Music Question: Beach Boys Rarities
Q: I'm looking for some early Beach Boy stuff that was recorded by them but hard to find. Would you name some songs they did that they released as singles but didn't chart? I heard they did songs under different names.
A: Okay, here we go...
1) The very first single by the guys known as The Beach Boys was SURFIN' (with the tune “Luau” as the flip side), a single that was released THREE times: on the Candix label in November 1961, the “X” label in December 1961 and again on Candix in January 1962. They were calling themselves “The Pendletones” at the time but when the single was released, the label promoter – Russ Regan – had changed their name to “Beach Boys.”
2) SURFIN' was followed by the single (a non-charter) “Barbie”/”What Is A Young Girl Made Of” on Randy Records in April 1962 under the group name “Kenny & The Cadets.” This little one-off group actually consisted of Brian & Carl Wilson and their mom, Audree. The hits began with their third single, SURFIN' SAFARI in the summer of '62.
3) In early 1964 (around the time of FUN, FUN, FUN) Brian Wilson gathered up three old pals of his: Bob Norberg, Dave Nowlen and Rich Alarian to record a song using the same melody as “Car Crazy Cutie” a song from the Beach Boys' 1963 album “Little Deuce Coupe.” Brian wrote new lyrics to the tune, titled it “Pamela Jean,” recorded it with his buddies (calling themselves “The Survivors”) and released it as a single on the orange/yellow swirl Capitol Records label. The flip side was an instrumental titled “After The Game” and this is now a highly sought-after collector's item.
4) Next comes a 43-second song, “Karen.” The Beach Boys recorded this wonderfully catchy short song in the late summer of 1964 for the TV show “Karen” - a show that was part of a trio of programs that alternated every week in the series “90 Bristol Court.”
5) Another great song comes from the summer of 1965, around the time of CALIFORNIA GIRLS; it's the song THE MONKEY'S UNCLE from the Disney film of the same name. Great sound with Annette doing the lead vocals and the Beach Boys doing the instruments and backing vocals.
6) Then there's “Gettin' Hungry,” a track from their 1967 “Smiley Smile” album that was released as by “Brian Wilson & Mike Love.”
7) CHILD OF WINTER is another hard-to-find single, a Christmas song by the guys in 1974. These are a few of the hardest-to-find Beach Boys releases; others came around but I'll save those for another time.