Mystery Island Banana Train Ride presented by Friends of Spectropop

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Spectropop - Digest Number 1885

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. The Surfer Girls
           From: Mick Patrick 

Message: 1 Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 12:31:32 +0100 From: Mick Patrick Subject: The Surfer Girls Many moons ago I asked Al Kooper: > Hey Al, what can you tell us about the Surfer Girls? As far as > I know this outfit released just one record, "One Boy Tells > Another" (Columbia 43001, 1964), written by yourself with Bob > Brass and Irwin Levine. Steve Venet produced the track and Denny > Randell was the arranger. What great label copy! And what a way > cool record. Were the Surfer Girls perhaps another group in > disguise? We girl group anoraks neeeeeeeeed to know such things. Al couldn't answer my question, but I did receive a few off-list emails from Janet Bonica, the cousin of one of the group. Those emails got filed away and I promptly forgot all about them. Hey, you know how it is. However, I found them yesterday. Here's some of what Janet had to say: > Dear Mick, > > I recently did a "google" search on the Surfer Girls and found > out about the "Where the Girls Are, Vol 5" CD, containing the > group's "One Boy Tells Another", which I immediately ordered. I > was very disappointed when I read your liner notes about the > Surfer Girls. I have since been trying to locate you to give you > some background. I entered your name in google and that's how I > found out about Spectropop. What a great web site! Anyway, I > e-mailed Al Kooper and Roger Armstrong at Ace Records. I finally > joined Spectropop in order to contact you. > > The Surfer Girls were a Staten Island duo from New Dorp H.S. > comprised of Lorraine Bonica on lead (my cousin) and Janice > Bartolomeo. They were originally called the Durettes. When > Columbia signed them on, the record company changed the name of > the group and added a third voice. Unfortunately, Lorraine > passed away about 15 years ago. I don't know anything about > Janice. I think I heard that she moved to Florida. > > Here's the Columbia Records publicity shot of the Surfer Girls. > That's Janice at the top and Lorraine at the bottom. Too bad > this wasn't included in the "Where the Girls Are Vol. 5" CD. > The Surfer Girls were not anonymous session singers. I am happy > to put a face on the group. > > In 1996 I was looking through various CD compilations at Tower > Records and found "Draggin' Wagon" on "Surf City: The California > Sound", produced by Sony Music Special Products. The accompanying > booklet by Jack Wood stated that nothing was known about the > Surfer Girls. Thus began my quest to find someone who would > include their info on future compilations. I contacted David > Hinckley, a staff writer at the New York Daily News, who is a > terrific resource on the oldie groups. He printed a nice article > "Surfing Family Lore on a Wave of Nostalgia" on 7/18/96. > > David Hinckley put me in touch with someone at Sony Archives. I > thought future compilations would include some info. "Draggin' > Wagon" was the "A" side, and has been included in a number of > compilations. I knew it was only a matter of time before "One > Boy Tells Another" was released. > > Lorraine said that they recorded many songs and she often > wondered what happened to the tapes. There must be a lot of > unreleased material in the Columbia vaults. I don't know if you > know anyone who has access to this stuff. Their recording > sessions are listed as the Durettes. I would love to hear this > stuff. Maybe someday on CD? > > Their producer, Steve Venet, was the one who changed the group > name from the Durettes to the Surfer Girls because he envisioned > the group as the female counterpart to the Beach Boys. > > I don't remember a whole lot about the Surfer Girls because it > was 40 years ago and I was the tag-along little cousin. I do > know that they taped "Draggin' Wagon"/"One Boy Tells Another" at > Columbia Records on 2/4/64 under the name "The Durettes." That's > key to finding anything about them from Columbia. The record was > released as the Surfer Girls. Lorraine said they taped a lot of > songs and she often wondered what happened to them. > > I do know that Lorraine knew Ron Dante because I was into his > bubblegum music at the time. (Am I the only one who remembers > "The Leader of the Laundromat" with Ron Dante as the Detergents?). > He may know a bit more. When I see Lorraine's brother at the end > of the month, I will see if he can give me any other info. > > Thank you for keeping the music alive. > > Janet Bonica The picture Janet sent me is now on display at the S'pop Photos section. View it here: The Surfer Girls will also be featured in Stephen J. McParland's forthcoming book "Bikinis, Black Denim and Bitchen Sounds", but what he has to say about the group and the making of their record might disappoint Janet. Hey la, Mick Patrick -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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