555: The Search for Surf (Righteous)

dick dale


Righteous Records’ latest compilation features over two dozen prime slabs of greasy, waxed-down vinyl, ranging from the well-known classics to some you’ve never heard before, and probably won’t hear anywhere else. Here are five of the best cuts from the collection:

The Gamblers: “LSD-25” (Released 1960): Fun fact: not only is this song the first rock song to mention LSD, this one-and-done group features one of the earliest (if not the first) recordings by future Beach Boys bassist Bruce Johnston. It’s a steady, mid-tempo instrumental, with some excellent piano playing.

Don & The Galaxies: “Avalanche” (Released 1960): A very obscure group, but one who left the world with a wonderful little instrumental delight.

The Tuffs and Kay Bell:  “Surfer Stomp” (Released 1961): This single release is rare among surfing music in that it features a woman vocalist. Not that that’s the only thing that makes this rare single great, it’s also obvious that Kay Bell, formerly of the 1950s group The Bell Sisters,  had the ability to stick it to the boys. It’s a fun little party number and full of spirit.

The Belairs: Mr. Moto (Released 1962): This mid-tempo rocker has a nice, warm feel, and it’s not hard to fall for its mellow groove.

Angie & The Citations: “Headache” (Released 1963) This mysterious group recorded a handful of songs, self-released 150 copies, and then promptly disappeared. Safe money is the Beatles brought them to their demise, as they did for countless other surfing bands. “Headache” is a wild, raunchy slab of prime rock and roll.

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