RT Cunningham


California Sound - The Beach Boys, Beach Parties and Beyond

California Sound Unknowingly, I grew up with the California Sound. The guitar influence of surf music helped The Beach Boys get going in the early 1960s. I was born in 1960. By the time I was old enough to know what that music was all about, I was already listening to 70s music. Most of that was soft rock.

Unfortunately, I had to listen to a lot of music originating in California until then and most of it on TV. You see, I was the fourth of five brothers and I didn’t get a choice in the matter. Watching TV, that is.

The California Sound and the Beach Party Movies

I saw every Beach Party movie ever made. Not because I wanted to but because I only had two choices. One was to watch whatever my older brothers and sisters watched on TV or nothing at all. Back in those days, most people were lucky to own even one television and those televisions only displayed in black and white.

The second time I was stationed at the Marine Corps Base in Yuma, I talked to a guy who still liked the California Sound. That had to be in 1985, 1986 or 1987. He was my roommate from the first time I was stationed there (when I was still single) and I couldn’t remember his name. I still can’t. One of his favorite duos was Jan and Dean.

Honestly, I don’t like any of that type of music from the 1960s. I like some 1960s music and I have some of it, just not that type.

My Time in California

I went through my first military school and I was stationed in California from 1979 to 1981. Some of the local radio stations still played music from that era. If I started hearing it, I would quickly change stations.

When I was serving at the recruiting station in Phoenix from 1992 to 1996, I had to go on short trips to the district headquarters. The first few times were at Treasure Island, San Francisco and then San Diego when the district headquarters moved.

I spent my last two years in the service (probably less than two) at the base in Barstow. So you see, I couldn’t avoid the state even if I could avoid the California Sound on the radio.

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By RT Cunningham
June 28, 2017
Entertainment and Recreation