The Sounds of Summer’s origins can be traced back to the early 60s when Southern Californian based singers and bands started to write music inspired by the state’s beach culture.

The Sound was originally identified for harnessing a wide-eyed, sunny optimism attributed to southern California teenage life in the late 1950s. Its imagery is primarily represented by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, who are credited for the Sound’s instigation via their debut single “Surfin'” in 1961. Along with Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys encapsulated surfing, hot rod culture, and youthful innocence within music which transformed a local lifestyle into American mythology.

Pre-Beatles, the so-called California Sound of America influenced and inspired the Australian youth to follow suite. Our beaches were better than those in California, our waves were better than those in America and the rise of our homegrown surfing music knocked plenty of American Top 40 number ones from the coveted position!

Our Summers of ’62, ’63 and ‘64 produced many fine Australian hits by the Atlantics, the Delltones,  Little Pattie, the Denvermen, the Joye Boys and more, while established artists released songs that rode the surfing wave of popularity, including Johnny Devlin and Digger Revell.

But it didn’t stop with the rise of the Beatles and the British Invasion.

Many great songs with the surfing and/or summer themes would continue to chart over the decades including Chris Rea, Dire Straits, David Lee Roth, Dragon, First Class, Johnny Rivers, Mondo Rock, Madonna, the Mixtures, Nick Guilder, Rod Stewart, Sherbet, Jon English and John Cougar Mellencamp to name but a few. Coast FM is proud to present great songs and artists as our Sounds of Summer Music Month unfolds through December.