31. JAN & DEAN - Folk City

JAN & DEAN - 'A Beginning From An End'/'Folk City' (Liberty F-55849) December 1965

Jan & Dean were a successful duo from Los Angeles who recorded the surf hit 'Surf City' in 1963, a brilliant song about a mythical place in Southern California full of beautiful girls, hot rods and rock 'n' roll groups. By 1965 the kids on the Strip had moved on and the 'in' sound was edgy protest/folk rock and Brit Invasion sounds. Jan & Dean's response was 'A Beginning From An End' which flopped, not even entering the Billboard Top 100.

The obscure and never mentioned flip 'Folk City' is an apt entry into my Los Angeles select 50. The song is a re-write of 'Surf City' with different lyrics, more akin with the musical shift in L.A from surf to folk rock. This would have made a much better A-side.

"I got a Hohner harmonica and a Vox 12 string,
Folk City here we come.
You know there's lots of protest songs that I want to sing,
Folk City here we come."

Both songs were included on the 1966 Jan & Dean LP 'Folk 'n Roll'

JAN & DEAN - Folk City


  1. I just love your blog! Where else can I hear songs like this one? I vaguely remember this, but as I was a SoCal folkie, I thought it was lameness personified: "Let's make some money off of this new hippy craze."

    Years later, I confess I kinda like it! LOL.

    California Gold Coast Dreamin

  2. I'd completely forgotten about this track, my mom had a bunch of their 45's and I swear I haven't heard this in 30 years or more! Thanks!

  3. Wow, freaky song from Jan and Dean. Thanks for the listen.

  4. Another of my fave musical acts, but this track was a newie to me, and it is really neat. Yet more gems unearthed by Colin!


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