Contact Us

50 Years Ago: The Beach Boys’ ‘Surfer Girl’ Hits The Charts

Capitol Records

On Aug. 3, 1963, the Beach Boys‘ fifth single, ‘Surfer Girl,’ hit the Billboard charts. The song would eventually make it’s way to No. 7.

The single is significant in that it was the first Beach Boys release to be produced by Brian Wilson. The band’s first few singles, and first two albums were produced by Capitol staff producer, Nick Venet (along with input from Murry Wilson, the Wilson brothers’ notorious father).

Released on Monday, July 22, 1963, ‘Surfer Girl’ was an experiment of sorts for the powers-that-be at Capitol, testing the waters of letting Brian produce on his own. According to the book, ‘The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary,’ author Keith Badman notes that the recorded exceeded the label’s expectations. In turn, they gave Brian the green light to act as sole producer.

The song actually dates back to the band’s earliest days, when they were still called the Pendletones,and was first recorded by producer Hite Morgan on Feb. 8, 1962. These were the same sessions that would yield their first single, ‘Surfin,’ which was released on the small Candix label. That early version of ‘Surfer Girl’ remained unreleased until the 1990s, when it appeared on the ‘Lost And Found’ compilation.

The hit version was cut at Western Studios, on June 12, 1963. The single’s flip side, ‘Little Deuce Coupe,’ was also done at the same sessions. Unlike the approach Wilson would soon employ of using studio musicians (largely comprised of ‘The Wrecking Crew’), the players on this session were simply, the Beach Boys: Brian Wilson on lead vocal and bass guitar, Dennis Wilson on drums, David Marks and Carl Wilson on guitar, with all members, including Mike Love, on vocals.

‘Surfer Girl’ was the first step on a long and illustrious history as a visionary producer. Though he took many cues from his mentor, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson would soon expand on those ideas and take them into new and increasingly adventurous territory.

Next: Top 10 Beach Boys Songs

More from 103.7 The Hawk

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kmhk.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 103.7 The Hawk quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on 103.7 The Hawk quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!