26 Miles (Santa Catalina)

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"26 Miles (Santa Catalina)"
Single by The Four Preps
Released 1958 (1958)
Genre Pop music
Length 2:30
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Bruce Belland, Glen Larson

"26 Miles (Santa Catalina)" is a popular song by the 1950s and 1960s pop band The Four Preps. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Billboard R&B chart in 1958.[1] The song sold over a million copies[2] and was played on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The main theme of the song is summed up in the last line in the refrain, stating that Santa Catalina is "the island of romance", with the word "romance" repeated four times.


  • A 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) 2:27
  • B Big Man 2:25



At the age of 15, the band's lead singer Bruce Belland broke his ankle and took up the ukulele to pass the time while recuperating. He learned four chords, which ended up becoming the song's opening music. The chorus was developed some time later when, while body surfing at a California beach, Belland's friend said he could see Santa Catalina 26 miles away.[3]

Glen Larson also receives credit for writing the song, as he contributed to the lyrics.

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Dent May on his album Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele.[4]


The song served as an influence to Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson, as well as Jimmy Buffett.[3] Neil Peart, lyricist/drummer of the band Rush, recalls that it is one of the first pop music songs that he remembers listening to as a child, stating "I heard that song many times that year (1958). The chorus echoes readily in memory, with its lilting shuffle."[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ AllMusic.com
  2. ^ "Catalina Island". Long Beach Press-Telegram. July 6, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b LATimes article
  4. ^ AllMusic
  5. ^ "Magnetic Mirages". NeilPeart.net. August 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2015.