good Night for Dreaming” – November 14th, 1960 – Charted #81


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45 – Dore 583 – “Baggy Pants” b/w “Judy’s an Angel” – 1961 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Challenge 9111 – “Heart and Soul” b/w “Mid Summer Night’s Dream” & “Those Words” – June 26th, 1961 – Charted #25

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45 – Dore 610 – “Don’t Fly Away” b/w “Julie” – August, 1961 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Challenge 9120 – “Wanted, One Girl” b/w “Something a Little Bit Different” – October 9th, 1961 – Charted #104

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45 – Liberty F-55397 – “A Sunday Kind of Love” b/w “Poor Little Puppet” – January 20th, 1962 – Charted #95

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45 – Liberty 55454 – “Tennessee” b/w “Your Heart Has Changed Its Mind” – May 26th, 1962 – Charted #69

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45 – Liberty F-55496 – “My Favorite Dream” b/w “Who Put the Bomp” – September 29th, 1062 – Charted #149

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45 – Liberty F-55522 – “Frosty” b/w “She’s Still Talking Baby Talk” – November 1st, 1962 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Liberty 55531 – “Linda” b/w “When I Learn How To Cry” – February 23rd, 1963 – Charted #28

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45 – Liberty 55580 – “Surf City” b/w “She’s My Summer Girl” – February 23rd, 1963 – Charted #1


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45 – Liberty 55613 – “Honolulu Lulu” b/w “Someday” – September 7th, 1963 – Charted #11

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45 – Liberty 55641 – “Drag City” b/w “Schlock Rod Part 1” – December 7th, 1963 – Charted #10

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45 – Liberty 55672 – “Dead Man’s Curve” b/w “The New Girl in School” – Double Sided Hit – March 7th & March 21st, 1964 – Charted #8 & #37

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45 – Liberty F-55704 – “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)” b/w “My Mighty G.T.O.” – June 27th, 1964 – Charted #3


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45 – Liberty F-55724 – “Ride The Wild Surf” b/w “The Anaheim, Azusa & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association” – Double Sided Hit – September 19th, 1964 & October 3rd, 1964 – Charted #16 & #77

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45 – Liberty 55727 – “Sidewalk Surfin'” b/w “When It’s Over” – October 31st, 1964 – Charted #25

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45 – Liberty 55766 – “(Here They Come) From All Over the World” b/w “Freeway Flyer” – March 6th, 1965 – Charted #109


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45 – Liberty 55792 – “You Really Know How to Hurt A Guy” b/w “It’s As Easy As 1-2-3” – May 22nd, 1965

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45 – Liberty 55833 – “I Found a Girl” b/w “It’s A Shame to Say Goodbye” – October 16th, 1965 – Charted #30

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45 – Liberty 55849 – “A Beginning From an End” b/w “Folk City” – January 1st, 1966 – Charted #109

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45 – Liberty 55860 – “Batman” b/w “Bucket T” – February 12th, 1966 – Charted #66

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45 – Liberty 55886 – “Popsicle” b/w “Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown)” – April 4th, 1964 – Charted #21

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Liberty 45 – F-55905 – “Fiddle Around” b/w “A Surfer’s Dream” – September 3rd, 1966 – Charted #93

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45 – Liberty 55923 – “The New Girl In School” b/w “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell” – October 1st, 1966 – Did Not Chart
(Jan and Dean’s final Liberty release)

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45 – J&D 402 – “Like a Summer Rain” b/w “Louisiana Man” – October 29th, 1966 – Charted #138
(Jan and Dean’s own “J&D” label released three singles and none by other artists)

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45 – J&D JD-001 – “California Lullabye” b/w “Summertime, Summertime” – 1967 – Did Not Chart

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45 – J&D 1271 – “Ocean Park Angel” b/w “Wipe Out” – 1981 – Did Not Chart

45 – Magic Lamp ML-401 – “California Lullaby” b/w “Summertime” – 1967 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Columbia 4-44036 – “Taste of Rain” b/w “Yellow Balloon” – February 13th, 1967

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45 – Warner Bros. 7151 – “Love and Hate” b/w “Only a Boy” – December, 1967 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Warner Bros. 7219 – “I Know My Mind” b/w “Laurel & Hardy” – July 10th, 1968 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Warner Bros. 7240 – “Girl, You’re Blowing My Mind” b/w “In the Still of the Night” – October, 1968 – Did Not Chart

45 – Liberty Reissue 54534 – “Surf City” b/w “Honolulu Lulu” – January, 1969 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Liberty Reissue 54544 – “Dead Man’s Curve” b/w “Drag City” – February, 1969 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Liberty 54546 – “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” b/w “The New Girl In School” – March, 1969 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists 50859 – “Jenny Lee” b/w “Vejetables” – January 21st, 1972 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists Silver Spotlight XW089 – “Jennie Lee” b/w “Baby Talk” – 1973 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists Silver Spotlight XW090 – “Linda” b/w The New Girl In School” – 1973 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists Silver Spotlight XW091 – “Surf City” b/w “Ride the Wild Surf” – 1973 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists Silver Spotlight XW092 – “Dean Man’s Curve” b/w “Drag City” – 1973 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists Reissue Promo XW092 – “Dead Man’s Curve” Mono b/w “Dead Man’s Curve” Stereo – 1973 – Did Not Chart


45 – United Artists Silver Spotlight XW093 – “Honolulu” b/w “Sidewalk Surfin'” – 1973 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists Silver Spotlight XW094 – “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” b/w “Popsicle” – 1973 – Did Not Chart



45 – Ode 66111 – “Fun City” b/w “Totally Wild” – 1975 – Did Not Chart

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45 – United Artists UA-XW670 – “Sidewalk Surfin'” b/w “Gonna Hustle You” – July 24th, 1976 – Did Not Chart

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Flexi 33 1/3 – Evatone – “Surf Bunkey (Surf City in Dutch) – 1980 – Did Not Chart


45 – Challenge Reissue 103 – “Heart and Soul” b/w “Lies” (by the Knickerbockers) – 1986 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Eric Reissue 268 – “Heart and Soul” b/w “Lies” (by the Knickerbockers) – 1986 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Era Golden Era Series 5010 – “Baby Talk” b/w “Jeanette, Get Your Hair Done” – 1987 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Collectibles COL 6068 – “Deadman’s Curve” b/w “Drag City” – 1992 – Did Not Chart

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45 – Collectibles COL 3102 – “Baby Talk” b/w “Double Shot of My Babys Love” (by the Swingin Madallions) – 1992 – Did Not Chart

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EP – Sundazed SEP 125 – “Yellow Balloon” & “Raindrops” b/w “California Lullaby” & “Here Comes the Rain” – 1996 – Did Not Chart

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Long Play Releases

LP – Dore 101 – “Jan & Dean” – March, 1960 – Did not chart


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LP – Liberty LRP 3248 – “Jan & Dean’s Golden Hits” – January 1st, 1962 – Did not chart

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LP – Liberty LST 7294 – “Jan & Dean Take Linda Surfin'” – June 22nd, 1963 – Charted #71

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LP – Liberty LST 7314 – October 8th, 1963 – Charted #32

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LP – Internaitional Award Series – AKS 250 – “The Heart & Soul of Jan & Dean & Friends” – January, 1964 – Did not chart


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LP – Liberty LRP 3309 – “Drag City” – January 18th, 1964 – Charted #22


LP – Liberty LRP 3361 – “Dean Man’s Curve/The New Girl in School” – May 23rd, 1965 – Charted #80

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LP – Liberty LRP 3377 – “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” – October 10th, 1064 – Charted #40

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LP – Liberty LRP 3403 – “Command Performance Live In Person” – March 27th, 1965 – Charted #33


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LP – Liberty LRP 3417 – “Jan & Dean’s Golden Hits Volume 2” – October 2nd, 1965 – Charted #107

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LP – Liberty LRP 3460 – “Golden Hits Volume Three” – January 1st, 1965 – Did Not Chart

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LP – Liberty LRP 3431 – “Jan & Dean Folk ‘n Roll” – January 15th, 1965 – Charted #143


LP – Liberty LST 7444 – “Jan & Dean Meet Batman” – February 2nd, 1966 – Did Not Chart

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LP – Sundazed  LP 5022 – “Save it For A Rainy Day” – March, 1966 – Did Not Chart


LP – Liberty LST 7458 – “Popsicle” – April, 1966 – Did not chart


LP – Liberty LST 7441 – “Filet of Soul – I Live One” – May 14th, 1966 – Charted #137


LP – United Artists UAS 9951 – “Jan & Dean Legendary Masters Series” – 1971 – Did not chart

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LP – United Artists UA LA 341 – “Gotta Take That One Last Ride” – 1974 – Did not chart

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LP – Ruby Records RR-3-4080 – “The Jan & Dean Story” – 1977 – Did Not Chart

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LP – GIP 33.021 – “Jan & Dean” – 1979 – Did Not Chart

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LP – Rhino – “Jan & Dean & Te Bel-Air Bandits” – 1982 – Did Not Chart


LP – “Jan & Dean – Silver Summer” – 1985 – Did Not Chart


LP – “Jan & Dean – A Surfer’s Dream” – 1986 – Did Not Chart

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LP – J&D Records 101 – “Save for a Rainy Day” – 2010 – Did Not Chart


Jan and Dean Foreign Releases

Jan and Dean Australia


Jan and Dean Denmark


Jan and Dean Europe


Jan and Dean Germany


Jan and Dean Italy


Jan and Dean Japan


Jan and Dean Netherlands


Jan and Dean Sweden


Jan and Dean United Kingdom


Jan and Dean Solo Vinyl and With Others

(Note: Non of these singles charted)

45 – Ripple 6101 – “Tomorrow’s Teardrops” b/w “My Midsummer Night’s Dream” – 1961


45 – Liberty F-55848 – “The Universal Coward” b/w “I Can’t Wait to Love You” October 29th, 1965

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45 – Ode 66023 – “Mother Earth” b/w “Blue Moon Shuffle” – February, 1972

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45 – United Artists 50958 – “Gonna Hustle You” b/w “Summertime, Summertime” – September, 1979

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45 – Ode 66120 – “Sing Sang a Song” b/w “Sing Sang a Song (Singalong Version) – March, 1973

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45 – Ode 66034 – “Don’t You Just Know It” b/w “Blue Moon Shuffle” – May, 1973

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45 – A&M 1957 – “Little Queenie” b/w “That’s The Way It Is” – July, 1977

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45 – A&M 2020 – “Skateboard Surfin’ U.S.A.” b/w “How – How I Love Her” – March, 1978

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45 – Hit Bound Records – “Baby Talk” (with Beach Boy Mike Love) – 1982


45 – Premore, Inc., – “Jingle Bell Rock” (with Mike Love) – 1983

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45 – Premore, Inc., – “Da Doo Ron Ron” (by Mike Love) b/w “Baby Talk” (by Dean Torrence) – 1983


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